Shock is a lack of oxygen to the tissues of the body, usually caused by a fall in blood pressure or a major bleed.
- The body’s first response is a release of adrenaline, which will:
- Cause a rise in pulse rate
- Pale, clammy skin (for dark skinned casualties look at the colour of the skin inside the lips)
- As the condition worsens:
- Fast, shallow breathing
- Rapid, weak pulse
- Cyanosis (grey blue tinge to skin and lips)
- Nausea or vomiting
So what can I do about it?
If you are unsure, call 999!
- Treat the cause of the shock (e.g external bleeding)
- Lay the casualty down. If there is no sign of leg injury then elevate the legs
- Keep the casualty warm – if they are on a cold surface, place a blanket or coat underneath them.
- Do not allow to eat, drink or smoke!
- Loosen tight clothing
- Monitor breathing, pulse and levels of response
- Be prepared to resuscitate