Health & Medical Family Life & Health

First Signs of Shock

Skin Signs


In the early signs of shock, the person's skin will appear pale or bluish and feel cold to the touch. If the person has perspired, his skin may be moist and clammy. Because a shock victim becomes so cold, it is important to warm him up as soon as possible.

Breathing Signs


Because the person in shock will be weak, his breathing will be labored and shallow, yet increased. A shock victim's breathing can also be irregular, and if the victim has chest pain, he will not be breathing very deeply. In a deeper state of shock, the victim can become unresponsive and stop breathing if not treated immediately.

Pulse Signs


The person's pulse will also be rapid, or over 100 beats per minute. Although the pulse is rapid, it can be hard to find at the wrist. Instead, the pulse should be checked at the carotid artery in the side of the neck or at the femoral artery in the groin.

Other Signs


Vomiting can occur in shock victims. Restlessness, which may be a sign of possible hemorrhaging, can also occur. According to "Standard First Aid and Safety" by the American Red Cross, a hemorrhaging victim will thrash about and will be very thirsty. The person's eyes can also appear sunken, and one pupil may be larger than the other.


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