Overview Of Shock
- Shock takes place when the circulation system within your body fails to transmit blood to all the other vital organs.
- With shock, the flow of blood is too low to meet the demands of the body. Vital areas of the body are deprived of oxygen.
- This results in damage to the limbs, brain, heart, and lungs. Loss of blood from any wound can also cause severe shock.
Signs And Symptoms Of Shock
- Weakness, fainting and feeling shaky;
- Feeling agitated and confused;
- Pale skin, lips or fingernails;
- Cool and clammy skin;
- Fast, deep breathing. Fragile, but rapid pulse;
- Nausea, queasiness and severe thirst;
- Bloated pupils; and
- Loss of consciousness.
Causes Of Shock
- A heart attack
- Severe or unexpected blood loss from a wound or severe illness. Bleeding can take place within or outside the body.
- A large decrease in body fluids (dehydration), especially following a severe burn.
First Aid For Shock
- Look for a response. Give the casualty rescue breaths or CPR as required.
- Place the casualty horizontal, face-up, but do not move them if you suspect a back, neck, or head injury.
- Elevate the casualty’s feet. Make use of a box, etc. Do not elevate the feet or shift the legs if the hip or leg bones are cracked. Keeps the casualty laying flat.
- If the casualty vomits or has difficulty breathing, elevate him or her to a semi-sitting position (if there is no neck, back, or head injury). Or, rotate the casualty on his or her side to avoid choking.
- Release any stiff clothing. Keep the casualty warm. Cover the casualty with a warm coat, blanket, etc.
- Observe for a response. Repeat as required.
- Do not offer any food or fluids. If the casualty wants water, dampen their lips.
- Comfort the casualty. Make him or her as relaxed as you can.
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