Prevent and Treat Shock
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
• Improvise a shelter to insulate the victim from the weather.
• Use warm liquids or foods, a prewarmed 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