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How to treat someone who gets in shock in an emergency situation

By Guardian Nigeria
22 November 2021   |   3:27 am
Nnamdi, was hit by a car while crossing a street to get groceries at a store. Immediately he went into shock due to multiple injuries he may have sustained.

Nnamdi, was hit by a car while crossing a street to get groceries at a store. Immediately he went into shock due to multiple injuries he may have sustained.

A friend who witnessed the accident called ERA immediately. ERA commenced a phone first aid and treatment from the shock, while dispatching a mobile-first responder and an ambulance for medical evacuation.

A few minutes later, ERA’s first respondents and paramedics arrived and started resuscitation and medical evacuation to the nearest Emergency Ready Hospital.

We don’t always have control of events that happen in our lives, but we can choose how we react to those events, knowledge is one critical factor that can help us respond better in any given situation. The question is how would you respond when you are in a situation when someone has a shock?

Shock is a serious life-threatening condition that happens when vital organs in the body are not getting enough oxygen through blood perfusion and this can lead to failure of these organs example heart, brain, liver, etc. It can be caused by the sudden drop in blood flow through the body such as: severe internal or external bleeding; cardiac emergencies, such as a heart attack, heart failure, etc.; loss of body fluids, from dehydration, diarrhoea, vomiting, burns, etc.; severe allergic reactions and overwhelming infection (septic shock); and spinal cord injury.

All these conditions may all lead to life-threatening states. When an individual is in shock they may experience any of the following symptoms: pale skin, which may be cold and clammy; sweating; fast pulse – as shock gets worse; fast, shallow breathing; a weak pulse; bluish or purplish, especially inside the lips; nausea and possible vomiting – as the brain’s oxygen supply decreases; restlessness and aggressive behavior; breathlessness; and the casualty could become unresponsive.

What to do
Step 1: First, treat any cause of shock that you can see, you need to try to reverse the cause of shock. If you find severe bleeding or serious burns try to treat these whilst reassuring the casualty.

Step 2: Help the Person Down

Help the casualty to lie down. If possible try to lie them down on a rug or blanket, as this will help protect them from the cold. Raise and support their legs above the level of their heart as this will increase blood flow to the head and vital organs, but if the casualty has an injured leg do not raise it. If the casualty is pregnant, help them to lie with their body leaning towards their left side to prevent the obstruction of the blood flow returning to the heart.

Step 3
If you haven’t done so already, call Emergency Response Africa (ERA) 08000 2255372, and tell our first respondent that you suspect shock.

Step 4
Once you have called for emergency help, you can then loosen any tight clothing around their neck, chest and waist, to make sure it doesn’t constrict their blood flow.
Step 5

While waiting for our paramedics to arrive, stay with the casualty and keep them warm by covering them with a blanket or coats. Remember, fear and pain can make shock worse by increasing the body’s demand for oxygen, so try to reassure the casualty and keep them calm if you can.

Continue to talk to the person in a calm and reassuring manner, monitor their condition, and watch closely for changes. Our paramedics will want an update from you on your observations and steps you have taken to treat this medical emergency. Finally, do not give the individual anything to eat or drink.

Step 6
Keep monitoring their level of response. If they become unresponsive, open the airway, and check their breathing. So remember, if you think someone is in shock, treat the cause of shock, lay them down and raise their legs, call Emergency Response Africa (ERA) 08000 2255 372 for emergency assistance, loosen any tight clothing and keep them warm and calm. Monitor their level of response. And that’s how we treat shock. Please share this article on social media; it may save the life of someone within your circle.

•Call Emergency Response Africa (ERA) 08000 2255 372 if you or anyone close to you is having any of these symptoms.