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Perform First Aid to Prevent or Control Shock

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1 Perform First Aid to Prevent or Control Shock
AWT CW2 R. Mandell

2 Condition: You see a casualty who is breathing, and has one or more symptoms of shock. You will need a field jacket and blanket or poncho. Standards: Attempt to pervent a casualty from going into shock by correctly positioning the casualty, loosening binding clothes, calming and reassuring the casualty, and providing shade from direct sunlight during hot weather, or covering to prevent body heat loss during cold weather. Do not cause further injury to the casualty.

3 INTRODUCTION There are several causes of shock. On the battlefield, hypovolemic (low blood volume) shock will be the primary type of shock present. If not properly treated, shock can result in death. Hypovolemic shock is usually caused by severe bleeding, but it can also be caused by a severe loss of body fluids from severe burns, vomiting, or diarrhea and from excessive sweating caused by a heat injury (heat exhaustion).

4 Performance Step #1 Check for Signs and Symptoms of Shock:
1. Sweaty but cool skin 2. Paleness of skin 3. Restlessness, nervousness 4. Thirsty 5. Severe bleeding

5 Signs and Symptoms of Shock (Continued)
6. Confusion (does not seem to be aware of surroundings) 7. Rapid breathing 8. Blotchy or bluish skin (especially around the mouth) 9. Nausea 10. Vomiting

6 Performance Step #2 Position the Casualty:
a. Move the casualty to cover, if cover is available and the situation permits. b. Lay the casualty on his/her back unless a sitting position will allow the casualty to breath easier. c. Elevate the casualty’s feet higher than the heart using a stable object so the feet will not fall. WARNING: If the casualty has an unsplinted fractured or broken leg, an abdominal wound, or a head wound, do not elevate the casualty’s legs.

7 Elevate Feet

8 Performance Step #3 Performance Step #4
. Loosen clothing at the neck, waist, or anywhere it is binding Performance Step #4 Prevent the casualty from getting chilled or overheated. a. Cover the casualty to avoid loss of body heat and, in cold weather, place cover under as well as over the casualty. Use a blanket or clothing, or improvise a cover.


10 Performance Step #4 Prevent the casualty from getting chilled or overheated. (Continued)
b. Place the casualty under a permanent or improvised shelter in hot weather to shade him/her from direct sunlight. WARNING: Do not give the casualty anything to eat or drink.

11 Performance Step #5 Calm and reassure the casualty.
a. Take charge and show self-confidence. b. Assure the casualty that he/she is being taken care of. WARNING If you must leave the casualty, turn his/her head to the side to prevent choking, if vomiting occurs.

12 Performance Step #6 . Seek medical aid.
Watch the casualty closely for life-threatening conditions and check for other injuries, if necessary. . Seek medical aid.


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