Shock--first aid guide

This is a condition that occurs as a result of failure of the circulatory system to supply oxygen to the vital body organs. A key cause is bleeding.

Recognition
  • Rapid, weak pulse.
  • Pale, cold, clammy skin.
  • Sweating.
  • Weakness and dizziness.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Feeling thirsty.
  • Rapid shallow breathing.
  • Restlessness, yawning, gasping for air.
  • Cyanosis.
  • Unconsciousness.

Priorities
  • To recognize shock.
  • To improve the blood supply to the brain heart and lungs.
  • To arrange transfer to hospital.

Do not let the casualty eat, drink, smoke or move unnecessarily, If he complains of thirst, moisten his lips with little water.
Do not leave the casualty unattended except to call an ambulance.
Do not try to warm the casualty with a hot water bottle or any other direct source of heat.

Steps in administering aid.
  • Treat for any cause of shock that you can identify. For example severe bleeding or serious burns.
  • Lay casualty down and cover with a blanket to insulate him from the cold ground.
  • Keep warm and reassure.
  • Raise and support legs if there are no visible injuries to the trunk. Take care if you suspect fracture.
  • Loosen tight clothing at the neck, chest, and waist to reduce constriction in these areas.
  • Call for ambulance.
  • Monitor vital signs. 

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