When you hurt yourself badly, often the most unpleasant part of the ordeal is the shock that your body goes through. In fact, even when you don’t hurt yourself, but simply have a near miss, this too can leave you feeling very unsettled and quite unwell and can be a very unpleasant experience. Normally the shock will make itself known as a range of symptoms and you will find yourself feeling nauseous and light headed. Often at the same time you will break out in sweat and/or start shaking, all of which can be very unpleasant on top of the pain. The perfect example of this shock reaction that many of us go through is when we twist our ankle on the curb of the pavement. Our ankle starts to swell up and sting, but more notably we often start to go light headed and pale, break out in a ‘cold sweat’ and generally feel very sick.
There are many reasons for the shock reaction, and these include the body producing adrenaline to numb the pain and to help us get through the ordeal, as well as the blood rushing to the vital organs in a bid to protect them.
It is important that you combat the effects of this shock however, as it can lead to fainting which potentially can cause injury if the individual falls in a bad way. At the same time it is simply unpleasant, making this one of the quickest and easiest ways to make an individual feel better and to comfort them.
So how do you go about treating shock? The first thing to do is to get the individual to sit down. This is very important as it prevents them from potentially falling and hurting themselves. At the same time you should get them to put their head between their knees if they feel very faint. This will help to get the blood to rush back to their brains which will prevent fainting. Meanwhile it is probably also wise to provide some kind of bag in case the individual needs to be sick, and to get them sat down outside where they can benefit from the fresh air.
At the same time its also important to give them something to drink, normally something warm with sugar – the latter helping to prevent shaking and increase blood sugar levels. A cup of tea then is great, and you should add two or three sugars even if they don’t normally drink sugar. Similarly it can be a good idea to try and replace the salt that they might have lost from sweating, and you can do this with a bag of crisps or something similar.
Another useful thing to do is to wrap a blanket around the shoulders which will keep them warm and help them to relax. Speak softly in gentle tones, and get someone to stay with them while you call an ambulance or medical help if necessary.