Font Size

Shock (cont.)

Shock Follow-up

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 Prognosis

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


Tintinalli J, etal. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th edition. McGraw-Hill Professional 2010

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2017

Must Read Articles Related to Shock

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a severe lung condition caused by learn more >>
Insulin Reaction
Insulin Reaction An insulin reaction occurs when an individual with learn more >>
Low Blood Pressure
Low Blood Pressure Low blood pressure (hypotension) may be caused by
  • heart conditions,
  • intravascular fluid complications (learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Shock:

Shock - Treatment

What was the treatment for your shock?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Shock, Distributive »

Shock is defined as a clinical syndrome due to inadequate tissue perfusion that results in end-organ dysfunction.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary