Question 4#

Neurogenic shock is characterized by the presence of:

a. Cool, moist skin
b. Increased cardiac output
c. Decreased peripheral vascular resistance
d. Decreased blood volume

Correct Answer is C


Neurogenic shock is caused by loss of arteriolar and venular tone in response to paralysis (such as occurs with high spinal anesthesia), acute gastric dilatation, or sudden pain, or unpleasant sights; as such, it is characterized by a decrease in peripheral vascular resistance. Affected patients usually present with warm, dry skin, a pulse rate that is slower than normal, and hypotension. A normovolemic state usually exists, and urine output is generally well maintained. Although blood volume measurements indicate a normal intravascular volume, because of the greatly increased reservoir capacity of the arterioles and venules, there is a decrease in cardiac output secondary to decreased venous return to the right side of the heart.