So, if you suddenly found yourself in a situation where you observed a victim suffering from shock, would you know what to do? If you take the necessary steps to educate yourself, you just may save someone’s life one day.
According to the American Red Cross, first you should identify the type of shock. Then you’ll know what to treat for. Refer to the five most common types of shock: Anaphylactic, Cardiogenic, Hypovolemic, Neurogenic, and Septic. (See previous stories on Sudden Shock for more information.)
Locate the nearest phone and call 911 immediately. Do not hesitate. Shock can be reversed or halted if immediate medical attention is present. If at all possible, place the victim in a comfortable position until help arrives. Do not give the victim any food to eat. Nor should you give them any liquid to drink. Elevate the legs. Unless moving the legs causes more pain or if you think the victim may have any head, neck or back injuries. Above all, do not panic. Calling 911 and early emergency medical care is the best way to treat for shock.
Beyond that, education is the best way to save someone’s life in a medical emergency. To treat for shock, you (the responder) need to be aware of the symptoms a victim may display. As stated above, first stop the source of the bleeding. Then elevate the wound above the heart. This will quickly halt the condition.
If the state of shock is anaphylactic, the responder should administer an emergency treatment of epinephrine. Use a treatment such as an epi-pen on the victim. For all forms of shock, try to make sure they keep an even body temperature. Don’t allow them to get too warm or too cold. Raise their legs. If they’re able, have them put their head down below their legs to improve blood flow in the area. Chances are they may not be physically able. If that is the case, you can also gently place the victim in this position as well.
When professional emergency responders arrive, you may notice them placing an injection in one of the victim’s veins. This is to administer fluids. Or, should the victim have a wound or suffer from blood loss, they will give a blood transfusion. The emergency medical responders may also give the victim extra forms of oxygen to help assist them breathe. Additionally, they could give the victim medications to improve the heart’s condition and vital organs. This may aid in treating for the initial conditions which lead to shock in the first place.