Life Threatening Shock


Shock must be treated urgently. Your medical team will likely start treatment in the ambulance if you are being transported to the hospital. If you develop shock while already in the hospital, treatment will be initiated right away.

Treatment strategies used during shock include:

  • Intravenous (IV fluids)
  • Maintaining optimal body temperature (warming with a blanket or using medication to lower a fever)
  • Medications to raise blood pressure or slow pulse if necessary
  • Nasal oxygen
  • Support for breathing

You may not need all of these treatments right away, but your medical team will closely monitor you so they can start them if and when needed.

Treating the Underlying Cause

The cause of shock must also be treated medically or surgically. For example:

  • You may need antibiotics to manage an infection.
  • Surgical repair of a wound may be necessary.
  • A blood transfusion may be needed to replace blood lost during extensive bleeding.
  • If you have fluid compressing your lungs, you may need to have thoracentesis—an interventional procedure that removes fluid from around the lungs.

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