Shock in Adults and Older Children
Shock is a life-threatening condition. Immediate medical care
can make the difference between life and death.
Signs of shock
(most of which will be present) include:
- Passing out (losing
- Feeling very dizzy or lightheaded, like you may
- Feeling very weak or having trouble standing
- Being less alert. You may suddenly be unable to respond to
questions, or you may be confused, restless, or fearful.
Also, a person in shock usually has an abnormal increase in
heart rate and an abnormal decrease in blood pressure.
occur in response to a sudden illness or injury. When the body loses too much
blood or fluids, the circulatory system can't get enough blood to the vital
organs, and shock results.
Shock is a life-threatening condition. Immediate medical care is required any time shock is suspected.
- Call 911 or other emergency
- Have the person lie down. If there is an injury to the
head, neck, or chest, keep the legs flat. Otherwise, raise the person's legs at
least 12 in. (32 cm).
- If the person vomits, roll him or her to one side to
let fluids drain from the mouth. Use care if there could be an injury to the
back or neck.
- Stop any bleeding, and splint any broken
- Keep the person warm but not hot. Put a blanket under the
person, and cover him or her with a sheet or blanket, depending on the weather.
If the person is in a hot place, try to keep him or her cool.
the person's pulse in case medical staff on the phone need to know what the
pulse is. Take it again if the person's condition changes.
- Try to
keep the person calm.