How to Know if Someone is in Shock

A car accident victim may experience shock, a life-threatening medical condition that can worsen quickly.

auto accident injury St. Louis

Every year, car accidents claim the lives of thousands of people. While most of these deaths are a direct result of car accident injuries, a large number of deaths are caused by shock. It is important to understand the signs of shock so that you can help a victim until emergency personnel arrives.

Shock After a Car Crash

After a car accident, a victim may experience two types of shock: physiological and psychological. Physiological shock is a medical term used to refer to the state a person enters when tissues and organs do not receive enough blood and oxygen. Psychological shock can mimic physiological shock and one can experience it after a traumatic experience either from physical or emotional trauma. A car accident victim can experience both these types of shocks and it is important to get early medical treatment to prevent complications or death.

Signs and Symptoms of Shock

A person who has gone into shock may not be able to answer basic questions such as name, location, or what time of the day it is. Failure to answer any of these questions could indicate that the victim is experiencing shock. Other symptoms include:

  • nausea and weakness
  • pale, clammy skin
  • profuse sweating
  • shallow, fast breathing
  • fast pulse in the neck
  • unconsciousness
  • blue or white lips and fingernails
  • confusion

Until Help Arrives

It is important to seek immediate medical attention for shock. Here are a few things that you can do to help the patient while you wait for emergency personnel.

  • Keep the victim warm with a blanket or coat to conserve body heat.
  • Loosen clothing.
  • Control bleeding with pressure.
  • Elevate the feet, but try not to move the patient if he or she has suffered a serious injury such as a possible spinal injury.
  • Reassure the patient.
  • Remain calm.

St. Louis Car Wreck Injuries

If you have been injured by a negligent driver, you can make a claim for compensation with the help of a St. Louis car accident attorney. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242.

Updated: June 11, 2019