Sets in when blood flow through vital organs becomes inadequate due to loss of body fluids (see Bleeding, Internal Bleeding, Fractures, Burns and Scalds), Heart Attack, or a sudden drop in blood pressure in response to an allergen or infection (anaphylactic shock). Symptoms include pallor, cold clammy skin, anxiety, nausea, thirst, and faintness. Breathing becomes rapid and shallow, and the pulse 'thready' (weak and fast). In some people insect Bites and Stings cause a shock reaction, accompanied by swelling of the throat and difficult breathing.
When a person is in shock, every second counts. Contact Emergency Medical Services immediately.
Check breathing and quickly assess any injuries to see if there is preventable blood loss. If possible, lie the casualty on his or her back and raise the legs slightly (unless injury prevents this) to improve blood flow to the heart, lungs, and brain. Keep the head tilted to one side, with the chin up, to keep the airway open.
If the person becomes unconscious or vomits, put him or her into the recovery position (see Unconsciousness) and, if possible, raise the feet. Monitor breathing and be ready to give CPR if necessary. Loosen any tight clothing and cover with a blanket or coat. Do not move the person; do not give anything to drink; and do not apply direct heat.
Specific remedies to be given even 60 seconds for up to 10 doses
- Person extremely fearful and restless Aconite 30c
- Person yawning and hungry for air, face bluish and puffy, collapse Carbo veg. 30c
- Skin cold and mottled, forehead cold and sweaty Veratrum 30c
- Shock brought on by injury Arnica 30c