Shock is a sudden loss of blood circulation that can lead to organ damage and eventually death. Not to be confused with emotional shock, this is purely to do with blood circulation. Insufficient blood circulation means there’s inadequate oxygen delivery at a cellular level, which is why many different organs can fail in the event of shock.
Cardiogenic shock: When the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to the brain and other vital organs
Hypovolemic shock: The body is dehydrated due to severe blood or other fluid loss (this is the most common type of shock)
Anaphylactic shock: Due to a severe allergic reaction within the body
Signs and symptoms of shock include
1) Call 995 for emergency medical services.
2) Arrest bleeding
3) Help the person rest by placing them in shock position. Lie flat with legs elevated.
4) Loosen any tight clothing.
5) Keep the care receiver comfortable and reassure them.
6) Do not leave the care receiver unattended at any time.
Hemorrhage is bleeding that takes place due to blood escaping from the circulatory system from damaged blood vessels. It can occur internally, or externally through either a wound in the skin or a natural opening such as the mouth, nose, ear, urethra, vagina or anus. This is one of the common causes of shock.
First aid for hemorrhage
Article reviewed by David Tay, Senior Principal Educator (Nursing and Prehospital Care), HMI Institute.