Shock, regardless of etiology is characterized by decreased delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and our interventions are directed towards reversing the cellular ischemia and preventing its consequences. The treatment strategies that are most effective in achieving this goal obviously depend upon the different types of shock (hemorrhagic, septic, neurogenic and cardiogenic). This brief review focuses on the two leading etiologies of shock in the surgical patients: bleeding and sepsis, and addresses a number of new developments that have profoundly altered the treatment paradigms. The emphasis here is on new research that has dramatically altered our treatment strategies rather than the basic pathophysiology of shock.
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