Identifying Shock

What to do for an injured person

(HealthDay) -- If you haven't seen it in real life, you've almost certainly seen a movie or TV show in which a character "goes into shock." But how do you tell if someone really is in shock after an accident or injury.

ALF Ambulance of Minnesota says watch for the following signs:

  • pale or gray skin that feels clammy;
  • a weak, rapid heartbeat accompanied by shallow breathing;
  • eyes that appear vacant or dull.

The injured person also may feel faint or even be unconscious. Or, he may be overly excited.

If someone is injured, the agency says you should take these anti-shock steps, even if shock isn't apparent: Get the person to lie on his back and elevate his feet; loosen tight clothing and cover him with a blanket; don't give him anything to drink; if he's bleeding from the mouth or vomiting, lay him on his side so he doesn't choke, and, of course, call for medical help.

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