Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Hypovolemic shock

Hypovolemic shock – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000167.htm

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How much blood can a character lose before they go into hypovolemic shock?
  • What are the symptoms of hypovolemic shock?
  • How would you carry someone with hypovolemic shock?
  • What are some pre-hospital treatments you can try with someone going into hypovolemic shock?


Hypovolemic shock is caused by internal or external bleeding which results in you losing more than 1/5 of your blood. People who are shot and who take more than a flesh wound may suffer this kind of shock, as may stabbing victims.

This page is from the MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia which is more textually focused that the list of lists of the MedlinePlus topics page. The article is divided into the following sections:

  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Exams and Tests
  • Treatment
  • Outlook (Prognosis)
  • Possible Complications – include kidney damage, brain damage, Gangrene of arms or legs and heart attack.
  • Alternative Names
  • References

The references section includes:

Tarrant AM, Ryan MF, Hamilton PA, Bejaminov O. A pictorial review of hypovolaemic shock in adults. Br J Radiol. 2008;81:252-257.

This reference pertains to CT (“Cat”) scans of hypovolemic patients and could help in hospital/emergency room scenes. An abstract is available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18180262.


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  1. Pingback: Septic shock (Caused by infections in the bloodstream) | Writer's Guide to Government Information

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