Cardiogenic Shock - Symptoms, causes and treatment

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Cardiogenic Shock - Symptoms, causes and treatment
Cardiogenic Shock - Symptoms, causes and treatment

Cardiogenic shock is shock caused by the inability of the heart to pump blood throughout the body. Cardiogenic shock is a dangerous condition and requires immediate treatment

Some of the symptoms that occur when a person experiences cardiogenic shock are a drop in blood pressure, a fast but weak pulse, shortness of breath, cold feet and hands, and decreased consciousness. One of the most common causes of cardiogenic shock is a heart attack.


Cardiogenic Shock Causes

Cardiogenic shock is most often caused by a heart attack. However, not all heart attack sufferers experience cardiogenic shock.

Some conditions that can trigger cardiogenic shock are:

  • Weakness of the heart muscle or cardiomyopathy
  • Heart rhythm disorders, such as ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, and supraventricular tachycardia
  • Cardiac tamponade or collection of fluid in the sac lining the heart
  • Myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle
  • Endocarditis or infection of the inner lining and valves of the heart
  • pulmonary embolism or blockage that occurs in the lungs

In addition to some of the causes above, cardiogenic shock can also be caused by drug overdose or poisoning of certain substances.

In addition to the diseases and conditions mentioned above, the following factors can also increase a person's risk of developing cardiogenic shock:

  • Over 75 years old
  • Suffer from diabetes, sepsis, or pneumothorax
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Have had heart bypass surgery
  • Suffering from heart failure
  • Have had a heart attack

Cardiogenic Shock Symptoms

The symptoms of cardiogenic shock occur due to decreased blood flow to body tissues. One of the typical signs of cardiogenic shock is the patient's condition that does not improve after fluid administration.

Symptoms due to reduced blood flow to these tissues include:

  • Low blood pressure or hypotension
  • Fast but weak pulse
  • Shortness of breath
  • The tips of my hands and feet feel cold
  • Reduced frequency of urination or no urination at all
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Sweating and pale

When cardiogenic shock is caused by a heart attack, prior to the onset of the above-mentioned symptoms, chest pain usually radiates to the arms, neck, jaw, back or shoulders.

When to see a doctor

Immediately go to the ER if the above symptoms appear. Treatment must be carried out as quickly as possible to prevent complications and death from cardiogenic shock. Cardiogenic shock is a condition that can worsen quickly, making it very dangerous and can be life threatening.

If you have an illness or medical condition that can increase your risk of developing cardiogenic shock, have regular check-ups as directed by your doctor.

Cardiogenic Shock Diagnosis

Cardiogenic shock is an emergency. While carrying out treatment to stabilize the patient's condition, the doctor will ask the patient's symptoms to his companion or family, as well as conduct a thorough physical examination.

The series of examinations that will be carried out by the doctor are:

  • Check for consciousness and vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate and temperature
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG), to determine the electrical activity of the heart and detect signs of tissue or heart muscle damage
  • Scanning with a chest X-ray, to check the condition and size of the heart, as well as to determine whether there is a buildup of fluid in the lungs
  • Blood test, to detect heart damage through examination of cardiac enzymes (troponin and CKMB), and check blood oxygen levels with blood gas analysis
  • Echocardiography, to see the structure, size, and condition of the heart
  • Coronary angiography, to detect blockages in blood vessels, and to measure pressure in the heart chambers
  • Heart nuclear scan, to detect disturbances in the heart's blood flow

Cardiogenic Shock Treatment

Cardiogenic shock treatment aims to treat complaints and symptoms, reduce further heart damage, and prevent complications. Patients with cardiogenic shock will receive intensive care and monitoring. Here is the explanation:

Emergency treatment

When a patient with cardiogenic shock arrives at the ER, the doctor will carry out treatment to stabilize the patient's condition. Treatment starts from making sure the airway is safe and there is no obstruction; provide supplemental oxygen with the aid of a nasal cannula, respiratory mask, or ventilator; as well as giving fluids and drugs through an IV.


There are several types of drugs that can be given to patients, including:

  • Inotropic agents, such as norepinephrine, dopamine, or dobutamine to improve heart function
  • Antiplatelet drugs, such as clopidogrel or aspirin, to prevent new blood clots from forming
  • Anticoagulant drugs, such as heparin, to reduce the risk of blood clots forming after a heart attack
  • Antiarrhythmic drugs, to restore a more regular heart rhythm

Heart Surgery

Several types of surgery that can be performed to treat cardiogenic shock are:

  • Cardiac catheterization or PCI (percutaneous cardiac intervention) with stent placement, to open obstructions or blockages in blood vessels
  • Heart bypass surgery, to create a new, unobstructed blood flow path
  • Heart transplant surgery, to replace a heart that cannot function properly

Installation of tools

Several assistive devices are needed to repair and increase blood flow, thereby preventing tissue damage during cardiogenic shock. Installation of assistive devices is also required when the patient is waiting for a heart transplant.

Some of the tools that can be installed are:

  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), to increase blood flow and oxygen supply throughout the body
  • Installation of a pacemaker, to return the heart rhythm to a normal condition

Cardiogenic Shock Complications

If not treated immediately, cardiogenic shock can be fatal and cause death, because it deprives various organs of oxygen. In addition, complications that can occur due to cardiogenic shock are:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Heart rhythm disorders
  • kidney damage
  • brain damage
  • liver damage
  • Multi-organ failure
  • Stroke
  • ventricular aneurysm or ventricular enlargement
  • Thromboembolic sequelae or blockage of a blood vessel by a blood clot that separates from another blood vessel

Cardiogenic Shock Prevention

Cardiogenic shock can be prevented by maintaining a he althy heart. You are also required to have regular check-ups with your doctor if you have certain risk factors, including hypertension.

Some things that can be done to maintain a he althy heart are:

  • Stop exposure to cigarette smoke, including don't smoke
  • Maintaining ideal body weight
  • Limiting sugar and alcohol intake
  • Limiting the consumption of foods that contain a lot of cholesterol and saturated fat, and avoiding the consumption of foods containing trans fats
  • Exercise regularly

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