Different types of first aid shock: Shock is a medical emergency that occurs when not enough blood is circulating in the body. The lack of blood flow will deprive the vital organs and tissue of oxygen which causes the buildup of waste products.
Without treatment and intervention, shock can result in severe tissue damage, organ failure, or even death.
What Is Shock?
Shock is a manifestation of a circulatory failure where there is a decrease in oxygen delivery, leading to serious health complications.
It is different from the emotional definition of ‘shock’, which may refer to a psychological type of shock due to a traumatic event (acute stress disorder).
On the other hand, the physiological type of shock is typically caused by injuries or conditions that affect the blood flow throughout the body. It may result from trauma, blood loss, heatstroke, allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), poisoning, severe burns, and other causes.
The effects of shock can be reversible in its early stages. However, a significant delay in diagnosis and initiation of first aid treatment can lead to irreversible damage.
This article explains five types of shock and the role of first aid in treating casualties with this condition.
The 5 Types Of Shock
There are five known types of shock with different underlying causes, symptoms, and first aid treatments.
1. Septic Shock
Septic shock is a severe complication of sepsis that occurs when a body-wide infection leads to dangerously low blood pressure.
Any bacteria can produce poisonous chemicals (toxins) that can cause infection. When large quantities of bacteria begin circulating in the bloodstream, it can bring damaging effects to every organ and tissue in the body.
Some of the most damaging consequences of infection include poor heart muscle function that causes blood clots. It can also damage the lungs and cause liver failure, kidney failure, and trauma.
2. Anaphylactic Shock
Anaphylactic shock roots from a severe allergic reaction that occurs within seconds or minutes after exposure to allergens.
Severe allergic reactions can cause the immune system to release chemicals that make a person go into shock. At this point, critical symptoms may appear, such as narrowing of airways, difficulty breathing, and a drop in blood pressure.
Other symptoms may include rapid and weak pulse, skin rash, nausea, and vomiting.
3. Cardiogenic Shock
Cardiogenic shock occurs when the heart can’t pump enough blood to keep up with the body’s demands. Without oxygen-rich blood, it can lead to organ failure, which can be fatal.
4. Haemorrhagic Shock
Haemorrhagic shock (hypovolemic) happens when the body suffers from a sudden loss of blood and fluids. This result in a sudden drop in blood volume or the amount of blood circulating in the body.
The most common causes of haemorrhagic shock are severe trauma injuries and bursts in the major blood vessels. It may also result from heavy bleeding related to pregnancy, burn injuries, and even vomiting and diarrhoea.
5. Neurogenic Shock
Neurogenic shock is a consequence of spinal cord injury (SCI) that causes several health complications. It can result in a significant drop in blood pressure and leave irreversible damage to the tissues in the body.
Neurogenic shock occurs when the blood vessels malfunction and do not push enough blood throughout the body. The person may not experience external blood loss, but the blood inside doesn’t circulate correctly. H
Hence, it will cause the blood to pool in the blood vessels and blood pressure to drop to dangerous levels.
First Aid For Shock
Call triple zero (000) in a shock emergency for immediate medical attention and follow these first aid steps.
Let The Person Lie Down
Assist the person in lying down in the most comfortable position to help alleviate the pain and get rest. Elevate the feet above heart level unless there is a possibility of the head, neck, or back injuries.
Begin CPR (If Necessary)
If the person has trouble breathing, perform CPR to circulate oxygenated blood through the body. Continue CPR until the person regains normal breathing and consciousness.
Treat Any Obvious Injuries
Perform first aid for the underlying injury or illness. For bleeding injuries, apply pressure to the wound using a clean cloth or paid to stop the blood loss. Cover the wound area and take medications if necessary.
Keep Person Warm And Comfortable
Maintain warm body temperature by using a blanket or similar. Keep the victim comfortable by loosening tight clothing around their neck, chest, and waist.
Monitor their condition and place them in the recovery position if they experience difficulty breathing, vomiting, or loss of consciousness.
If the person remains conscious, provide reassurance, and encourage them to rest or stay still. Stay with them until an ambulance arrives.
Shock treatment can be wide-ranging and specific to the cause and type of shock that has occurred.
Sign up for a first aid course and stay up to date on current health topics and interventions, plus expertise in managing health.
Visit First Aid Course Canberra for more information.