Millions of children die of shock due to various etiologies each year. Shock is a state of circulatory dysfunction where the metabolic demands of the tissue cannot be met by the circulation. Several different etiologies from hypovolemia to severe infection can result in shock. This review focuses on the definition of different types of shock seen in children and summarizes treatment strategies for the acute care practitioner based on pertinent recent literature. Early recognition and timely intervention are critical for successful treatment of pediatric shock. A strong index of suspicion by the treating clinician and early fluid resuscitation followed by ongoing assessment and timely transfer to a higher level of care can make the difference between life and death for the child who presents in shock.
Key words: shock, child, etiology, treatment