Once a shock state is recognised, treatment must focus on reversing the physiological deficit (resuscitation) and treating the cause.

Other sessions will provide much more detail on treatment of specific types of shock.

Frequent clinical reassessment following each intervention will give an indication of the patient’s response. The response will be rapid, transient or none.

If the response is not satisfactory, consideration must be given to:

  • The adequacy of resuscitation so far
  • The accuracy of the diagnosis
  • The need for immediate definitive treatment (e.g. decompression of tension pneumothorax)
  • The need for more invasive cardiovascular monitoring

Learning bite

Planning and providing definitive treatment tailored to the specific diagnosis must accompany resuscitation.

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