Shock is a very common result of many outdoor injuries, so it is important to know how to treat shock in case a companion is injured.


Anticipate shock in all injured personnel. Treat all injured persons as follows, regardless of what symptoms appear (Figure 4-5):


If the victim is conscious, place him on a level surface with the lower extremities elevated 15 to 20 centimeters.

If the victim is unconscious, place him on his side or abdomen with his head turned to one side to prevent choking on vomit, blood, or other fluids.

If you are unsure of the best position, place the victim perfectly flat. Once the victim is in a shock position, do not move him.

Maintain body heat by insulating the victim from the surroundings and, in some instances, applying external heat.

If wet, remove all the victim’s wet clothing as soon as possible and replace with dry clothing.

Improvise a shelter to insulate the victim from the weather.

Use warm liquids or foods, a pre-warmed sleeping bag, another person, warmed water in canteens, hot rocks wrapped in clothing, or fires on either side of the victim to provide external warmth.

If the victim is conscious, slowly administer small doses of a warm salt or sugar solution, if available.

If the victim is unconscious or has abdominal wounds, do not give fluids by mouth.

Have the victim rest for at least 24 hours.

If you are a lone survivor, lie in a depression in the ground, behind a tree, or any other place out of the weather, with your head lower than your feet.

If you are with a buddy, reassess your patient constantly.


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