Home > Heart Conditions > What is Cardiogenic Shock?

What is Cardiogenic Shock?

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 30 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Cardiogenic Shock Blood Supply Oxygen

This term is given when the blood supply to tissues becomes compromised leading to the demands of the tissues not being met. As blood carries oxygen and nutrients, tissue damage can occur if these needs are not fulfilled.

Cardiogenic shock occurs as the blood is not being pumped out efficiently by the heart muscle. This is due to problems concerning the ventricles which are the lower chambers of the heart muscle responsible for pumping blood away from the heart.The heart muscle can become damaged in a number of ways including as a consequence of heart attack, arrhythmia, cardiomyopathies and problems with some of the valves.In the case of a myocardial infarction being the leading cause, the heart muscle is not performing effectively, and though the blood volume is not depleted, such as in bleeding after a trauma, it fails to reach tissues effectively.As tissues become oxygen depleted, cell death can occur, leading to further heart attack if the heart muscle becomes oxygen depleted or tissue death in other parts of the anatomy. Total tissue death cannot be reversed and damage can be permanent, with the possibility of sudden death. The most severely affected organs are the heart itself, brain and kidneys.Because many of the causes of cardiogenic shock occur in the elderly or those who unhealthy lifestyles, these groups of people are more at risk of suffering from cardiogenic shock.

Signs and Symptoms

Initial symptoms of cardiogenic shock can include becoming restless, anxious with confusion; this happens become the brain is lacking in oxygen.The pulse rate may rise and blood pressure drops as the blood is not being pumped effectively; this can cause faintness and dizziness to arise.The fingers and toes may appear dusky or with a blue tinge as blood is not reaching these areas and the little that does carries a very small amount of oxygen at this stage.Nausea and vomiting are fairly common and chest pain is likely to occur if the heart tissue is affected either because of the causing myocardial infarction, or because these tissues are not being well perfused.

Treatment for Cardiogenic Shock

The treatment options for this condition vary depending on the cause of the problem.A myocardial infarction (heart attack) can carry a variety of causes and severities, each requiring individual treatments.A general overview of treatments includes oxygen therapy, administration of intravenous fluids to try and raise blood pressure and volume aiming increase the perfusion of the extremities.There are drugs available to increase the mechanical pumping action of the heart and the treating physician will decide which of these is the most appropriate often in conjunction with anti-arrhythmic medications.

Cardiogenic shock occurs when the blood is being pumped ineffectively, or sometimes not at all, around the body. This leads to the cells and tissues becoming oxygen depleted which can cause these area to die.It is a common effect of suffering from many heart conditions but most commonly is seen as a consequence of myocardial infarction.Cardiogenic shock not only requires immediate treatment, but also the cause of the shock as this can be life threatening.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • rafa
    Re: What is Heart Block?
    Hello. I have born first degree heart block. 10 years ago was temporarily changing to 2 degrees, but stay first degree. Am I at high risk…
    24 March 2020
  • Zusi
    Re: Hole in the Heart: What Happens Next?
    In Sept '16 I was diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure) and in May '17 I had a stroke - the only symptoms…
    3 March 2020
  • Mahendra Gaikwad
    Re: Hole in the Heart: What Happens Next?
    Hi Iam 53 years old and living very healthy life. I have blood pressure but it is in normal condition with proper…
    27 February 2020
  • Poppypie1
    Re: What is Heart Block?
    Hi there I had a pacemaker fitted last year for Mobitz II heart block. My pacemaker is set to fire if my rate drops below 60 b/pm. Am I…
    23 January 2020
  • Muss
    Re: Hole in the Heart: What Happens Next?
    Hey.... My friend had a hole in his heart since he was born but he discovered it after he turned 17.....now he is 19…
    13 December 2019
  • williniejacobs
    Re: Hole in the Heart
    I was diagnosed of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in 2012 at the age of 63. I had been a heavy smoker, my symptoms started out…
    27 November 2019
  • Abbsx
    Re: Hole in the Heart: What Happens Next?
    i was born with a hole in my heart , when i run i get heart palpitation like symptoms, i have asthma so it might be to…
    15 November 2019
  • MAC
    Re: Hole in the Heart
    I attended pulmonary rehabilitation several years ago and learned the proper techniques for taking my medications, but the medications do not…
    6 November 2019
  • James
    Re: What is Heart Block?
    Hi I have a pacemaker following heart block. Doctors don't know what caused it and told me i should be just fine from now on (I'm only 57…
    28 October 2019
  • puzzled
    Re: Stable and Unstable Angina: What's the Difference?
    Hi, Bit of a puzzler. Was admitted by ambulance after becoming ill. Was grey, soaking with sweat,…
    28 October 2019