Treating Shock

Shock is a life-threatening condition. It that occurs when the body is not getting enough blood to vital organs. Shock can be caused by problems with the heart, blood loss, a severe allergic reaction, an overwhelming infection or severe damage to the nervous system. Symptoms depend on the type of shock. They include shallow breathing; clammy, pale skin; confusion; weakness; and, eventually, unconsciousness. If you're with someone who goes into shock, call for emergency medical help immediately, according to the National Safety Council. While waiting for help to arrive, perform the ABCs of first aid: clear Airways, check Breathing and maintain Circulation.

  • Cover the person with a blanket to maintain body temperature.

  • If the person hasn't suffered any back or neck injuries, lay him or her down and elevate the feet to maximize blood flow to the brain.

  • Be calm and reassuring.