Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

Survive. Connect. Rebuild.

A Program of the ATS

Cardiogenic Shock

Cardiogenic shock is caused when the heart is damaged enough that it is no longer able to provide the rest of the body with adequate amounts of blood. This means that there is not enough blood circulating to provide the body with enough oxygen and nutrients. This type of shock can be caused by a defect in the heart muscle, heart valve disorders, electrical conduction disorder within the heart, heart outflow obstruction, arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms), and heart attack. 

The signs and symptoms of cardiogenic shock include rapid and weak pulse, rapid breathing, anxiety, large neck (jugular) veins, cool skin, weakness and fatigue, decreased alertness, sweating, pale skin, coma, and decreased urine output. Diagnosis of cardiogenic shock can be made by electrocardiogram, which looks at electrical changes in the heart, inserting a catheter into the vessels that lead into the heart, heart ultrasound, or by removing a small piece of heart muscle for biopsy. Treatment for cardiogenic shock depends on the cause of the shock; the patient may be infused with fluids, drugs may be administered to try and manage arrhythmia or increase the heart’s ability to pump, and surgery may be necessary. There is approximately an 80% mortality rate for people suffering any type of cardiogenic shock.