Major resuscitation goals in the management of shock include restoration of adequate tissue perfusion and oxygen balance and normalization of cellular metabolism. Identification of the most appropriate endpoints of resuscitation is difficult and often debated in the literature. Traditional endpoints, such as heart rate, blood pressure, mental status, and urine output are useful in the initial identification of inadequate perfusion, but are limited in their ability to identify ongoing, compensated shock. Many clinicians continue to use these parameters as indicators that systemic oxygenation imbalances have resolved, even though they have been found to be poor indicators of ongoing tissue hypoxia. Additional resuscitation endpoints that more closely evaluate the adequacy of perfusion and oxygenation at the tissue level should also be used when managing the critically ill. Selected endpoints should include a variety of global and regional indicators to guide and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.

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