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First Aid Tip: Shock

These first aid tips are no substitute for thorough knowledge of first aid.
Attend a
St John Ambulance First Aid Course.


In the case of a serious accident (and once you have treated any obvious injuries and called an ambulance), watch for signs of shock;

  • Pale face.
  • Cold, clammy skin.
  • Fast, shallow breathing.
  • Rapid, weak pulse.
  • Yawning.
  • Sighing.
  • In extreme cases, unconsciousness.


  • Lay the casualty down, raise and support their legs.
  • Use a coat or blanket to keep them warm – but not smothered.
  • Do not give them anything to eat or drink.
  • Check breathing and pulse frequently. If breathing stops, follow the resuscitation sequence – DRABC.
  • Give lots of comfort and reassurance.