Shock - Signs and Treatment


Mild Cold skin
Sweating and signs of thirst
Rapid pulse
Increased respiratory rate
Moderate Pulse rapid, weak and thready
Victim tired but restless
Skin becomes cooler
Respiratory rate increases
Breathing may be labored
Eyes dull and vacant
Blue color of skin underneath fingernails
Severe Pupils dialated
Respiration in gasps


Treat injury, control bleeding, restore breathing, treat burn.
Reduce pain - Treat injury, keep person lying down and quiet, provide reassurance.
Maintain normal body temperature - Place blankets under and over patient, do not overheat.
Shock position - Elevate lower extremeties a maximum of 12 inches to increase amount of blood to vital organs. DO NOT elevate legs in cases of head or chest injuries or heart attack.
Fluids - Should never be given if there are seperated head, chest, or abdominal injuries - or when emergency assistence is readily available. To relieve anxiety or dry mouth, have patient suck on a damp cloth. If assistence is several days away, small amounts of water with a salt solution (1 tsp. per quart) may be given. Discontinue if victim becomes nauseated or vomits.
Obtain medical assistence.

Different Types of Shock

1. Hemorrhagic - Due to the loss of blood either externally or internally. May also be present in severe contussions and bruises. Follow general shock treatment. This type of shock is also referred to as hyporolemic.
2. Anaphylactic - Acute reaction of the body due to a foreign protien entering the system. May be due to injection of drugs, medication, insect bites or stings, etc. Results in paralysis of breathing center if untreated. Treat specific cause, ensure open airway, and administer basic cardiac life support (BCLS) if necessary.
3. Metabolic - Excessive loss of body fluids by vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration that results in decreased blood volume. Determine cause, increase fluid intake, consider fluid - salt balance in dehydration.
4. Cardiogenic - Due to inadequate functioning of a damaged heart. Cardiopulminary resuscitation (CPR) may be necessary.
5. Psychogenic - Simple fainting due to temporary reduction of blood supply to the brain. It is not a true state of shock.

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