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Symptoms » Shock » Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic Tests for Shock

Diagnostic Test list for Shock:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Shock includes:

  • Physical examination
    • Hydration status - dehydration signifies major fluid loss such as hemorrhage, vomiting , severe diarrhea, burns, heat exhaustion or pancreatitis.
    • Temperature - Temperature may be elevated initially with septic shock, but may be reduced in later stages of septic shock. Lowered temperature is particularly common in very young or elderly people with septic shock. Temperature may also be elevated with cardiogenic shock from myocarditis or heart attack.
    • Blood pressure. Reduced blood pressure is a late sign in septic and hypovolemic shock. In the young and fit, the blood pressure may remain normal. There will be reduced blood pressure with cardiogenic shock
    • Heart rate and irregularity, noting any arrhythmias. Elevated heart rate is a reliable sign of shock in the young. It is not so reliable in the elderly or in people taking beta blocker or calcium blocker blood pressure medication
    • Examine heart and lungs for signs of disease
    • Examine abdomen for tenderness and masses
    • Examine nervous system looking for signs of meningitis
    • Look for signs that the vital organs are not adequately supplied with blood flow due to septic shock - e.g. low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, pale mottled skin, restlessness, reduced level of consciousness and poor urine output.
    • Hands and feet feel warm in septic shock but cold in other forms of shock
    • Full physical examination looking for signs of infection such as pneumonia, cellulitis, meningitis
  • Blood tests
    • Full blood count and ESR
    • Electrolytes and kidney function tests
    • Blood sugar. Blood sugar is reduced in septic shock, especially in the very young and in the elderly
    • Liver function tests
    • Serial cardiac enzymes and troponin to detect cardiac damage
    • From heart attack
    • Pregnancy test
    • Blood culture
  • Urine tests
    • Urinalysis
    • Urine sample for microscopy and culture. Urinary tract infection is a common case of sepsis in the elderly
    • First pass urine pcr for Chlamydia and gonorrhea, if suspect pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Faeces tests
    • Faeces sample for microscopy and culture
  • Sample of any body discharge - for microscopy and culture.
  • Lumbar puncture - if suspect meningitis (perform only after CT brain).
  • Electrocardiograph - to exclude heart attack, arrhythmia, myocarditis, pulmonary embolism, cardiomyopathy.
  • Radiological investigations
    • Chest X-Ray to look for signs of infection in the lungs, tension pneumothorax
    • Ultrasound scan of the region of the body that suspect sepsis originates from
    • CT Scan of the region of the body that suspect sepsis originates from
  • Arterial blood gases
  • Gastroscopy - may be indicated to identify hidden hemorrhage such as that from a bleeding peptic ulcer.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Shock:

The following list of conditions have 'Shock' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Shock:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Shock' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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