Standard First Aid Training, Courses and Re-Certifications.

A  is a condition in which excessive blood and fluid loss makes the heart incapable of pumping sufficient blood to the vital organs of the body.

Hypovelmic shock

Hypovelmic shock

Causes of hypovolemic shock

When your body loses 1/5 of the blood present in your body, it goes into a hypovolemic shock.

Some of the most common causes of excessive blood loss include:

The amount of blood does not only drop due to bleeding, excessive fluid loss from the following causes may also lead to shock:

  • Diarrhea
  • Burns
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive sweating


  • Cool, clammy, pale skin
  • Sweating
  • Rapid breathing
  • Anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Little or no urination
  • Unconsciousness

The severity of the shock depends on the amount of blood being lost from the body.


Signs of shock indicated by diagnostic tests include:

  • Low body temperature
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid yet weak pulse


Individuals that have taken workplace approved first aid training will know how to provide basic care. This portion of the page will describe the steps taught to candidates enrolled in standard and emergency first aid programs.

If you see a person going through a shock, call an ambulance immediately. While you wait, follow these steps:

  • Make sure the casualty is comfortable. Cover him with a blanket so that he is warm—to prevent hypothermia.
  • Lay the person on the ground and elevate his feet above heart level to encourage circulation. Take caution while treating a person with a head, back or neck injury—do not move the person if he has gone through any of these injuries unless it is for his own safety.
  • Do not give anything to drink or eat.
  • If shock occurs due to an allergic reaction, remove the trigger and treat the specific allergic reactions, if you are trained to do so.

Once the casualty is hospitalized, he will be treated by replacing his body fluids through an intravenous line. Medication such as dopamine or epinephrine will be given to encourage blood pressure.

Even though hypovolemic shock is an emergency situation, symptoms and severe effects depend on the following factors:

  • The amount of blood being lost from the body
  • The rate at which blood or fluids are lost from the body
  • The underlying cause—injury or illness—causing the loss of blood/fluid from the body
  • Medication being taken for any chronic illnesses such as kidney, lung or heart disease and diabetes.

Casualties undergoing milder cases of shock recover much quickly than people who suffer severe cases of shock. In some cases, death may also result.


The following are the complications that may result from shock:

  • Brain damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Heart attack
  • Gangrene of the legs or arms
  • Death, in extreme cases

Related Video

This position will help an unconscious or semi-unconscious casualty to breathe and allow his body fluids to drain from the natural openings of the body such as the mouth, ears and nose so that they are not choked on while being breathed in. After you have administered first aid and have completed everything in the emergency action plan that comes before treating unconsciousness, move the person so that he rests in the recovery position while help is on its way.

Do not allow the person to rest in the recovery person—in fact, do not even recovery positionmove him if the injury has affected the neck, spine or hip areas.

How to place your victim into the Recovery Position

For adults, follow these steps to move the casualty to a recovery position:

  1. Allow the casualty to rest on his back. Kneel down beside the casualty and position the arm closest to you, extended straight out from the casualty’s body. The arm should make a 90 degree angle with the person’s back.
  2. Move the arm that is farthest from you so that the back of the casualty’s hand is placed next to his cheek that is near you.
  3. Grab the casualty’s knee that is farthest from you and bend it.
  4. Secure the casualty’s head with one hand and carefully, roll the casualty over by pulling the knee you just bent towards the ground.
  5. Tilt the head slightly to permit the airway to open.
  6. Make sure that the casualty’s far hand is under his near cheek. The other arm should remain extended.
  7. Cover the casualty with a blanket so that he is kept warm (unless he is suffering from a heat illness or fever). Stay with the casualty until medical assistance has arrived.

For infants, the recovery position is different. Follow these steps:

  1. While carrying the infant, make sure he is face down on your arm.
  2. Tilt the baby gently so that his face is lower than the body.
  3. Secure the baby’s head and neck with your hand and make sure the mouth and nose are clear.
  4. Wait until help arrives.

More Information

To learn how to place a victim in the recovery position or how to manage unconscious patients in a variety of circumstances using “hands on” training enrol in a workplace approved first aid course near you.

Related Video to Recovery Position


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