The patient’s vital signs must be monitored. The clinical syndrome is usually characterized by an altered sensorium, relative hypotension, tachycardia, tachypnea, oliguria, metabolic acidosis, weak or absent pulse, pallor, diaphoresis, and cool skin (however, in cases of septic shock the skin may be warm). Decreased pulse pressure is often an early sign of shock, and systolic blood pressures of less than 90 mm Hg are often associated with vital organ hypoperfusion. Blood pressure is not always a reliable indicator of tissue perfusion, however.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 1 - Update on General Medicine. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.