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Cardiogenic Shock

What is cardiogenic shock?

Cardiogenic shock is a serious health condition that occurs when there is no sufficient supply of oxygen to the heart. It is a life-threatening condition as it can cause organ failure. A heart attack is known as the primary cause of cardiogenic shock.

When there is no oxygen, human cells stop functioning and can die. It is considered an emergency that needs serious and immediate doctor attention. With on-time treatment, the risk of heart failure can be reduced.

Stages of cardiogenic shock

Different cardiogenic shock stages are there such as:

  • A- at risk: It is linked to heart disease indicating that there is a risk of heart failure or attack without any shock signs.
  • B- Beginning: This stage reflects the warning signs of low heart rate and low blood pressure.
  • C-Classic: In this stage, there is a requirement for medicines or devices so that the blood can reach through organs.
  • D-Deteriorating: At this stage, an individual experiencing cardiac shock doesn’t respond to the treatment like medications and the condition keeps worsening.
  • E- Extremis: Cardiac shock requires a ventilator, defibrillator, and CPR at this stage.

Causes of cardiogenic shock

One of the primary causes of cardiogenic shock is a heart attack. A serious heart attack can cause failure in the heart’s primary pumping chamber. It becomes difficult for the body to get sufficient blood that is rich in oxygen.

In some cases, cardiac shock implies damage in the bottom right heart chamber. The right ventricle involves pumping blood to the lungs so that it gets oxygen and further moves through the complete body.

Some reasons or causes are there that make the heart weak and cardiogenic shock occurs. Here are they:

  • If there is heart muscle inflammation, then it causes cardiogenic shock.
  • Arrhythmia is also known as abnormal heart rhythm identified as the cause of cardiogenic shock.
  • Another main reason is if the heart muscle is damaged due to a heart attack then there are high chances of cardiac shock.
  • Infection in the heart’s inner lining and valves.
  • Blockage in a blood vessel due to a clot causes the cardiogenic shock condition.
  • Chest injury and septum damage dividing both right and left heart ventricles are also among the identified reasons for cardiogenic shock.

Symptoms of cardiogenic shock

One must ensure getting the treatment when symptoms of a heart attack like chest pain, heartburn, heavy chest, anxiety, a feeling of a squeeze, etc. can cause cardiogenic shock conditions. If you aren’t aware of the cardiac shock symptoms, then have a look for enhanced understanding:

  • Extremely low blood pressure with low heart rate.
  • Frequent confusion and experiencing issues while staying alert.
  • Fainting
  • Weak pulse, pale skin, and poor appetite.
  • When you observe a problem while breathing, don’t delay your visit to the doctor.
  • Your hands and feet are always cold.
  • You are always tired.
  • When you observe swelling in the belly and legs, don’t ignore such signs.

When to see a Doctor

Heart attack treatment on time enhances the survival probabilities and also mitigates the chances of heart damage. Since heart attack is a primary cause of cardiogenic shock, make sure to visit the doctor when you notice symptoms of a heart attack. Call the medical emergency services or ask someone to drive you to the hospital.

Make yourself acquainted with the symptoms of cardiogenic shock so that you can take the step before it becomes worse.

Diagnosis of cardiogenic shock

Firstly, your doctor will begin with understanding your clinical history and also try identifying the symptoms you are experiencing. They will diagnose signs of cardiogenic shock such as low blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, feeling extremely cold, and a weak pulse.

There are certain tests that your doctor will conduct to discover if you have a cardiogenic shock. Here are the tests:

  • Firstly, there will be a blood test to check low blood pressure.
  • Cardiac catheterization for finding the artery blockage.
  • Electrocardiogram test to understand the electrical activity of your heart.
  • Echocardiogram test for diagnosing your heart strength and finding any structural valve anomalies.
  • Chest X-ray to find fluids in the lungs and get images of your blood and heart vessels.
  • Finally, there will be a blood test to analyse your oxygen level in the blood and find any organ damage.

Treatment of cardiogenic shock

The primary treatment for cardiogenic shock is to enhance the blood flow and oxygen as it helps in averting the risk of organ damage. There are times when it is achieved through medications and in rare cases there may be a requirement for support devices.

Treatment for cardiac shock begins in an emergency room or ICU and includes:

  • Medications that benefit in removing excess fluid, enhancing blood flow, and supporting heart functionality.
  • Oxygen is given to help with breathing.

Additional treatment is also given in cardiogenic shock other than immediate emergency treatment. Here are some of them:

  • If enough blood is not getting through the blood vessel, then a doctor may recommend you an angioplasty or stent placement.
  • Heart valve repair or replacement is recommended when there is a valve issue.
  • A minor procedure with a needle is initiated for removing the excess fluid.
  • When there is a blockage in coronary arteries, then you will be given the coronary artery bypass graft treatment.
  • A temporary machine is also used as a treatment so that workload from the heart and lungs is reduced.

Why choose BM Birla Hospital for cardiogenic shock?

BM Birla Hospital is the only hospital offering super specialty cardiac care to patients across the eastern region. The hospital integrates clinicians and support staff who have years of experience and are trained to manage the intricate cardiology requirements and cardiac surgery. Among all other cardiac services, cardiogenic shock conditions are also tackled by our team of professional cardiologists.

We are one of the NABH-accredited hospitals in India maintaining the symbol of ethical practices and integrity. Our patient's comfort and requirements are comprehended so that the best treatment is offered. State-of-the-art technology with advanced lab equipment assists us in offering affordable and reliable cardiac care to patients.

So, if you experience any cardiac ailment like cardiac shock, don’t delay your visit and book an appointment with us now.


Is there any risk factor for cardiogenic shock?

Heart attack is the primary cause of cardiogenic shock hence it implies the greatest risk factor for heart disease. It is crucial to follow certain steps to prevent the risk of heart issues and heart attacks.

Can cardiogenic shock occur without heart failure?

Yes, usually if the heart is unable to receive the blood as much it requires, then a cardiogenic shock is experienced. It can occur when there are no signs of heart attack hence if you observe cardiogenic shock symptoms, ensure to visit your doctor at the earliest.

How can I prevent cardiogenic shock?

One of the best ways to prevent cardiogenic shock is making certain lifestyle changes and eating healthy food to keep your heart healthy. It is also important to keep your blood pressure in check and quit habits like smoking or alcohol.

Is cardiogenic shock rare?

When a heart begins to fail and is unable to receive the sufficient nutrients or blood it needs, then your blood pressure falls with organ failure. Cardiogenic shock is not that common, but when it happens then it is considered a serious medical emergency.

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