When shock sets in: What the body does to compensate

Recognizing hypoperfusion early is key to prompt management


We learned early in our career that inadequate tissue perfusion — or shock — is a terrible situation for the body. As they lose oxygen and acidosis builds, the cells are injured and eventually die.

If enough cells are affected, tissues, organs and eventually entire systems succumb to shock's devastating effects. This is the reason EMS providers have to recognize the early signs and not depend upon a falling or low blood pressure to set off the alarm bells.

Let's talk about how the body tries to manage shock on its own. It is an interesting series of interactions that it uses to preserve life. Check out the video below.

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