Cardiovascular shock is excessive lowering of the blood pressure and thus supplies the vital organs with poor blood. Shock is a potential fatal condition that requires urgent medical intervention. The medical term “shock” refers to a condition when a person suddenly goes pale, or feels quite cold, or when collapses due to very low blood pressure, which can be a consequence of a serious injury or disease. If not treated, vital organs and tissues will not receive oxygen-rich blood, which could lead to fatal outcome.

Cardiovascular shock is not associated to any psychological or emotional shock after a traumatic experience.



The symptoms of cardiovascular shock occur instantly, the moment the blood pressure drops, although the shock may occur several hours after the injury or the condition. The symptoms are:

  • confusion
  • anxiety
  • cold, wet skin, excessive sweating
  • short and shallow breathing
  • faster heart beat
  • loss of consciousness

Symptoms as a result from a condition, may also occur, such as chest pain in case of a heart attack.



The causes of cardiovascular shock are the inability of the heart to pump blood efficiently, or there is too little blood in the heart to pump. The heart can not normally function if it is damaged after a heart attack or if there is arrhythmia.

Shock due to insufficient blood circulation may be a consequence of huge loss of blood, such as hemorrhaging in the digestive tract, or a serious injury. The quantity of blood circulating in the body may be reduced due to loss of fluids in serious burns or severe diarrhea.

Some conditions, as severe allergic reactions, or blood infections, could cause dilation of the blood vessels, which leads to a drop f the blood pressure and shock.


Risk Factors

The risk factors for cardiovascular shock are:

  • serious injury
  • severe allergy reaction
  • severe infection
  • burns
  • severe diarrhea
  • heart attack and heart conditions



The complications of cardiovascular shock is possible damage of internal organs, which leads to various conditions, including kidney failure or acute respiratory distress syndrome.