ST JOHN AMBULANCE: How to help someone who is suffering from shock

Follow these steps when someone is in shock
Follow these steps when someone is in shock
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St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity, has teamed up with the Littlehampton Gazette to bring you some simple, but life saving, first aid tips . This week: dealing with shock.

Shock is a life threatening condition which occurs when the circulatory system fails and, as a result, vital organs such as the brain and heart are deprived of oxygen.

Shock needs immediate emergency treatment.

The condition can be made worse by pain and fear and it is important to reassure the casualty and make him as comfortable as possible.

The most common cause of shock is severe loss of blood either through external or internal bleeding.

The loss of other body fluids can also result in shock and can be caused by vomiting, diarrhoea, bowel obstruction and serious burns.

A casualty suffering from shock might show these signs:

• Rapid pulse, which weakens as the shock worsens

• Sweating and cold, clammy skin

• Grey-blue skin, especially inside the lips

• Weakness and dizziness

• Nausea or vomiting

Follow these simple steps to help someone who is in shock:

• Treat any possible cause of shock that you can detect, such as severe bleeding

• Reassure the casualty

• Help the casualty to lie down and raise his legs to improve blood supply to the vital organs

• Loosen clothing at the neck, chest and waist

• Keep the casualty warm with coats or blankets and call 999/112 for emergency help

• Monitor and record vital signs while waiting for help to arrive

• Do not give the casualty anything to eat or drink as an anaesthetic might be needed, moisten the lips if he complains of thirst.

• Never leave the casualty unattended unless you have to go and call for emergency help.

For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, the St John Ambulance app is available free on smartphones and the website (www.sja.org.uk) offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice.

For more information about first aid courses please call 0303 003 0101.

• For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, the St John Ambulance app is available free on smartphones and the website {http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/default.aspx |(www.sja.org.uk)|www.sja.org.uk} offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice. For more information about first aid courses please call 0303 003 0101.

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