Preventing Shock

More people die each year from shock than they do from the accident or injury they experienced. Quick action by rescuers can minimize injuries and save lives. Shock can be caused by any condition that reduces blood flow, such as heart problems, heavy bleeding, dehydration, infections, severe allergic reactions and spinal injuries.

Symptoms of shock:

  • Cool, moist, pale or ashen-colored skin
  • Weak or rapid pulse
  • Shallow or labored breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Unconsciousness
  • Confusion

Treating shock:

  • First, check airway, breathing and circulation. If not breathing, start rescue breathing
  • Call 911
  • Speak to victim to try determine level of consciousness
  • Loosen restrictive clothing
  • Keep victim warm (maintain body heat)
  • Control obvious bleeding
  • Check for head and neck injuries
  • If victim vomits, turn on their side if no injuries found

For more information about shock, visit the Mayo Clinic and WebMD.

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