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Shock: First aid /Conditions/Prevention

 Shock: First aid 

Shock is a critical condition caused by a sudden decrease in blood flow through the body. Shock may result from trauma, heatstroke, blood loss, an allergic reaction, severe infection, poisoning, or severe burns. When a person is in shock their organs may not be receiving enough blood. Oxygen is important. If it isn't treated, it can lead to organ damage or even death.



The signs and symptoms of shock can vary depending on the circumstances, but may include:

  • Cool, clammy skin
  • Pale or ashen skin
  • If your lips or fingernails have a bluish tint, you might be experiencing a cold. If your skin is darker than usual and has a grayish tinge, you might have a flu.
  • Rapid pulse
  • Rapid breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Changes in mental status or behavior can be indicative of anxiety or agitation.

Seek emergency medical care

If you think someone is in shock, call 911.Then do the following: 1. Immediately take steps to help the person stay safe, such as keeping them still and putting a cloth over their mouth to stop them from breathing in dust particles. 2. Call your local emergency number and describe the situation.

  • If you are going to transport someone, lay them down on their back with their legs and feet elevated slightly unless you think this may cause more pain or injury.
  • Do not move the person until you are sure it is safe to do so. Keep them still if possible.
  • If the person does not show any signs of life, such as not breathing or being coughing, begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) immediately.
  • Remove tight clothing and cover the person with a blanket if necessary to prevent chilling.
  • Do not let the person eat or drink anything until the emergency is over.
  • If you think someone is having an allergic reaction, and you have access to an Epinephrine autoinjector, use it as instructed.
  • If someone is bleeding, apply pressure to the area with a towel or sheet.
  • If someone vomits or starts bleeding from their mouth and it is not clear if they have a spinal injury, turn them onto their side to prevent choking.
Shock: First aid /Conditions/Prevention

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