When people have irregular blood circulation in their bodies, such reactions can get life-threatening for them. This phenomenon is called neurogenic shock and it is extremely dangerous. Here, we will discuss the neurogenic shock symptoms so that you are aware of what has happened to you or someone close to you.
When there is a sudden drop on blood pressure, your body can go through an irreversible damage. It can leave a negative problem on the tissues and if you don’t treat it, the condition can get fatal. Let us find out what the neurogenic shock symptoms are in order to detect them and get immediate medical attention.
Neurogenic shock symptoms
One of the most common neurogenic shock symptoms is low blood pressure due to irregular blood circulation. You can have some more symptoms like:
- Blank stare
- Excess sweat
- Pale skin
If your condition is severe you might experience neurogenic shock symptoms such as:
- Breathing difficulty
- Chest pain
- Slow heart rhythm
- Irregular blood circulation
- Faint pulse
- Discolour lips or fingers
- Fall in body temperature
If neurogenic shock is left unattended it can lead to irreversible tissue damage that leads to sudden death. If you face any of these conditions, you need to rush to the doctor immediately.
Neurogenic shock causes
A neurogenic shock is usually a result of an injury or damage in the spinal cord. Our spinal cord is delicate and if it loses function or stimulation, it can be troublesome for the entire nervous system.
Our sympathetic nervous system helps our entire body function properly. It assists any kind of physical activity including strengthening the heartbeat, raising blood pressure, opening airways, breathing, and more.
When there is a problem in the sympathetic nervous system, and it doesn’t function properly, there are chances that your blood pressure drops. It can affect the tissues, brain, and spinal cord.
Other causes may include:
- Sports injuries the traumatize the spine
- Car accidents causing damage to the central nervous system or to the spinal cord
- The gunshot that wounds the spine
- Medicines that affect your autonomic nervous system that regulates breathing and automatic body functions
- Not using anesthesia in the right way
How to manage neurogenic shock?
To manage a neurogenic shock, you need to diagnose it early and also treat it while you get the symptoms. In this way, you will limit the effects of bradycardia and hypotension when there is a chance of a secondary neurologic condition. The goal of treatment is to restore oxygenation of vital tissues and reduce cellular damage.
Since there is a loss of autonomic functions and a change in blood pressure, respiratory rate, body temperature, and heart rate, patients need to be in close observation all the time. Any level of neurogenic shock needs intensive care. Doctors need to keep an hourly check on the patient to check vital signs, fluids, and so on.
Depending on how severe the condition is, you might need ventilatory support or orotracheal intubation. If you are critical, you will need a strong blood pressure support and a flow of vasoactive drugs and I.V. fluids. There might be a central venous catheter placed to help hemodynamic and resuscitation monitoring.
People who have hemodynamic or hypothermic conditions need to go through a rewarming process. However, it has to be slow and not rapid. Once the body temperature is normal, doctors make every effort to maintain the normal state and avoid rewarming.
What to do when there is cardiac pacing?
American Heart Association suggests people to immediately intervene in cardiac pacing symptoms. If someone has symptomatic bradycardia, they need to be at check all the time.
A neurogenic shock might mean having pacemaker implantation. People who have faced a major spinal cord injury might only have transient symptoms and temporary pacing might work well for them. But people who have sustained symptoms need frequent cardiac pacing support all through their early treatment phase. Typically, it is done after 2 or 3 weeks from an injury – only if the symptoms persist.
How to diagnose a neurogenic shock?
To diagnose a neurogenic shock, doctors need to put you through some physical exams. They will also monitor your blood pressure through the process. You have to go through tests to determine the severity of the injury. So, check out all the possible tests and examinations you might have to go through:
1. CT scan
CT scan is a way of using X-ray images to show how your body is doing. If there is an injury in your spinal cord, a CT scan will determine how bad it is. It can also help doctors find out if you have internal bleeding or not.
2. MRI scan
MRI scan is a way of imaging test that is used to show internal structures of the body, like the spine. It can easily detect any type of irregularity in the spinal column. When you combine this will an evaluation of symptoms, your doctor might use MRI scan reports to diagnose what made you have back pain or a neurogenic shock.
3. Urinary catheter
Many doctors suggest the usage of a urinary catheter for measuring urine volume. When you have spinal injuries, you might not be able to urinate on your own. The product not only helps you do your business but also stores urine that doctors can test. It might detect an infection that led to your neurogenic shock.
Neurogenic shock treatment
Having a neurogenic shock can be irreversible damage that doesn’t treat quickly. No matter what treatment you go through, it will only stabilize you and prevent another injury, shock, or damage.
At first, your doctor will try to immobilize you so that there are no more damages. They will then give you fluids intravenously in order to regulate the blood pressure levels. If the pressure level if low, you might need vasopressors or medicines that tighten blood vessels and increase pressure.
Some common vasopressors are:
If you have a slow heartbeat, your doctor might give you atropine. It will stabilize your heartbeat and make you feel normal.