Hemorrhagic Shock

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Hemorrhagic Shock
Author: John Udeani, MD, FAAEM; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, DSc, MA more... Updated: Dec 6, 2012

Hemorrhagic shock is a condition of reduced tissue perfusion, resulting in the inadequate delivery of oxygen and nutrients that are necessary for cellular function. Whenever cellular oxygen demand outweighs supply, both the cell and the organism are in a state of shock. On a multicellular level, the definition of shock becomes more difficult because not all tissues and organs will experience the same amount of oxygen imbalance for a given clinical disturbance. Clinicians struggle daily to adequately define and monitor oxygen utilization on the cellular level and to correlate this physiology to useful clinical parameters and diagnostic tests . The 4 classes of shock, as proposed by Alfred Blalock, are as follows [1] : Hypovolemic Vasogenic (septic) Cardiogenic Neurogenic Hypovolemic shock, the most common type, results from a loss of circulating blood volume from clinical etiologies, such as penetrating and blunt trauma, gastrointestinal bleeding, and obstetrical bleeding. Humans are able to compensate for a significant hemorrhage through various neural and hormonal mechanisms. Modern advances in trauma care allow patients to survive when these adaptive compensatory mechanisms become overwhelmed.

Well-described responses to acute loss of circulating volume exist. Teleologically, these responses act to systematically divert circulating volume away from nonvital organ systems so that blood volume may be conserved for vital organ function. Acute hemorrhage causes a decreased cardiac output and decreased pulse pressure. These changes are sensed by baroreceptors in the aortic arch and atrium. With a decrease in the circulating volume, neural reflexes cause an increased sympathetic outflow to the heart and other organs. The response is an increase in heart rate, vasoconstriction, and redistribution of blood flow away from certain nonvital organs, such as the skin, gastrointestinal tract, and kidneys. Concurrently, a multisystem hormonal response to acute hemorrhage occurs. Corticotropin-releasing hormone is stimulated directly. This eventually leads to glucocorticoid and beta-endorphin release. Vasopressin from the posterior pituitary is released, causing water retention at the distal tubules. Renin is released by the juxtamedullary complex in response to decreased mean arterial pressure, leading to increased aldosterone levels and eventually to sodium and water resorption. Hyperglycemia commonly is associated with acute hemorrhage. This is due to a glucagon and growth hormone–induced increase in gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis. Circulating catecholamines relatively inhibit insulin release and activity, leading to increased plasma glucose. In addition to these global changes, many organ-specific responses occur. The brain has remarkable autoregulation that keeps cerebral blood flow constant over a wide range of systemic mean arterial blood
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allowing for rapid heat loss and early hypothermia. FCCM. Atherosclerosis and decreased elastin cause arterial vessels to be less compliant. Concentrating ability may be impaired by a relative insensitivity to antidiuretic hormone. These changes in the heart. Editor-in-Chief. The kidneys also undergo age-related atrophy. MD. and kidneys can lead to early decompensation after blood loss. the body surface area is increased relative to the weight. SICU and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship. Medscape Drug Reference Disclosure: Medscape Salary Employment emedicine. these patients frequently are treated with a variety of cardiotropic medications that may blunt the normal physiological response to shock. decreased cardiac arteriolar vasodilation. therefore. Surgical Critical Care. possibly leading to coagulopathy. All of these factors in concert with comorbid conditions make management of elderly patients with hemorrhage quite challenging. Pediatric patients have smaller total blood volumes and. FCCP Director. Elderly people may have both altered physiology and preexisting medical conditions that may severely impair their ability to compensate for acute blood loss. Society of Critical Care Medicine. vessels. and Surgical Emergencies. These include beta-adrenergic blockers. The kidneys of children younger than 2 years are not mature. MD. to some extent. Also. The kidneys can tolerate a 90% decrease in total blood flow for short periods of time. FCCM. and antiarrhythmics. depending on the preexisting physiologic state and. they have a blunted ability to concentrate solute. FCCP is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. nitroglycerin. intestinal blood flow is dramatically reduced by splanchnic vasoconstriction. International Trauma Anesthesia and Critical Care Society. Older patients are less able to mount a tachycardia in response to decreased stoke volume because of decreased beta-adrenergic receptors in the heart and a decreased effective volume of pacing myocytes within the sinoatrial node.medscape. Epidemiology Age Hemorrhagic shock is tolerated differently. Association for Surgical Education.com/article/432650-overview 2/4 . Early and appropriate resuscitation may avert damage to individual organs as adaptive mechanisms act to preserve the organism. FAAEM is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine and American College of Emergency Physicians Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. the age of the patient. and many older patients have significantly decreased creatinine clearance in the presence of near-normal serum creatinine. FACS. MD. and angina or infarction when myocardial oxygen demand is increased. Department of Emergency Medicine. Connecticut State Medical Society. University of California. Section of Trauma. Society for the Advancement of Blood Management. Los Angeles. Specialty Editor Board Lewis J Kaplan. University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy. PharmD.11/11/13 Hemorrhagic Shock pressures. American College of Surgeons. and Surgical Infection Society Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. calcium channel blockers. are at risk to lose a proportionately greater percentage of blood on an equivalent-volume basis during exsanguination compared to adults. leading to blunted vascular compensation. Associate Professor. PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor. MD. Younger children cannot conserve circulating volume as effectively as older children. Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Association for Academic Surgery. David Geffen School of Medicine John Udeani. Very young and very old people are more prone to early decompensation after loss of circulating volume. Department of Surgery. Contributor Information and Disclosures Author John Udeani. Yale University School of Medicine Lewis J Kaplan. FACS. Francisco Talavera. Also. FAAEM Assistant Professor. Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. With significant decreases in circulatory volume.

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