Shock should be distinguished into two, namely, psychological and physiological. The former type happens after a traumatic physical or emotional experience and affects the victim’s state of mind while the latter is more to the bodily effect, where there is a dramatic reduction of blood flow in the system.


  • Fast weak pulse and low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and some palpitations
  • Bluish lips, cold, clammy skin, thirst or dry mouth
  • Rapid, shallow or heavy breathing, or a difficulty in breathing in general
  • Dizziness, nauseous, faintness or weakened feeling
  • Anxiety, confusion, disorientation

First Aid for Shock (Physiological)

1. Assess the Patient and follow DRABC
Monitor the patient’s lifeline and maintain breathing and circulation. Assess the patient’s injuries and prioritize them in order of urgency.

2. Call for medical assistance

3. Position the patient
If the patient is responsive and breathing independently, have the patient lie down on their back and position their legs above their heart, propped up and supported.
Ensure their head and neck is supported with a pillow or someone’s lap and they are comfortable.

4. Treat any injuries
First priority after the patient is responsive and stable is to stop any bleeding and treat any wounds or burns. Immobilize fractures and continually monitor the patient’s lifeline.

5. Ensure the patient is comfortable
Loosen tight or restrictive clothing and provide adequate shelter from the sun, rain or wind. Maintain their body temperature with a blanket or with a towel soaked in cool water, depending on the conditions.
If the patient is conscious and does not have abdominal pain or any other obvious trauma, provide small amounts of water frequently.

6. Monitor the patient
Check and record the patient’s breathing and pulse rate. Provide this information to medical care when it arrives.


ELECTRIC-induced SHOCK: Turn off the source of the electricity and call for emergency assistance immediately. Afterwards, administer rescue breathing especially if the victim has fallen unconscious. Treat any serious burns (See Burns) or any other injuries as necessary. Treat the victim for physical shock.

PHYSICAL SHOCK: Maintain victim’s airway open and if there is obvious bleeding, seek to control (See Bleeding). Put blankets under and over the victim, don’t give any drink and keep the victim on their back except there’s a head or chest injury or stroke where you’ll need to keep the head and upper body elevated (See Head Injury), or when the victim has lung disease or is experiencing heart attack (See Heart Attack), keep the victim sitting halfway up. If unconscious or vomiting, keep the victim on their side.

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