Circulatory collapse

Cardiovascular collapse
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 R57.9

A circulatory collapse is defined as a general or specific failure of the circulation, either cardiac or peripheral in nature. A common cause of this could be shock[1] or trauma from injury or surgery [2]. A "general failure" is one that occurs across a wide range of locations in the body, such as systemic shock after the loss of a large amount of blood collapsing all the circulatory systems in the legs. A specific failure can be traced to a particular point, such as a clot.

Cardiac circulatory collapse affects the vessels of the heart such as the aorta and is almost always fatal. It is sometimes referred to as "acute" circulatory failure.

Peripheral circulatory collapse involves outlying arteries and veins in the body and can result in gangrene, organ failure or other serious complications. This form is sometimes called peripheral vascular failure, shock or peripheral vascular shutdown.


The effects of a circulatory collapse vary based on the type of collapse it is. Peripheral collapses usually involve abnormally low blood pressure and result in collapsed arteries and/or veins, leading to oxygen deprivation to tissues, organs, and limbs.

Acute collapse can result from heart failure and results in collapse of the primary vessels of the heart collapsing, perhaps combined with cardiac arrest.


A very large range of medical conditions can cause circulatory collapse[3]. These include, but are not limited to:


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Oxford Textbook of Medicine: 3-Volume Set By David A. Warrell, Timothy M. Cox, John D. Firth, Edward J. Benz, Sir David Weatherall Contributor David A. Warrell, Timothy M. Cox, John D. Firth, Edward J. Benz, Sir David Weatherall Published by Oxford University Press, 2005 ISBN 0-19-857015-5, 978-0-19-857015-8
  4. ^ Germann, W. J., Stanfield, C. L. 2005. Principles of Human Physiology, second ed. Pearson Education, Inc., CA, pp. 619.

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