CEN Neurogenic ShockPerry Overton
CEN Neurogenic Shock Overview (2020)
Neurogenic shock is a life-threatening condition caused by irregular blood circulation in the body. Trauma or injury to the spine can cause this disruption. Neurogenic shock is extremely dangerous because it can cause your blood pressure to drop drastically and suddenly, and can leave irreversible damage to your body tissues. If left untreated, neurogenic shock can be fatal.
CEN Neurogenic Shock – Signs and Symptoms
One of the main symptoms of neurogenic shock is low blood pressure from irregular blood circulation. However, this condition can cause a number of other symptoms:
- blank stares
- increased sweating
- pale skin
In more severe cases of neurogenic shock, you may experience:
- difficulty breathing
- chest pain
- weakness from irregular blood circulation
- bradycardia, or a slower heart rhythm
- faint pulse
- cyanosis, or discolored lips and fingers
- hypothermia, or decreased body temperature
CEN Neurogenic Shock – Causes
Neurogenic shock is often a result of injury or trauma to the spinal cord. As a result, your body loses function and stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. Your sympathetic nervous system maintains bodily functions during physical activity. That includes strengthening your heart beat, raising your blood pressure, and opening your airways to improve breathing.
If your sympathetic nervous system doesn’t function well, your blood pressure could drop and can affect your brain, tissues, and spinal cord.
Other causes of neurogenic shock include:
- car accidents that cause central nervous system damage or spinal cord injury
- sport injuries causing trauma to the spine
- gunshot wounds to the spine
- medications that affect the autonomic nervous system, which regulates breathing and other automatic bodily functions
- improper administration of anesthesia to the spinal cord
CEN Neurogenic Shock – Treatment
Neurogenic shock can cause irreversible damage if not treated quickly. Treatment options are meant to stabilize you and prevent any additional injury or damage.
First, your doctor will immobilize you to prevent further damage. Then they will give you fluids intravenously to regulate your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too low, you may be given vasopressors, or medication that helps to tighten your blood vessels and raise pressure. Some of the most common vasopressors include:
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