Shock is caused by not enough oxygenated blood getting to the brain and other body tissues.
There are two common types of shock[edit | edit source]
- Hypovolemic shock — Not enough blood. Caused by massive internal or external bleeding; or severe dehydration.
- Anaphylactic shock — Whole-body allergic reaction.
Making the scene safe[edit | edit source]
- BSI (Body substance isolation) and Initial assessment.
- Is whatever injured them going to injure you?
- Keep the person warm
- but remember, A, B, and C come before E in order of priority. Manage life- threatening airway obstruction or bleeding and call 911 first.
Assessment[edit | edit source]
Signs and symptoms[edit | edit source]
- Anxiety and restlessness progressing to unresponsiveness (fainting)
- Increased, weak heart rate
- Pale, cool, sweaty skin.
- Increased, shallow breathing
- May complain of thirst or nausea
Allergic or hypovolemic?[edit | edit source]
- It is ok not to know what caused the shock – field treatment is almost identical.
- They are differentiated in the field by finding out the MOI (cause).
- Severe bleeding, vomiting, or diarrhea? Suspect hypovolemic.
- Any severe injury, even without apparent bleeding? Suspect hypovolemic.
- Allergic to bees or peanuts and just exposed? Suspect anaphylactic.
First aid treatment[edit | edit source]
Hypovolemic shock[edit | edit source]
- Call 911 at first sign of shock. Do not wait for symptoms to worsen.
- Stop any bleeding.
- Reassure and comfort person. Keep them talking.
- Monitor ABCs. Check respiratory rate every 5 minutes until help arrives.
- Shock position:
- Lying down
- (no longer recommended)
Legs elevated 12 inches if no spinal or pelvic injury
- Loosen clothing that may be binding
- Maintain healthy body temperature: warm and dry. Pad under, blanket over person.
- If the person drools or vomits
- Turn head to one side to prevent choking
- If you suspect spinal injury, do not turn head. “Log roll” whole body.
- DO NOT give anything by mouth.
Anaphylactic shock[edit | edit source]
- Follow directions for hypovolemic shock.
- While waiting for help:
- If the person has an “epi-pen,” help them find and administer it.
- Press tip into thigh tissue and hold for at least 10 seconds.
- If the person does not have an epi-pen, you can prick 4 Benadryl gel-caps with a safety-pin, and squeeze the gel under their tongue.
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