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Shock in the Critically Ill Neonate

Jones, Jeannine G. MN, APRN, NNP-BC; Smith, Sandra L. PhD, APRN, NNP-BC

The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: October-December 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 346–354
doi: 10.1097/JPN.0b013e3181ba5842

Shock is a clinical disorder that challenges caregivers in the neonatal intensive care unit. Critically ill neonates may develop shock due to a variety of causes but the predominant cause of shock in neonates is sepsis. This article provides the neonatal nurse with basic knowledge of the pathophysiology and the types of shock seen in the critically ill neonate. Treatment and supportive care of the neonate in shock is determined by the underlying cause of shock with the ultimate goal of treatment being adequate perfusion of tissues to deliver oxygen to the cells and remove metabolic waste products.

University of Utah, College of Nursing, Salt Lake City.

Corresponding Author: Sandra L. Smith, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, University of Utah, College of Nursing, 10 S 2000 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (

The authors have disclosed that they have no financial relationships related to this article.

Submitted for publication: August 11, 2008

Accepted for publication: August 2, 2009

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.