First-Aid: First-Aid for Shock

This is a manifestation of changes in which the circulation fails, because either the pressure or volume of circulating blood has fallen to a dangerous level.

This is because the blood flowing to the vital organs is insufficient to keep them supplied with oxygen and functioning. It is a serious condition, which can prove fatal. The body reacts to shock, by diverting available blood to the vital organs (e.g. brain, heart and kidneys) away from less important tissues.

What is Shock ?

Prostration of body arising from sudden exhaustion of vital activities.


Cause of Shock

• Injury
• Emotion
• Medical emergency (colic, perforation, appendicitis).

Types of shock

(a) Nerve shock
(b) Haemorrhagic shock
(c) Toxic shock

(A) Nerve Shock

Definition. Faintness to complete unconsciousness.

Warning sign

• Pallor
• Beads of sweating
• Over-breathing
• Sensation of heat Other signs and symptoms
• Cold, pale and clammy skin
• Pulse : feeble
• Breathing : irregular
• Pupils : dilated
• Muscle : Loss of muscle tone

(B) Haemorrhagic Shock

Signs and symptoms

• Face and skin : Pale, cold and clammy
• Blueness : Lips and finger tips
• Pulse : Rapid and feeble
• Respiration : Shallower air hunger
• Pupils : Normal or dilated
• Patient may be (i) apprehensive or restless, or (ii) talkative and abnormally cheerful. In either case unconsciousness may supervene.
• Pain : May not be there.
• Vomiting
• Intense thrist
• If fluid taken in, vomiting may result.

(C) Toxic shock

What causes ?

Poisonous substances formed, which gain entrance to the blood stream and loss of fluid from the blood into the tissues.

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