Heart Attack, Medical

What is Cardiogenic Shock?

Cardiogenic shock is a life-threatening situation that occurs when the heart is unable to function properly, depriving critical organs of the blood they need to function. This may happen due to a sudden cardiac event such as a heart attack. When cardiogenic shock occurs, blood pressure becomes very low, signifying the heart’s inability to adequately pump blood in order to provide much-needed oxygen to vital organs. The Impella® heart pump maintains blood flow to critical organs, allowing a physician to treat the underlying clinical issue.

People most at-risk for cardiogenic shock are the elderly, those who have had previous heart attacks, and those with high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol. To reduce your risk of cardiogenic shock, keep your blood pressure under control, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of cardiogenic shock listed below. If you notice these symptoms, call 911 immediately so medical personnel can provide emergency care on the way to the hospital.

Signs and Symptoms of Cardiogenic Shock:

  • Chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Feeling confused, disoriented or faint
  • Pale and cold hands and feet
  • Weak pulse
  • Reduced urine production

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