Treating for Shock

Any sort of traumatic injury can lead to shock. What happens is the body’s system starts diverting blood to the vital organs, lessening the circulation to other areas. Ultimately, this can be fatal if not treated.

The symptoms of shock include a quickened pulse and a gray or blue pallor to the skin, particularly in the face and lips. The skin can feel cold to the touch and may be clammy. Trouble breathing and feeling sick to the stomach can also occur.

Keep the victim lying down, with their legs raised. (Do not elevate the legs if the victim has a head injury.) Be careful in elevating legs if the legs are injured, of course. Loosen their belt and clothing. This helps them breathe easier. If the victim has vomited or seems likely to do so, keep them on their side so fluid drains out of their mouth. Otherwise, keep them on their back and as comfortable as possible.

Keep the victim warm with jackets, blankets, or other clothing. Try to keep them conscious and alert by speaking to them reassuringly.

Give fluids only if all the following conditions are met:

1) There is no abdominal injury.
2) The victim can hold the cup themselves.
3) Surgery is not likely to happen in the next six hours.
4) Evacuation is not likely in the next six hours.
5) There is no downward change to their consciousness level.

Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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