CPR First Aid

Does Low Blood Volume Cause Low Blood Pressure?

A decrease in blood volume introduces many problems. Is blood pressure one such problem? Learn more about if low blood volume causes low blood pressure.

People naturally understand that losing blood is bad for them. However, low blood volume can also change the systems within our body. One of these things affected by low blood volume is blood pressure.

Many people think of blood as the fuel that powers our bodies. The truth is that food is the closest thing to fuel we have.

If we want to be technically accurate, blood acts as the postman that delivers all the essential nutrients throughout our body. Without these nutrients, we won’t be able to experience the beauty of life, let alone function.

Blood volume must be kept at an optimal level with how vital blood is. If enough blood is lost, many problems and conditions come about.

Let’s find out how low blood volume causes low blood pressure.

The Levels of Blood in Our Body

Before we get into whether hypotension is associated with the amount of blood we have, let’s familiarize ourselves with the concept.

"Hypotension & blood volume: Exploring association; Understand concept."

What Is Blood Volume?

As the name indicates, volume refers to the total amount of blood circulating throughout our bodies. It considers those within our veins, the chambers of the heart, and the capillaries, to name a few.

This isn’t just isolated to the red blood cells. White blood cells, plasma, and platelets also comprise this level.

The total amount of blood circulating in a body depends upon the person’s weight and size. On average, an adult will have approximately five litres circulating within them. Women have a lower volume than men, but it increases by half when pregnant.

What Determines the Volume?

The blood volume in our bodies depends upon the amount of water and sodium we take. However, this is only one-half of the coin. If something comes in, it must also come out. In terms of blood, the volume will continuously rise without an exit.

The path of exit for the volumes of blood lies in the lungs, the skin, and the kidneys, to name a few.

The kidney, for example, plays a central part in keeping levels equal. If too much water and sodium are ingested, the kidneys respond by filtering it out through the urine.

What Happens if Blood Volume is Low?

Hypovolemia is when the volume of blood in the body gets too low. It occurs when a person has lost at least 15% of volume.

Additional causes of the condition include wounds where people bleed out, diarrhoea, vomiting, and internal bleeding.

When levels are this low, people typically feel a slew of symptoms. These include being dizzy, cramps in muscles, fatigue, and having urine with a darker colour. More serious symptoms include excessive sweating, shortness of breath, and unconsciousness.

In its most extreme form, people will go into hypovolemic shock, which, if left untreated, may result in organ failure and, eventually, death.

Can Low Blood Volume Result In Low Blood Pressure?

There is a strong relationship between the volume of blood in a body and blood pressure. Interestingly enough, hypovolemic shock causes blood pressure reactions in people.

As the shock sets in, blood pressure will first rise via the rising of the diastolic pressure. Then, if enough volume is lost, the systolic pressure decreases, lowering the blood pressure.

So, to address the question, the answer is yes—a low volume of blood results in lower blood pressure.

Interestingly, studies have also shown that specific hypovolemic treatments cause hypertension in some situations. This shows how interconnected blood volume and blood pressure are.

"Blood volume links to blood pressure; hypovolemic shock raises diastolic pressure initially."

How To Treat Lower Blood Volumes

If hypovolemia reaches severe levels for any reason, then immediate care must be administered. Depending on the cause of the volume loss, it can be done in many ways.

For instance, if a person is bleeding out, a doctor would first stop the bleeding. Afterward, an IV drip will help replace the lost blood volume using crystalloids. These saline solutions help to refill the blood volume, but they may decrease platelets and other components in the blood.

When this happens, doctors can introduce more transfusions using plasma and red blood cells, depending on what is lacking.

"Severe hypovolemia requires urgent treatment; stopping bleeding is vital."

How Long treatment Lasts

Many factors affect the length of the treatment. With how serious hypovolemic shock is, the first thing a doctor looks at is if any serious damage has occurred due to the condition. These could include severe damage to the brain and kidneys.

Thus, replenishing the volume becomes critical. Not everybody refills blood at the same rate, even with IV solutions. This could be due to how severe the hypovolemic shock is, the amount of blood loss, the extent of the injury, and other pre-existing medical conditions that could hinder it. 

Balance in All Things

Low blood volume is a serious condition. The loss of volume leads to many symptoms, with low blood pressure among many.

As with all things, one should always strive for balance. It includes the volume of blood. A touch too high or too low could introduce complications to a person that could result in death. 

While treatment is available, there is a significant element of risk involved. The best thing to do is to check in with a doctor immediately if any symptoms appear.

The knowledge of blood volume is essential, but it must also be balanced with the right actions. Today, learn about potential life-saving first aid practices through CPR First Aid’s Liverpool course.

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