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Shock is Always an Emergency Situation in Which Time is Precious

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Shock is an emergency situation that requires immediate emergency medical aid. It happens when your body’s organs are unable to get vital oxygenated blood that they need to survive. There are quite a few situations that can cause this urgent need for blood, including a severe injury with bleeding, pain, poisoning, extremely high, or very low blood pressure, an allergic reaction, or a severe illness.

Remain Calm

Often, when a person has bled a great deal of blood, the body will go into shock as the organs are deprived of blood and oxygen. Once a person goes into complete shock, they may convulse. Keep other people far enough away so that no one else gets hurt. Do not move the person who is injured unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. It is also important that you remain calm while you try to help them.

If You Are Injured

*Know your emergency room and emergency services numbers and keep them near the phone. Include your family physicians number as well.
*Always wear your medical alert bracelets or keep the information in your wallet or purse. This lets people know to alert emergency personnel if you are found in a state where you cannot help yourself.

If you find a person who is showing the signs of shock, act immediately. Every second is precious.

* Do not wait to see if the person improves, act immediately and call for help.

* Make the person lie down and get their feet above their heart. Put something under their knees so their legs stay elevated unless there is a possible head or neck injury, in which case, lay them flat.

* If vomiting occurs, roll them on their side.

* Control any bleeding by applying pressure to the wound. Direct pressure will stop most bleeding.

* Keep the person warm. This is very important for anything except heat stroke.

* It is also important to make a note of the time. You will need to record the pulse rate every five minutes until help arrives and give this information to emergency services. Count the pulse for 15 seconds and multiply by four to get beats per minute.

* Do not give a person who may be going into shock anything to eat or drink. In addition, the cigarette that they put into the mouth of the wounded man on television could kill the person you find in real life by causing a choking or coughing attack. Just do not do it, even if they ask, it would look pretty bad if you did and it killed them.

* Reassure the person if they are conscious. Let them know that help is on the way.

* Ask questions and look for evidence of poisoning, allergy, or any clue of what happened, including witnesses or medical alert information on their person.

Act Fast And Have Faith

As is taught in HIPAA Compliance Training, the faster you react to a possible shock situation, the more likely the person is to survive. While there is not a lot that you can do, these small steps have saved a lot of lives. Have faith in the process and keep the person calm until help arrives.

Alex Branch, BHSc, MSc, EMT-P. A dedicated advanced care paramedic with over 20 years of experience in NY Pre-Hospital Emergency Care. Over the years, Alex experienced in various facets such as ground ambulance public, private and abroad, served as a military medic, and air ambulance. Currently interested in writing anything in para-medicine and science related issues.

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