with the signs and symptoms of shock so that the
condition may be anticipated, recognized, and
dealt with effectively. The best approach to shock
treatment is to treat all survivors suffering from
moderate and severe injuries for shock. Act!
Dont wait! Anticipate shock and take care of it
along with treatment of the specific injury.
. Giving a survivor fluids by mouth in the
treatment of shock is normally not recommended.
However, in survival situations, recovery may
often depend on adequate hydration. In an early
shock incident, giving the survivor small amounts
of fluid by mouth maybe beneficial, provided he
is conscious, can swallow, and has no internal
injuries. Burn victims particularly need large
amounts of water to replace their loss of fluids.
. Emotional shock frequently follows an
emergency. This type of shock originates in the
m i n d a n d m a y o c c u r e v e n w i t h o u t i n j u r y.
Resistance to and the impact of this type of shock
varies widely. It depends on your physical makeup
and is related to the amount of training you have
previously received. Comfort and reassurance
coupled with rest and relaxation after you are clear
of immediate dangers is very effective in manage-
ment of the survivor suffering from emotional
Symptoms of Shock
A person suffering from shock shows symp-
toms that are directly or indirectly related to the
poor circulation of the blood. The pulse is weak
and rapid. Breathing is likely to be shallow, rapid,
and irregular, because the poor circulation of the
blood affects the breathing center in the brain.
The temperature near the surface of the body is
l o w e r e d b e c a u s e o f t h e p o o r b l o o d f l o w ;
therefore, the face, arms, and legs feel cold to the
touch. Sweating is likely to be very noticeable. A
person in shock is usually very pale, but in some
cases there may be a bluish or reddish color to
the skin. The pupils of the eyes are usually dilated
If the victim is conscious, he may complain
of thirst. He may have a feeling of weakness,
faintness, or dizziness. He may feel nauseous.
Also, the person may be very restless and feel
frightened and anxious. As shock deepens, these
signs gradually disappear and the victim becomes
less and less responsive to what is going on around
him. Even pain may not arouse him. Finally, the
victim may become unconscious.
It is unlikely that you will see all these
symptoms of shock in any one case. Some of them
appear only in the late stages of shock when the
disturbance of the blood flow has become so great
that the victims life is in serious danger.
Sometimes the signs of shock maybe disguised
by other signs of injury. It is important to know
what symptoms indicate the presence of shock,
but do not ever wait for symptoms to develop
b e f o r e b e g i n n i n g t h e t r e a t m e n t f o r s h o c k.
Remember, EVERY SERIOUSLY INJURED
PERSON IS LIKELY TO DEVELOP SERIOUS
S H O C K .
Treatment of Shock
In many emergency situations, the most
helpful thing you can do for an injured person
is to begin treatment for shock. If shock has not
yet developed, the treatment may actually prevent
its occurrence; if it has developed, you may be
able to keep it from reaching a critical point. As
we have seen, shock creates a vicious cyclethat
is, the worse it is, the worse it becomes. It is
extremely important that you begin treatment at
the earliest opportunity.
It is important to keep the victim as calm as
possible because excitement and fright will affect
his condition and may even bring on shock. Try
to prevent the victim from seeing his injuries, and
reassure him that he will be properly cared for.
Keep all unnecessary persons away, as their
conversation regarding the victims injuries may
increase his agitation.
A p e r s o n i n s h o c k i s o f t e n t h i r s t y . No
particular harm will be done if you allow the
victim to moisten his mouth and lips with cool
water, if it will make him more comfortable. But
in general, there is no need to give him anything
to drink unless you are in a position where medical
assistance will not be available for an excessively
long period of time.
If medical care will not be available, you
should give the victim SMALL AMOUNTS of
warm water, preferably mixed with 1 teaspoon of
salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda per quart
or liter. This should be done if he is conscious,
able to swallow, and has not suffered internal
In the case of burns, an exception must be
m a d e t o t h e r u l e o f n o t g i v i n g l i q u i d s . A
seriously burned person has an overwhelming
need for fluids. It is, therefore, a permissible and
even desirable part of first-aid treatment for burns
to give water or other liquids. Sweet tea, fruit