Information - bleeding and shock

Your body goes into shock when it does not have enough blood circulating to provide oxygen and nutrients to the tissues to function properly.

When suffering from shock, you will see:


  • Pale
  • Clammy skin
As condition worsens
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Grey tinge to the skin, especially around lips and ears
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
In severe cases
  • Deep, sighing breathing
  • Confusion, anxiety and aggression
  • Unresponsiveness

The treatment for shock

It is important to recognise the symptoms of shock early and begin treatment. Do not leave the symptoms to build until the responsiveness levels are dropping and you cannot get them to move without you lifting them. You should avoid lifting a casualty
as you could hurt your back.

  • Lay the casualty on the floor
  • Raise the legs to return spare blood to the major organs, if there no evidence of broken bones to the legs
  • Treat the cause of shock, e.g. control the bleeding
  • Call the emergency services
  • Keep the casualty warm, protecting them from the cold of the ground or air moving over them
  • Loosen any tight clothing around the neck, chest or waist
  • Monitor the casualties level of response and breathing
  • Do not allow the casualty anything to eat, drink or smoke