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How To Treat for Shock


Updated June 09, 2014

How To Treat for Shock

Elevate legs and keep victim warm

Rod Brouhard

Uncontrolled bleeding may lead to a condition known as shock. Shock is essentially a decrease in blood flow to the brain and other important organs.

Untreated, shock from bleeding will almost always cause death.

The most important step in treating shock is to control bleeding. However, if the victim is already showing signs of shock, it's important to take the necessary steps to stabilize the victim until help arrives.

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Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: As long as it takes the ambulance to arrive.

Here's How:

  1. As with all emergency treatment, make sure you remain safe. Follow universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if you have it. Follow universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if you have it. You cannot be helpful to a victim if you allow yourself to be injured in the process.


  2. Call for an ambulance. Remember that 911 works differently on a wireless phone than it does from the home or office.


  3. Make sure the victim is breathing. If not, begin rescue breathing.


  4. Before any other treatments for shock are done, bleeding must be stopped.


  5. If you do not suspect a neck injury, lay the victim on his or her back (supine) and elevate the legs.

    If you suspect a neck injury, do not move the victim. Car and other vehicle accidents often lead to neck injuries. Neck injuries are also common in falls, especially falls from a height taller than the victim.


  6. Keep the victim warm.


  7. Continue to check on the victim. If the victim stops breathing, begin rescue breathing. If the victim vomits, roll the victim to one side and sweep the vomit from his or her mouth with your fingers.
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