Dealing with shock from cardiovascular collapse

Shock brought about by cardiovascular collapse is due to diminished blood flow to certain parts of the body. Remember that this is a serious condition since it can affect vital organs.

Shock is typically the result of severe injuries, heart attack, burns, poisoning and other serious ailments.

What are the possible causes?

It is important to note that shock caused by cardiovascular collapse can be triggered by the following:

  • Poisoning
  • Burns
  • Significant blood loss
  • Heart attack
  • Severe injuries
  • Allergic reactions

What are the signs?


Perform CPR if the individual has trouble breathing.

The indications of shock brought about by cardiovascular collapse generally include the following:

  • Skin discoloration
  • Cold, sweaty skin
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid pulse rate/weak pulse
  • Blank stare
  • Loss of consciousness

Management of shock

Some of the first aid measures when dealing with shock include:

  • Call for emergency assistance right away and make sure that the individual is not left alone.
  • Monitor the symptoms of the individual.
  • Position the individual flat on his/her back with the feet raised unless it worsens the injury.
  • Perform CPR if the individual has trouble breathing.
  • Any tight or constricted clothing must be loosened.
  • The individual should be draped with a blanket.
  • Avoid providing the individual with any food or fluids.
  • In case the individual seems to lose consciousness, he/she must be turned over sideways to avoid choking.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on shock is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the indications and how it is managed by taking a standard first aid course with Kelowna First Aid.