Neurogenic shock is a dangerous condition brought about by erratic circulation of blood in the body. Damage to the spine can result to this disturbance. Remember that this condition is considered dangerous since it allows the blood pressure to drastically and abruptly drop and result to permanent damage to the body tissues. If not promptly treated, it can be deadly.
What are the signs?
One of the distinct signs of neurogenic shock is low blood pressure due to the unequal blood flow in the body. Nevertheless, it can trigger a variety of symptoms such as:
- Blank stares
- Increased sweating
- Pale skin
In severe cases, the following symptoms might be present:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Faint pulse
- Slow heart rhythm
- Discolored fingers and lips
What are the causes?
Neurogenic shock is often due to trauma to the spinal cord. This causes the body to lose function and stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system Remember that the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for maintaining body functions during physical activity such as increasing the blood pressure, strengthening the heartbeat and opening the airways to improve breathing.
Other possible causes of neurogenic shock include:
- Gunshot wounds
- Vehicular accidents
- Sports injuries
- Certain drugs that affect the autonomic nervous system
- Incorrect administration of anesthesia to the spinal cord
Management of neurogenic shock
Neurogenic shock can result to lasting damage if not promptly treated. The treatment aims on stabilizing the individual and prevent further injury.
Initially, the doctor will immobilize the individual to prevent further harm. Fluids are given intravenously to control the blood pressure. In case the blood pressure level is too low, vasopressors are given which helps tighten the blood vessels and increase the pressure.
Additionally, if the individual has a slow heart rhythm, atropine might be prescribed by the doctor which works by keeping the heartbeat in a normal rate.