If an individual is in shock, appropriate first aid care is vital. Always bear in mind that saving someone’s life is the main priority when dealing with an injury that might be responsible for shock.
Steps in dealing with shock
- The initial step is to call for emergency assistance.
- While waiting for the emergency team to arrive on the scene, your priority is to maintain blood flow to the trunk and head. This is done by positioning the individual flat in the ground with the legs elevated above the hips. Just make sure that the individual has no injuries to the legs.
- If bleeding is present, you should control it by applying pressure either using a gloved hand if possible or with padding. You can use padding along with a bandage to place pressure to the area.
- If blood starts to soak the first layer, apply more padding. Do not remove the first layer since this will only remove the clots that already formed.
- Wrap the individual with a blanket to prevent loss of heat from the body.
- Encourage the individual to rest and reassure that help is on the way.
What should I do if the individual loses consciousness?
If others are present, request one to call for emergency assistance or update on the diminished status of the individual.
You should assess the ABC (airway, breathing, circulation). In case the individual is about to go into cardiac arrest, you should perform CPR.
If the individual could not breathe or struggling to breathe, put him/her into the recovery position. If breathing is maintained, continue with other treatment measures needed.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on shock is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage shock, register for a first aid and CPR course with Toronto First Aid.