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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: How does extreme nerve excitation cause shock?

 Green Xenon - Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:41 pm


How does extreme nerve excitation cause shock?

Quote from the below site: ... ck&f=false

"An extensive superficial burn produces great immediate shock, due to involvement of so many sensory nerve endings in the skin".

What is the mechanism by which this shock occurs?

Is this shock fatal?


Green Xenon
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:34 am

User avatar Hello -- The extensive disruption of peripheral nerve function by overstimulation and/or damage to the endings will result in a global reflex involving vast dilation of superficial blood vessels (mostly capillaries) which in turn results in a sudden drop in blood pressure and consequent shock. This is an almost universal reaction to extensive superficial burns, whereas deeper extensive burns often don't seem to produce any such response at first, because the nerves are destroyed and don't function at all rather than experiencing an inappropriate reflex. However, extensive deeper burns (2nd-3rd degree) will eventually result in frank and often irreversible shock, due to simple fluid loss secondary to loss of skin. Shock caused by superficial burns can generally be managed by fluid replacement and keeping the patient horizontal.

I hope this answers your question to your satisfaction. It is a seemingly inappropriate peripheral reflex caused by the massive excitation with skin intact.

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