5 First Aid Tips For Shocks
Learning about first aid tips for shock is not only useful--it may save a life. Shock is oftentimes an invisible killer that takes its victims quickly and quietly if they do not receive prompt and appropriate treatment. While you can't actually see shock, you can learn to spot the signs and symptoms of shock and learn what to do if you are faced with this life-threatening situation. Shock can be expected to accompany a number of different emergency situations including major external or internal blood loss, multiple fractures, anaphylaxis, heart attack, spinal injury and abdominal or chest injury. First and foremost, if you are not a trained medical professional, it's important for you to get help on the way immediately--shock can kill a victim if he does not receive prompt and appropriate treatment. Shock is caused by insufficient blood flow to the body's organs and other tissues.
Items you may need in order to administer first aid for shock include:
- Use bandages to apply direct pressure to any wounds with active bleeding. One of the major causes of shock is blood loss, which causes inadequate blood volume within the vascular system to supply the body's organs and other tissues with blood. Place a bandage directly over the wound and apply firm pressure to stop the bleeding. Do not remove bandages that become soaked with blood, instead continue placing more bandages on top until the bleeding slows or stops.
- Elevate the part of the body that is hemorrhaging above the level of the victim's heart (if possible) as you apply pressure to control bleeding. Elevating the site of the bleeding will slow the blood supply to the wounded area and will aid the body to control bleeding naturally through the clotting process.
- Place the victim into the shock position to maintain blood flow to the vital organs and brain. If the victim has lost a large amount of blood or has fainted due to psychological trauma of some sort, place a rolled up blanket or other stable object beneath the victim's feet to keep them elevated approximately twelve inches.
- Keep the victim warm. Place a blanket over the patient to keep him warm while you wait for help to arrive. If it is cold or the victim is lying on a cold surface and they have not potentially sustained a spinal injury, place a blanket beneath the victim as well as on top of the victim to help him maintain body temperature.
- Maintain the victim's airway. Be sure that the victim is able to breathe and assist them with maintaining their airway if necessary. This includes turning the victim's head to the side if a spinal injury is not suspected and the patient has become nauseated or vomits.
Tips & Warnings:
- If the victim has sustained a head injury, do not elevate his feet. Doing so will increase blood flow to the brain and potentially make the situation much worse.
- If the victim has potentially sustained a spinal injury, do not move them or elevate their feet--keep them warm and wait for professional rescuers.
- If the victim is experiencing respiratory distress, do not elevate their feet more than six to eight inches as this may aggravate their breathing.
- Never give a victim anything to eat or drink.
- Try to remain calm and be reassuring to the victim until help arrives.
Learning first aid tips for shock can save the life of a friend or loved one. These are basic first aid tips that will enable you to support a shock victim until professional help is available. Shock is an extremely serious condition and should always be evaluated by a medical professional, so do not delay treatment for any reason.