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Until recently, the old notions and teachings of the cause and modus operandi of surgical shock have been little modified, notwithstanding the vague and uncertain theories upon which they were based. Literally, the term surgical shock has been applied to the condition of the body which is induced by severe injuries, operating through the nervous system, not attended with or produced by hemorrhage. Profound depression and even death may be so caused, but not commonly, and even when so produced, that it is serious because of the nervous disturbance alone can not be admitted, as the secondary circulatory disarrangement is the prominent symptom presented and is also the symptom which must be combatted with the greatest vigor if the life of the patient is to be saved.
Few serious injuries or surgical operations, which are followed by so-called shock, are unattended by hemorrhage, external or concealed. The symptoms which such
WETHERILL HG. THE CONSERVATIVE AGENCY OF SHOCK.. JAMA. 1898;XXX(11):578-580. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.72440630004001b