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Patients in shock are critically ill and will be admitted to an intensive care unit. Depending on the underlying condition, a variety of specialists will be involved with their care. Nurses with advanced training, respiratory therapists, and pharmacists will be added to the team of doctors assigned to one patient.
When the body is in a stressed state, it becomes more susceptible to infection. When a patient has tubes in in the body for prolonged periods, they are at risk to higher infection. While in the hospital, the staff will be vigilant in trying to prevent nosocomial (hospital-borne) infections.
Extended nursing care is often needed if one survives shock. Rehabilitation may take a prolonged period of time as different organs recover their function. The amount of time the body was in a shock state often determines the extent of organ damage, and full recovery may never be complete. Brain injury can lead to stroke and thought impairment. Heart and lung damage can lead to significant disabilities that may include reduced exercise tolerance. Kidney damage can lead to the need for dialysis.
Shock is a culmination of multiple organ systems in the body that have failed or are in the process of failing. Even with the best of care, there is a significant risk of death. The mortality rate for shock depends upon the type and reason for the shock, and the age and underling health condition of the patient.
Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/24/2016
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