Cardiogenic Shock
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Cardiogenic Shock

Cardiogenic Shock Symptoms

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If you or someone else is having these symptoms, call 9-1-1 right away for emergency treatment. Prompt medical care can save your life and prevent or limit organ damage.

Symptoms of cardiogenic shock vary, depending on how quickly and how low your blood pressure drops. Cardiogenic shock may start with symptoms such as confusion or rapid breathing, or a person may have no symptoms and then suddenly lose consciousness. 

The most common signs of cardiogenic shock are:

  • Low blood pressure, which can make you feel dizzy, confused, and nauseous
  • Weak or irregular pulse

Symptoms of cardiogenic shock may include:

  • Breathing problems, including fast breathing and severe shortness of breath
  • Bulging veins in the neck
  • Clammy skin
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Fever
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Swelling of feet
  • Urinating much less than usual or not at all
  • Cardiac arrest

Many of these symptoms develop because the heart does not deliver enough blood to the body’s tissues and organs. For example, as blood pressure drops during cardiogenic shock, the body tries to compensate by limiting blood flow to the hands and feet, causing them to cool down.

As blood flow to the brain drops, the person may become confused or lose consciousness. The kidneys may shut down, producing less urine. Reduced blood flow in the lungs may lead to fluid buildup there, making it hard to breathe.

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Learn What a Heart Attack Feels Like

A heart attack often causes cardiogenic shock. It’s important to learn the warning signs of a heart attack and what to do if you are experiencing symptoms.

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