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Neurogenic shock is a condition in which there is a failure of communication between the brain and the body, causing blood vessels to lose their tone and dilate, hindering blood circulation and lowering blood pressure. When this happens, the organs fail to receive the necessary oxygen and, therefore, fail to function, creating a life-threatening situation.
Neurogenic shock is more frequent in car accidents and falls, for example, when there is a spinal cord injury, however, it can also arise due to problems in the brain, for example.
So, if there is a suspicion of neurogenic shock, it is very important to go immediately to the emergency room or call for medical help, calling 192, so that the appropriate treatment can be initiated, since it is a situation that puts risk to the person's he alth, which can cause irreversible damage or even cause death.Treatment is usually done in the ICU with the administration of drugs directly into the vein.
Main signs and symptoms
The first two most important symptoms of neurogenic shock are a rapid decrease in blood pressure and a slowing of the heartbeat. However, other signs and symptoms are also common, such as:
- Decreased body temperature, below 35.5ºC;
- Rapid shallow breathing;
- Cold, bluish skin;
- Dizziness and feeling faint;
- Excessive sweating;
- Absence of response to stimuli;
- Change of mental state;
- Reduction or absence of urine production;
- Chest pain.
Symptom severity usually increases with the injury that led to the shock, and in the case of spinal lions, the further up the spine the injury is, the more severe the symptoms may be.
There are other types of shock that can also cause these types of symptoms, such as septic shock or cardiogenic shock. However, in any case, it is always important to go as soon as possible to the hospital to start treatment.
Possible causes of neurogenic shock
The main cause of neurogenic shock is the occurrence of spinal injuries, due to strong blows to the back or traffic accidents, for example.
However, using an incorrect technique to perform epidural anesthesia in the hospital or the use of certain drugs or medications that affect the nervous system can also be causes of neurogenic shock.
How the treatment is done
Treatment for neurogenic shock should be started as soon as possible to avoid serious life-threatening complications. In this way, treatment can be started immediately in the emergency room, but then needs to be continued in the ICU to maintain a constant assessment of vital signs.Some forms of treatment include:
- Imobilization: used in cases where there is an injury to the spine, in order to prevent it from getting worse with movements;
- Use of saline directly into the vein: allows you to increase the amount of fluid in the body and regulate blood pressure;
- Administration of atropine: a drug that increases the heart rate if the heart has been affected;
- Use of epinephrine or ephedrine: together with serum, they help regulate blood pressure;
- Use of corticosteroids, such as methylprednisolone: help to reduce the complications of neurological injuries.
In addition, if an accident has occurred, surgery may also be required to correct the injuries.
In this way, the treatment can last from 1 week to several months, depending on the type of injury and the severity of the situation.After stabilization of vital signs and recovery from shock, physiotherapy sessions are usually necessary to regain some muscle strength or to adapt to daily activities.