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How To Treat a Person in Shock

By Edited Aug 15, 2015 2 2

After any traumatic event, a person is at risk for going into shock. Shock is how the body deals with a bad situation. Shock is a dangerous and potentially life threatening medical emergency. A person who has gone into shock requires immediate medical intervention. The signs of a shock victim are restlessness, irritability, altered mental state, confusion, pale, cool skin, sweating, fast, shallow breathing and rapid pulse. Always seek emergency medical attention for a victim even if you are not sure if they are in shock. It is always best and safest to err on the side of caution.

Don’t Panic

Your first step should be to call 911 for assistance from a trained professional. EMS, policemen and the fire department all trained to deal with this type of emergency. Most importantly, stay calm. If you remain calm, you will be better able to keep the shock victim calm.

Emergency First Aid

First Things First

Lay the shock victim on their back. Do not allow them to be sitting upright or to walk around. This can become dangerous for them especially if they are confused or are in an altered mental state. This is can be dangerous if the victim is at an accident scene and there are dangers present such as downed electrical lines or shattered glass. Keep yourself away from the danger because the emergency respondents do not want to have to treat two victims. Do not try to be a hero or take unnecessary chances with your own health and safety.

After You’ve Determined It’s Safe

Cover the victim with a blanket or whatever you have available such as a coat, tarp or sweater to provide warmth if they are cool or cold to the touch. It is important to try to retain or regain body heat. Loss of body heat can result in other life threatening conditions.

Speak calmly to the shock victim. Reassure them, let them know everything will be fine. Do not talk about the event that led up to the state of shock. Keep things very light if you are able to have any sort of conversation. Do not let them know how upset or scared you are. Do not let the shock victim know they are in bad shape.

Raise the shock victim’s feet about a foot, so their feet are higher than their head. Place a pillow, rolled up blanket or anything that is available to raise their feet. By raising their feet you will increase blood flow to the heart and other organs. This will also help if the victim is feeling nauseous.

Stay Put

Do not move a shock victim unless they are in imminent danger of further injury such as the car they are in may explode or fire is coming closer. You may cause more physical damage to the victim especially if they have head, neck, back hip or leg injuries. Wait for an emergency medical worker to move the victim, they have the equipment and knowledge for moving a victim safely.

Do not give a shock victim anything to eat or drink. Allowing a shock victim to eat or drink can cause them to vomit. Also if the accident victim will need any type of emergency surgery or medical procedure it is best and safest to perform either on an empty stomach.

Stay Safe

Do your best to keep the victim and yourself safe and make sure to call for help.

Medical shock is a dangerous condition and should not be treated lightly. A person showing signs and symptoms of shock needs medical attention.

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Tips & Warnings

Stay out of danger. Do not touch any downed electrical lines to get to a victim.

Do not enter an area where there has been a chemical spill to get to the victim or you will end up being a victim yourself.

The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook
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(price as of Aug 15, 2015)
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Comments

Aug 28, 2009 2:26pm
edieness
Very useful article on how to treat someone in shock.
Aug 28, 2009 5:13pm
ladybella248
This is a very useful article.
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