First Aid for Severe Bleeding Certification Manual: Recognizing & Treating Shock

First Aid for Severe Bleeding: Recognizing Shock

Shock is a critical condition resulting from a lack of blood flow throughout the body. The four types of shock are obstructive, cardiogenic, distributive and hypovolemic. The type of shock that is brought on by severe bleeding is hypovolemic. Hypovolemic shock results from a lack of volume of blood flow throughout the body.

Shock can be caused from internal or external loss of blood from an injury. In external bleeding, the blood is easily seen versus internal bleeding, when relying on signs and symptoms is the best indicator. There are 3 stages of shock. The first stage is compensated, the second is decompensated and the third is irreversible.

Common Symptoms:

Compensated:  Weakness, Sweating, Pulse above 100, Increased breathing rate, Nausea, Enlarged pupils, Dizziness

Decompensated:  Altered mental status, Enlarged pupils, Falling blood pressure, Pulse above 100, Cardiac arrest 

Irreversible:  Progressive decline in blood pressure, Organ failure

First Aid for Severe Bleeding: Treating Shock
Procedure for Treating Shock
  1. Ensure scene safety
  2. Dial 911
  3. Get PPE and first aid kit
  4. Control life-threatening bleeding by use of direct pressure or tourniquet
  5. Lay the victim down and elevate the victim's feet (if no suspected head, spine or leg injuries)
  6. Keep the victim warm with blankets
  7. Perform CPR if necessary