Which symptoms of hypovolemic shock relate to fluid loss and which to negative feedback systems, which attempt to maintain BP and blood flow?

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dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hypovolemic shock is caused by hypovolemia. Hypovolemia is a decreased amount of circulating intravascular fluid volume. Hypovolemia is primarly a volume problem. Possible etiologies include prolonged vomiting, prolonged bouts of diarrhea, and acute  hemorrhage. Anytime the body loses intravascular fluid volume the person is at risk for developing hypovolemic shock.

Clinical presentation of hypovolemic shock may include hypotension (low blood pressure), tachycardia (fast HR), pallor, weakness, thirst, and subsequent mental status changes. Patients with profound hypovolemic shock may have extremely low blood pressures. The low blood pressure can't adequately perfuse major organs.

When someone is in hypovolemic shock, the heart works harder to deliver blood by its pumping action, patients will be tachycardic because of this increased workload on the myocardium. Heart rates of 120 to 160 bpm are not uncommon.

Treatment for hypovolemic shock includes identifying the etiology, intravenous fluid resuscitation with 2 large bore intravenous catheters in large veins (AC space). Vassopressors like intravenous Dopamine titrated to maintain BP. Supportive respiratory care. Often respiratory failure presents because of low oxygen levels. Intubation and mechanical ventilation may be necessary.

Remember that negative feedback systems attempt to return the body to a state of homeostasis by quashing a normal physiologic occurance.