The final segment of our "Stop the bleeding, start the breathing, treat for shock" algorithm is perhaps the most ambiguous of them all.
Shock is the "nickname" for Hypoperfusion, or a lack of oxygen and nutrients getting to the body's cells and decreased ability to get rid of waste products such as CO2. This cascade or domino effect of cells, then organs, organ systems and finally the body shutting down is quite complex however the treatment is fairly straight-forward in an out-of-hospital setting.
Of course we must stop any and all bleeding, keep the victim conscious (as much as possible), their airway open and breathing well. But along with those interventions we need to keep the victim calm; reassure them that help is on the way, talk with and keep them engaged.
Keep the victim warm! Even on a hot day a person that has lost just 750-1,000ml of blood can become Hypothermic which will worsen their condition significantly. Most good med kits have emergency/space blankets for that purpose. Don't be afraid to wrap the victim up, making sure to wrap all the way around them (not just having the blanket draped over their top), covering their feet and if possible the top of their head.
Finally, every situation will be different but no matter the circumstances get emergency services coming as soon as possible! In a worst-case scenario get the victim to a hospital yourself. Call 911 or whatever emergency number your area uses and give them your location and a rundown of the situation. Its a good idea to put them on speaker so you can continue to treat and care for your patient.
This may seem like a lot to take in, but get it right and you'll increase the victim's chances of survival and recovery! Come take one of our many Direct Action Response Training courses to learn the skills that can potentially save a life, your own included!
Be safe out there!
If you're interested in learning more, make sure that you check out some of our Direct Action Response Training classes around the U.S.