Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

Survive. Connect. Rebuild.

A Program of the ATS

Hypovolemic Shock

Hypovolemic shock is a condition where the heart is unable to supply enough blood and oxygen to the body because of blood loss; it is caused by a significant decrease in total blood volume. Signs and symptoms include rapid and/or weak pulse, rapid breathing, anxiety, cool clammy and pale skin, weakness, sweating, decreased or no urine output, low blood pressure, confusion, unconsciousness, and low body temperature. A blood test is performed to determine if the patient has a significant blood loss. Once the decision is made that the patient is suffering from blood loss additional tests are performed to determine where the patient is losing blood. The additional tests could consist of blood draws, computed tomography (CT) scan and X-rays. An echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) may be performed and a catheter may be placed in the right heart to determine how much fluid the patient will need to replace the amount of blood lost. Medications may be needed to help increase the blood pressure. A catheter will also be placed in the bladder to monitor the patient’s urine output. Hypovolemic shock is always a medical emergency. Prompt treatment is a must to prevent kidney and brain damage. Death is possible in severe hypovolemic shock