Signs of Shock

December 31, 2018

After a traumatic accident, victims may not only suffer physical injuries and emotional trauma, they may also experience physiological shock. Physiological shock is characterized by circulatory failure, which prohibits organs and tissues from both receiving enough blood and oxygen for eliminating the necessary amount of metabolic waste.

Shock typically occurs after a car accident or while a patient is in critical care. Approximately one third of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) are affected by shock, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

However, workers with high-risk jobs, such as those in the industrialconstruction, or agricultural industries, may also suffer shock after a serious workplace accident.

Early Signs of Shock

If left untreated, shock can lead to oxygen deprivation, heart attack, organ damage, or even death. It is therefore crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible so that proper blood and oxygen flow can be restored.

Some common early signs of shock include:

  • Blue lips or fingernails
  • Chest pain
  • Cold, clammy, pale skin
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Excessive sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Shallow breathing
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Weakness

Victims may also show signs of emotional shock, which can be indicative of physiological shock from a physical injury. It is therefore important to look out for signs of emotional shock such as anxiety, panic, upset stomach, headache, agitation, and exhaustion.

Types of Shock

There are several types of physiological shock, each of which has a different effect on the body and may occur independently or simultaneously, including:

Hypovolemic Shock

When the body loses more than 20 percent of its blood supply, it can result in hypovolemic shock. The heart is unable to pump enough blood to the body, and this type of shock may also lead to multiple organ failure. Hypovolemic shock is typically caused by sudden blood loss or internal bleeding.

Cardiogenic Shock

This type of shock occurs when the heart is suddenly unable to pump an adequate supply of oxygen-rich blood to the body. It typically prevents the left ventricle from working properly. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, only about three percent of cardiogenic shock cases affect the right ventricle.

Often caused by a heart attack, this type of shock can be fatal if blood is not restored to the organs quickly.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Shock

Workers’ compensation laws vary by state; therefore, it is advisable to speak with a qualified Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer. Most workers in Pennsylvania may collect workers’ compensation benefits for their workplace injuries and work-related illnesses, including reasonable and necessary medical expenses and lost wages.

Those who experience a workplace injury should report it to their employers within 120 days to remain eligible for benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Represent Workers in Shock Claims

If you suffered physiological shock due to a workplace injury, contact an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, please call us at 888-PITT-LAW (888-748-8529) or complete our online contact form.

We proudly represent injured workers in Berks CountyBucks CountyChester CountyDelaware CountyMontgomery CountyPhiladelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of AbingtonAmblerArdmoreBala CynwydBensalemClifton HeightsCrum Lynne, DarbyDowningtownDoylestownDrexel HillEssington, FolcroftGlenoldenHaverfordHavertownHolmesKutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion StationMorton, Narberth, Norristown, NorwoodPhiladelphiaProspect Park, QuakertownReadingRoxboroughSharon HillUpper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.