Learning how to treat shock


The Helping Hands Academy and Athlone Pharmacy hosted a workshop at the Athlone Library on Saturday.

The aim of it was to teach people what shock is, the different types of shock, and how to effectively manage a casualty who is in shock. About 40 workshop participants were also taught about the causes of unconsciousness an how to help someone who is unconscious.

Samantha Adams, an Emergency Medical Technician and First Aid Instructor, explained that shock is when the circulatory system does not distribute blood to vital cells in the brain, heart and lungs due to injury or sudden illness. This prevents the oxygen and nutrients from reaching individual cells, and shock develops.

She also outlined the causes of unconsciousness which include a head injury, total depletion of oxygen, bleeding, infection, temperature change, seizure, cardiac arrest, stroke, diabetes, allergies, alcohol, medical, poison.

“Once you have determined that someone is unconscious, it is important to then check for a pulse, check if the airway is clear and then check if they are breathing. Place them in the recovery position and call for an ambulance if you have not done so already,” said Ms Adams.

Shameem Voegt, who was one of those who attended the workshop, learnt how to hold a patient with a potential head or spinal injury. This technique involves the patient’s head straight, to ensure that no further damage is sustained to the spinal cord, which can lead to further complications such as paralysis or even death. This technique can be used on the scene of mass trauma such as motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, falls from a height, or pedestrian vehicle accidents.

The workshops are held every second week at the Athlone Library and attendance is free. Call Samantha Adams on 072 649 0802 for more details.