Shock - what you need to know

This month I wanted to update you on a couple of things including recognising the signs and symptoms of Shock.

Firstly, lets start with the serious state of “Shock”, which can be life threatening. Shock is caused in many cases by serious blood loss, which results in less oxygen getting to the brain and heart. Blood loss is not the only time shock can come on. Over the years of training, may trades people have cut themselves and felt dizzy and nauseous, two of the indications of shock. As a first aider attending an emergency, you must keep in mind, is my casualty going into shock?

How do we recognise shock? Pale, blue/grey cold clammy skin, sweating, shallow breathing, rapid pulse, nausea or maybe vomiting, thirst, weakness and dizziness, vagueness and the casualty being unresponsive. When you call the emergency services, please pass on anything you can see about the casualty (signs) and anything they tell you (symptoms)

How to help. Call 999/112 and inform the paramedics that a casualty is going into or is already I shock. Help them to the ground, loosen tight clothing, raise their feet at least 300mm or 12 inches, please something comfortable behind their head and cover them with a blanket or a foil emergency blanket. You need to stay with the casualty, keep calm and reassure them that help is on the way. Most importantly, keep monitoring vital signs as the condition can deteriorate quickly.

On the new website,, there’s some new products like resus masks, nitrile gloves, a new range of first aid kits including transport kits and a range of defibrillator holders and cabinets.

The “shop” on the website only has a selection of first aid equipment we can supply. If there’s anything you need, please ask.

Defibrillators, also known as A.E.D. (automated external defibrillators) and defibs, are life-saving equipment. In very simple terms if a defib is not available the chance of surviving a “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” is about 25% - with a defib, the survival rate goes up to 75%! You have a choice of automatic or semi-automatic defibs and with every defib I sell, I will supply you with a free preparation kit – do you need to know anything else? Please email or

Finally, if you have friends or colleagues who would benefit from these monthly updates please asked them to email me and I will add them to the monthly list or use this link

Kim Ronaldson – First aid instructor and instructor trainer.

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