Circulatory Shock: The Case Study

A 19-year-old patient survived a serious car accident while her best friend died. Although she has minor physical traumas like bruises and scrapes, her principal diagnosis is circulatory shock. Its contributing factors include trauma, blood loss, burns, and other causes that provoke the lack of blood or oxygen in the organs. As soon as blood volume circulation is decreased, some symptoms remain poorly recognizable, while some physiological changes cannot be ignored. Body tissues are damaged, and the brain does not receive enough oxygen, provoke biochemical changes like acidosis and inadequate homeostasis (Standl et al., 2018). Thirst and restlessness are the vital symptoms provoked by hypotension. The rationale for weak pulse and loss of consciousness is the obstruction of intrathoracic blood flow (Standl et al., 2018). Anaerobic metabolism (due to oxygen absence) explains the symptoms of rapid respirations and low responsiveness to the paramedics.

Emergency help should include the stabilization of the airways and the increase of oxygen levels in the system. Such steps as keeping the patient warm, using the supine position, and oxygen administration are critical. Follow-up treatment is based on prescribing medications to increase the heart’s pumps and reduce blood clots as one of the possible complications. Epinephrine (about 0.5 mg), dobutamine (2.5 mg), and norepinephrine (1 mg maximum) are the agents to manage cardiomyopathy, heart rate, and blood pressure (Standl et al., 2018). If shock is not properly treated, such negative outcomes as dysrhythmia, organ failure, stroke, or even death might happen.

Circulatory shock is not the only type of shock that may be dangerous for individuals. For example, septic shock has a variety of pathologies like endothelial dysfunction, vasodilation, and hypovolemia, resulting from bacteria in the blood due to infections or pneumonia (Standl et al., 2018). Distributive shock is the most common type provoked by absolute intravascular volume redistribution due to the vascular system’s shifts or impaired regulations. Cardiac dysfunction leads to cardiogenic shock, the manifestation of which is heart failure or heart attack. Finally, hypovolemic shock is classified according to its causes (acute hemorrhage with or without soft tissue injuries and reduced circulating plasma volumes with or without injuries) (Standl et al., 2018). The heart does not pump blood, and anemia is observed.


Standl, T., Annecke, T., Cascorbi, I., Heller, A. R., Sabashnikov, A., & Teske, W. (2018). The nomenclature, definition and distinction of types of shock. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 115(45), 757-768.