Cardiogenic shock is a rare condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to supply the body's needs. As a result, blood pressure begins to fall and organs may begin to fail. Cardiogenic shock is most often caused during or after a heart attack. If ignored or left untreated, cardiogenic shock can be fatal.



Signs and symptoms of a cardiogenic shock can include the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Fast breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pale skin color
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Lightheadedness
  • Decreased urination



Cardiogenic shock most often occurs from serious heart conditions (during or after a heart attack). The lack of oxygen to the heart damages the main pumping chamber, causing the heart muscle to weaken and develop into cardiogenic shock. Other possible causes of cardiogenic shock may include the following:

  • Inflammation of the heart muscle
  • Infection of the heart valves
  • Dangerous heart rhythms
  • Pressure on the heart due to a buildup of fluid around it
  • Tear of the wall between the left and right ventricles
  • Drug overdoses


Risk factors 

Factors associated with an increased risk of developing cardiogenic shock include:

  • Older age
  • History of heart failure or heart attack
  • Blockage of the heart’s main arteries
  • Diabetes or hypertension



Complications of cardiogenic shock may include the following damages to the body:

  • Kidney damage (The kidneys release chemicals to keep the muscles functioning properly)
  • Liver damage ( The liver releases proteins to help blood clot formations)
  • Brain damage (The brain helps control all the body’s functions)




A few recommendations for preventing an unexpected cardiogenic shock may include:

  • Monitoring and controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Quickly treating the cause (such as heart attack or heart valve problem)