What is the function of the heart?
The heart is a pump which pumps blood all around the body. When the heart becomes damaged either by injury such as myocardial infarction, trauma, or cardiomyopathy (weakness of the heart muscle), a state of shock may occur. The heart loses its ability to deliver oxygenated blood to the entire body.

What is Cardiogenic Shock?
Cardiogenic shock is also known as pump failure. The mortality rate for this condition is fairly high. Quick action and accurate assessment is needed to recognize and treat cardiogenic shock.

How is Cardiogenic Shock diagnosed and treated?
Cardiac studies (determined by the doctor) will be done to confirm the diagnosis. Ventilatory support may be necessary to ensure adequate oxygenation. Patient and family education will help to relieve the anxiety associated with this condition.

What is Ventricular Tachycardia?
Ventricular tachycardia is a life-threatening rhythm which may result from cardiogenic shock. Ventricular tachycardia may even progress to ventricular fibrillation. This is a lethal rhythm.

Scenario: Mrs. Z had an assessment done by her nurse. Her oxygen saturation was 88, so supplemental oxygen was administered via nasal cannula and her vital signs were taken. She feels less anxious. Her doctor was notified and she is being prepared for transfer to CCU as ordered.


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