Cardiogenic shock is a dangerous condition in which a suddenly weakened heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. One of many kinds of shock, cardiogenic shock can be fatal if it’s not treated quickly.
Cardiogenic shock is often a result of damage to the heart muscle after a heart attack. When a heart attack is fatal, cardiogenic shock is often to blame.
In many cases, the heart’s left ventricle, which pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body, doesn’t work properly. Vital organs (brain, kidney, liver, etc.) can be permanently damaged in the process. Sometimes a heart attack causes damage to other parts of the heart muscle, including the heart valves or the wall separating the ventricles, which leads to cardiogenic shock.
Other conditions that can weaken the heart and prevent it from pumping enough blood to the body include:
Common symptoms of cardiogenic shock include:
Doctors will immediately look for the specific cause of cardiogenic shock using some of the following tests:
Emergency medical treatment is needed right away to restore blood flow to the body’s organs. Because cardiogenic shock is often diagnosed after a heart attack, many people are already in the hospital when it happens.
Treatment for cardiogenic shock may include the following: