Question: A patient has lost 20% of his circulating blood volume. Assuming the patient was healthy before the blood loss, would you expect the patient to be in compensated, decompensated or irreversible shock?
Answer: 20% blood loss is a significant amount, yet the body will likely be able to compensate for a little while longer. With a 20% blood loss you will likely see signs of this compensation in the pulse and respiratory rate as well as early changes in skin color. Later signs of shock including diaphoresis, restlessness and a narrowing pulse pressure will begin soon if the blood loss isn't controlled.
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