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What is Hypovolemic Shock?

Hypovolemic shock is a condition that occurs when an individual’s plasma level becomes too low. This can occur as a result of losing too much liquid or losing too much blood, either of which can be the result of an accident.

Hypovolemic shock can have dangerous complications and in some cases, can result in death. If you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms of hypovolemic shock described below after losing a substantial amount of fluid or blood, seek medical attention immediately. Consider filing a personal injury claim only after you have received appropriate medical care.

How Does Hypovolemic Shock Occur?

Hypovolemic shock can happen any time the body loses too much fluid or blood. If the body loses one fifth or more of its total amount of blood, hypovolemic shock can occur. Examples of situations where hypovolemic shock can occur include:

  • Lacerations;
  • Burns, vomiting, or diarrhea causing the body to lose fluid;
  • Puncture wounds that result in internal bleeding; and
  • Prolonged exposure to dangerously high temperatures without adequate rest and water breaks.

Symptoms of Hypovolemic Shock

Symptoms of hypovolemic shock include:

  • Pale skin;
  • Clammy skin;
  • Fatigue;
  • Nausea;
  • Confusion;
  • Decreased urine production; and
  • Rapid breathing.

Treating Hypovolemic Shock

Hypovolemic shock is a medical emergency. If an individual shows the symptoms of shock, he or she should receive medical care as soon as possible. In the time before he or she can receive care, it is important that he or she is kept warm to avoid hypothermia. Do not give a shock victim fluids by mouth. Instead, position him or her so his or her blood can circulate efficiently, which is usually achieved through a position with the victim lying flat with his or her legs raised 12 inches from the ground.

Once the victim reaches a hospital or clinic, intravenous needles may be used to restore blood or fluid to his or her body. A doctor may also give the victim drugs that can increase blood pressure and output, such as dopamine, epinephrine, dobutamine, and norepinephrine.

If the victim does not receive prompt medical treatment, he or she can face organ damage. The most common organs damaged through hypovolemic shock include the kidneys and brain. In some cases, a victim can suffer gangrene and require amputation of the affected limb. Losing too much blood or fluid can also cause a victim to die.

Work with an Experienced La Crosse Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by another party’s negligence, you are entitled to seek monetary compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about filing and pursuing this type of claim, contact our team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. During your initial consultation with us, we can answer any questions you have and guide you toward the most productive course of action for your claim.

Published August 29, 2016
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