Thousands of people are injured in Kentucky auto accidents every year. These victims are at risk for experiencing a wide range of injuries. If you witness an accident, it’s important to recognize that not all serious injuries are visible on the body. Some of the most severe injuries are sustained internally, like medical shock.
When the body goes into shock, it means the organs aren’t getting enough blood or oxygen. This can lead to permanent organ damage or death, if not treated quickly. Even if you don’t have medical training, there are things you can do if you recognize shock symptoms.
Recognizing Shock Symptoms
Shock is a life-threatening condition. When organs don’t get enough blood or oxygen they won’t function properly, which means the body can start to shut down. While there are five different types of shock a body can enter, neurogenic, hypovolemic, and cardiogenic are the most common after a car accident because they have to do with blood loss, traumatic bodily injuries, and damage to the nervous system.
While all that is happening internally, there are signs you can look for externally. An individual in shock may experience any of the following symptoms:
- Anxiousness or agitation
- Clammy, cool skin
- Enlarged pupils
- Fainting or dizziness
- Fatigue or weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pale complexion
- Rapid breathing and pulse
With those symptoms, a person will most likely be in stage one of shock. The body is reacting that way in an attempt to restore blood flow. If a person enters stage two, oxygen deprivation can set in and cause disorientation. Stage three will take a permanent toll on the organs and is likely to end in death.
Seeking Emergency Medical Care
Prior to taking any action with the victim, it is imperative you call 911 immediately following the accident. The dispatcher may give you some of the following instructions if you indicate the victim seems to have gone into shock:
- Lay the person down with their legs and feet slightly elevated, if their injuries allow.
- Avoid moving the person as much as possible.
- If there are no signs of life, begin CPR.
- Cover the victim with a blanket, or whatever’s available, to ward off chills.
- If the victim is bleeding apply pressure to the source.
- Wait for emergency services to arrive.
Witnessing a car accident and suspecting a victim may be in shock can be a terrifying situation. It’s important to feel prepared and understand what their body may be going through. Listen to what the dispatcher tells you to do and be prepared to speak with police officers and medical professionals for your input into how the accident happened.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you can get help from a Paducah car accident lawyer from Daryl T. Dixon Law.