How To Treat Going Into Shock With Basic First Aid
I can’t think of too many things that are more frightening and nerve-racking than seeing someone going into shock. That’s probably because you must act immediately once you notice the first set of symptoms.
There’s no time to think. You have to act fast! Almost like you’re on autopilot.
But it’s difficult to do that if you’re not sure what to look for or how to properly treat it. Shock can occur from a variety of different situations. So when you’re on the trail, it can strike you or one of your riding partners at a moment’s notice.
This article will give you the essentials you need to know about and know how to deal with it properly if it ever occurs.
What Is It?
Shock occurs as a result of a sudden drop in blood pressure throughout the body. There are two major categories: emotional and medical.
Emotional shock is caused by a particularly traumatic or frightening event.
Medical shock is most often caused by a physical-based trauma from either an injury or illness.
While both can be experienced when riding, most riders are prone to experiencing medical shock. And each type is affected by different stimuli.
Types of Medical Shock
- Anaphylactic – Caused by a severe allergic reaction
- Cardiogenic – Caused by the heart’s inability to provide sufficient blood flow
- Hypovolemic – Caused by severe blood and fluid loss
- Neurogenic – Caused by a spinal cord injury
- Septic – Caused by bacteria; increases blood toxicity
What Happens To Your Body?
All of the types of going into shock listed above share common symptoms that will include one or more of the following:
- A very pale skin color
- Cool and clammy skin
- Weak and rapid pulse
- Quick and shallow breathing
- Nausea and possible vomiting
- Foggy-looking eyes
- The person may feel weak, faint, or confused
- The person may become unconscious
What To Do If Someone Goes Into Shock?
If the rider displays any of the above symptoms, here are the first aid actions you should take, and the order you should take them in:
- If possible, call 911. This should always be your first resort. Shock is a severe and life-threatening condition.
- Lay the person down on his back. If possible, keep his feet elevated above his head. This helps with promoting blood flow. Don’t attempt this if the person’s leg is injured.
- Check for signs of blood circulation. Is the person breathing? Coughing? Moving? If he is not doing any of those, immediately start CPR.
- Keep the rider warm. Get him out of the elements as much as possible. Wrap him up in a blanket or layered garments. Start a fire and place him next to it, if possible.
- Help promote circulation. Undo the rider’s belt if he’s wearing one. Remove any tight-fitting clothing that could restrict circulation, like knee guards or compression wraps.
- Turn the rider on his side. Doing this helps prevent him from choking on any vomit or blood coming from his mouth.
I can’t stress this enough; If your riding buddy goes into shock, get medical help immediately, there isn’t much else you can do on the trail!
If you have any questions or anything to add, please leave them in the comments or on our FaceBook page!