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The approach to the patient in shock requires that treatment occur at the same time as the diagnosis occurs. The source of the underlying disease needs to be found. Sometimes it is obvious, for example, a trauma victim bleeding from a wound. Other times, the diagnosis is elusive. The type of tests will depend upon the underlying condition.
The diagnosis is most often found through the medical history. A thorough physical examination will be undertaken and the patients vital signs monitored.
Shock Self-Care at Home
If you come upon a person in shock, the initial response should be to call 911 and activate the emergency response system. Self-care at home is not appropriate.
Lay the person down in a safe place and try to keep them warm and comfortable.
If the patient is not awake, is not breathing, and has no heartbeat, it is appropriate to start chest compressions following the American Heart Association guidelines. It is important to send someone to get an AED if one is available.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/24/2016
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