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Neonatal Shock

What is Neonatal Shock?

Neonatal Shock is a complex syndrome where circulatory function is not able to supply sufficient amount of oxygen and other nutrients to tissues to meet metabolic demands.As shock progresses, it results in the failure of infant’s compensatory mechanisms and causes huge cellular damage. It also causes irreversible injury to vital organs that can further lead to death. It mainly occurs in babies with low birth weight, especially in first few days of their birth. 

What causes Neonatal Shock?

A number of factors can cause Neonatal Shock, namely:

  • Hypovolemia
  • Asphyxia
  • Cardiogenic causes
  • Obstruction of venous return
  • Sepsis
  • Certain drugs
  • Hypocarbia 
What are the symptoms of Neonatal Shock?

The signs and symptoms of Neonatal Shock include:

  • Weak and fast pulse
  • Very cold to touch
  • Capillary refill time >3 sec
  • Pale colour
  • Lethargy 
How can Neonatal Shock be treated?

Therapy for neonatal shock depends on the underlying cause. Therefore, it is very important to recognise the reason for shock so that treatment can be given accordingly. The various treatment options for shock are:

  • Provide warmth
  • Secure airway
  • Support breathing, circulation and temperature
  • Start oxygen if saturation is low
  • Measure blood glucose, start hypoglycaemia