First Aid Emergencies – Treating for Shock.

The information posted in this blog is for information purposes only. To become certified to treat for shock please take one of our many first aid courses and receive hands on training in a no pressure and fun environment.

Prior to approaching any victim, rescuers must do a scene assessment and identify that the scene is safe. Following a scene assessment, rescuers must check for levels of consciousness and complete the primary survey. Once the primary survey has been completed and the rescuer(s) is into the secondary survey, the rescuer(s) can identify if the victim is suffering from shock and treat it as early as practical.

The definition of shock is a depression of the body’s circulatory system which in turn can cause not enough blood to circulate to the body’s vital tissues and cause the cells to die. Shock can be fatal as the cell death can include vital organs such as the heart and the brain.

The Causes of Shock include:

  • Weak heart action including heart attacks.
  • Expansion of blood vessels due to a response to injury. *Tips: Watching a victim or seeing an accident can trigger this response.
  • Poisons and severe allergic reactions.
  • Loss of body fluids due to internal or external bleeding.
  • Spinal cord or nerve injuries.

Signs and Symptoms of Shock:

  • Shallow and Rapid Breathing.
  • Poor/Weak Circulation, rapid pulse.
  • Pale, cool skin.
  • Restlessness, weakness, fear, anxiety, confusion, disorientation.
  • Nausea, vomiting.

Treatment for Shock:

The most popular form of treating for shock is by using the acronym “WARTS”.

Warmth: Keeping a normal body temperature by keeping the victim warm is the “W” part of the acronym “WARTS”. If the victims body is cool, cover the victim. If the victim is in the sun, provide shade.

ABC’s: Monitor Vital Signs (Airway, Breathing, Circulation). Loosen any tight fitting clothing around the neck and chest.

Rest and Reassure: Reassuring the victim may be the easiest and most positive first aid a rescuer can provide for the victim.  Talk calmly and positively to the victim with confident. Be gentle and make eye contact when speaking to the victim. Stay Calm. A victim’s condition will likely worsen if you showing signs of distress from the situation. Promote the victim to rest.

Treatment: Treat the cause of the accident (ex: Angina)

Semi-prone (recovery position) or semi-sitting position: If the victim is fully conscious and you do not suspect a spinal or head injury promote the semi-sitting position for the victim. Ultimately you want the victim in the most comfortable and safe position. Sitting on the floor is safer than a chair because the victim may go unconscious and fall to the floor from a chair which would cause significantly more harm than falling from the floor.

Contact E.M.S.

The information about shock provided above is for information purposes only. To obtain hands on training in a fun, comfortable class take one of our many first aid courses at Vancouver First Aid.