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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Help for Shock

The purpose of blood circulation is to provide the whole body, especially all vital organs, with blood and thus with oxygen. In circulatory malfunctions, caused, for instance, by blood loss, by serious injuries, extensive burns, poisonings, severe allergies and hearth rhythm disorders, the vital organs receive less blood which results in insufficient oxygen supply. Initially this lead to functional disorders, subsequently to permanent organ damage, resulting in organ failure, and eventually to death. Paint might enhance this circulatory disorder = shock. Shock is not an immediate reaction, but develops gradually and may rapidly become life-threatening. The earlier shock is treated, the better.

Consequently shock treatment should be performed as a preventive measure before the shock actually occurs.

Therefore it is necessary to treat every emergency patient for shock until the ambulance arrives.

Symptoms and Signs:
The following symptoms do not all appear and not at the same time, because shock develops gradually:

  • Apathy or, on the contrary, conspicuous restlessness.
  • Pulse is rapid and shallow
  • Pallor and moist, clammy skin
  • Muscle tremor

Danger!
When the shock becomes life-threatening, the casualty turns ashen and becomes increasingly listless. He is only semi-conscious, no pulse is left at his wrist, unconsciousness, impaired breathing (gasping) sets in, and eventually death may occur due to circulatory failure.

First Aid
Shock treatment aims at supporting and maintaining the vital functions (breathing and circulation) by:

  • swift, exact control of bleeding
  • treatment of wounds (e.g. application of cold water on burns or chemical burns)
  • Placing the casualty of patient in a position causing as little pain as possible, depending on his condition (e.g. flat on his back, legs raised, half-sitting, etc.)
  • loosening tight clothing
  • keeping the casualty warm
  • providing fresh air, if indoors
  • making the casualty breathe slowly and deeply
  • shielding the casualty from excitement
  • reassuring and comforting the casualty
  • emergency call

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