I suggest you sign up for some classes, maybe some EMT/ Red Cross classes or some wilderness first aid classes.i like to know advanced first aid just incase. i have made many friends by knowing what to do when they get hurt. but thanks and i hope your okay burns are not fun!
Some signs and symptoms- restlessness, altered mental status, respiratory distress, cool clammy skin, pale color, unconsciousness.
You forgot obstructive shock...A lot of people mention that but it is misleading.... Some forms of shock actually produce hot reddish skin, septic shock for example. And in both types the blood pressure is low.
I like to group shock into 3 categories defined by where the problem is, because each has different signs and symptoms and ways of dealing with it.
There can be problems with:
1) The Pump (heart)
2) The Pipes (arteries)
3) The Fluid (blood)
1) Problems with "the pump," are cardiogenic shock. It essentially is due to some sort of damage or disturbance to the heart that makes it function badly: a heart attack, an arrhythmia, a damaged or blocked structure like a valve or major vessel like the aorta or pulmonary ateries. Drugs and infections can be the underlying cause.
This is one type of shock where the person is "cool and clammy." They will have white or even gray skin. They aren't pumping enough blood, so blood vessels constrict to send it to the most important organs instead of the skin.
The heart rate might be very high, very low, or nonexistent. The blood pressure is very important to check here, in both arms. Check for difficulty breathing, fluid in the lungs, neck veins bulging, or swelling in their hands/feet.
2) Problems with "the pipes" are distributive shock. Here, major arteries and veins suddenly dysfunction: they dilate and leak, and blood pressure drops, ie they "distribute" the blood too greatly, and the places that need it most- the brain, kidneys, liver- don't get enough.
Drugs, infections (septic shock) and allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock) can cause the vessels to act this way. Sometimes so can a spinal cord injury (neurogenic shock) or severe burns.
This is the type of shock where the skin might be hot and red. Check for fever, high heart rate (100+), insect bites, infected wounds, any sign of infection whatsoever, hives, rash, or anything toxic nearby.
3) Problems with the fluid, ie the blood, is hypovolemic shock. Anything that lowers blood volume can be a cause: bleeding- either both internal and external (hemorrhagic shock), or fluid loss (dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, heat stroke).
The obvious treatment is getting their fluid volume back
A trick for checking for dehydration is skin turgor: pinch the skin on the back of the hand and let it go, the faster it snaps back the less dehydrated. Very dehydrated peoples' skin slowly sinks back to normal. It works surprisingly well. Try it on yourself after not drinking fluids for 24 hrs.
Most important things to look for in all cases:
- Blood pressure: almost always low (under 100/60)
- Personality changes: from agitation or confusion to barely conscious
- Cool, clammy, pale skin -OR- warm pinkish skin
- Heart rate- very high (over 100) or low (under 60)
- Combinations like low blood pressure, fever, high heart rate.
Treatments can be different for each... for example, you need to give fluids to someone in septic shock, but do NOT want fluids given to someone with shortness of breath and heart failure. You're best off just recognizing when shock is imminent so you can get the person to a hospital quickly.