How is hemorrhagic shock diagnosed?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

No single factor is an ultimate diagnostic for hemorrhagic shock. High heart rate, low blood pressure, and low urine output are important basic factors; evidence of tissue or brain damage also comes into play. If the examining doctors have reasonable confidence that hemorrhagic shock is occurring, the next priority is diagnosing the source. In the case of external blood loss, the situation is fairly clear. Otherwise, doctors will use a variety of tests to search for internal hemorrhages. In addition to asking the patient, if conscious, about their symptoms, they may use different tests on various parts of the body to look for bleeding. Potentially fatal hemorrhages occur most often in the torso and upper leg.

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