First Aid Training - Shock

Introduction

Shock is a life threatening condition that occurs when the vital organs, such as the brain and heart, are deprived of oxygen due to a problem affecting the circulatory system.

Recognition and treatment

Step 1 of 3: Look for

  • Pale face
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Yawning
  • Sighing
  • In extreme cases, unconsciousness.

Step 2 of 3: Lay the casualty down with legs raised

  • Treat any possible causes of shock
  • Help them to lie down
  • Raise and support their legs
  • Loosen tight clothing
  • Keep them warm.

Step 3 of 3: Call for help

Call 999/112 for emergency help.

 

 

  • Pale face
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Yawning
  • Sighing
  • In extreme cases, unconsciousness.

More information about shock

The most common cause of shock is blood loss but it can also be caused by other fluid loss such as vomiting or severe burns. Shock can occur when the heart has been damaged by heart attack or angina and is unable to pump an adequate supply of oxygen to the body.

Related topics

Next steps

Take a first aid course

The advice provided in this section is no substitute for proper first aid training.

St John Ambulance holds first aid courses throughout the country. The following courses cover this topic:

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