Spectator Safety First Aid Level 2 (VTQ)

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Shock is defined as a lack of oxygen to the body's tissues. This can be caused in lots of different ways, and there are lots of different types of shock. The first one is hypovolemic shock. This is a lack of content of blood in your system. You can have neurogenic shock, this could be a problem within the brain or cardiogenic shock, a problem around the heart.

The type of shock we are looking at now is hypovolemic shock, for example, you are dealing with someone that has lost a lot of blood.  Inside their vessels, there is less blood circulating around them, therefore less oxygen available to the body. Their heart is going to start beating much faster because your heart is trying to pump what blood there is available around the body but weak as there is not much volume being pumped on each beat. This is what's called a rapid but weak pulse.

Their extremities can become blue or grey as can other parts of their skin because less oxygen risk blood is present. This is called Cyanosis.

They are going to become very stressed, start sweating, feel very dizzy, unwell, nauseous and maybe even vomiting.

To treat someone, get them to a safe place like on the floor so they cannot fall and hurt themselves if they pass out.  Try and calm them down.  There is a lot of spare blood in the legs, so you need to elevate their legs 15 to 30 cm to allow this blood to drain to the rest of the body, supporting their vital organs.

You will need to keep them warm, so cover them in a blanket, coat or anything you have to hand to help them keep warm.  Many first aid kits have foil blankets inside which will help maintain their body temperature.

Be careful to keep monitoring their injury and breathing which is harder if they are wrapped up.

Anybody going into shock is an emergency, so dial the EMS and tell them what has happened.

Try to keep them laying down but if they have to get up, do so slowly and carefully as they may pass out.

Finally, fainting is a mild form of shock and treated in the same way but the EMS are not usually required as they recover quickly.