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How to Treat Shock


Picture of how to position a person who is in shock

Prompt home treatment can save the life of a person who is in shock.

  • Call or other emergency services.
  • Have the person lie down. If there is an injury to the head, neck, or chest, keep the legs flat. Otherwise, raise the person's legs at least 12 in. (32 cm).
  • If the person vomits, roll him or her to one side to let fluids drain from the mouth. If you think the person might have a neck or back injury, gently roll the person's head, neck, and shoulders together as a unit (logroll).
  • Stop any bleeding, and splint any broken bones.
  • Keep the person warm but not hot. Put a blanket under the person, and cover him or her with a sheet or blanket, depending on the weather. If the person is in a hot place, try to keep the person cool.
  • Take the person's pulse in case medical staff on the phone need to know what it is. Take it again if the person's condition changes.
  • Try to keep the person calm.
ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerPatrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine
Last RevisedApril 20, 2010

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