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Shock is the term used to describe a life-threatening condition that can occur as a result of serious injury or illness , particularly when there is pain , severe bleeding , or fluid loss from burns. It is a progressive condition that may lead to the collapse of the circulatory system and death. The circulatory system consists of the heart and blood vessels . Blood is circulated to all parts of the body , supplying food and oxygen, removing waste products.
 

CONTENTS

Causes

Symptoms and signs

Management

 

 

Causes

  • if blood is lost ,as a result of external or internel bleeding ,the volume of blood in the vessels becomes insufficient

  • fluid lost from the tissues as a result of severe burns, diarrhoea or vomiting , is replaced by fluid from the blood , thus reducing the volume of blood

  • damage to the heart, e.g as a result of heart attack

  • decreased blood pressure, e.g as a result of spinal cord injury, severe pain, infection or poisoning.

A combination of these factors may result in more severe shock.

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Symptoms and signs

Immediately after injury , these may be little evidence of shock.The symptoms ad signs will develops progressively, depending on :

  • on severity of the injury

  • continuation of fluid loss

  • effectiveness of management.

Initial symptoms and signs are :

  • pale face , fingernails and lips

  • cold , clammy skin

  • usually a weak , rapid pulse

  • rapid breathing

  • faintness or dizziness

  • nausea.

Symptoms and signs of severe shock are :

  • restlessness

  • thrist

  • extremities become bluish in colour

  • the casualty may become drowsy , confused or unconscious

  • rapid breathing

  • usually an extremely weak , rapid pulse

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Management

- DRABC and control severe bleeding

- reassure the casualty

- seek medical aid urgently

- unless fractured , raise the casualty's legs above the level of the heart

- dress any wounds or burns

- immobilize any fractures

- loosen any tight clothing

- keep the casualty comfortable by maintaning body warmth but do not heat

- if the casualty complains of thrist , moisten lips , but do not give anything to eat or drink

- monitor and record breathing and pulse at regular intervals.Maintain a clear and open airway.

- place casualty in a stable side position if there is breathing difficulty , if vomiting is likely , or if the casualty becomes unconscious.

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[Introduction] [What a first aider uses?] [DRABC] [Shock] [Bleeding] [Burns] [Limb injuries] [Fractures]

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