School Nurse Emergency Highlight - Shock

Students in any degree of shock require immediate medical attention.



  1. Symptoms of shock include restlessness, irritability, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, loss of consciousness and pale, cool, moist skin. Possible blue tinge to lips and fingernails, rapid breathing and pulse.
  2. Lie student flat and control any external bleeding. Use thermal blanket to keep student warm.
  3. Call 000 immediately. Provide constant reassurance while waiting for ambulance.


Frequently Asked Questions

How does shock occur? Shock may result from trauma, heatstroke, blood loss, allergic reaction, severe infection, poisoning, severe burns or other causes. 

What happens when a student is in shock? Their organs are not getting enough blood or oxygen. If untreated, this can lead to permanent organ damage or death.

Can heavy sweating and dehydration cause shock? Yes. One possible cause of shock is the loss of body fluid.

What nervous system problems can cause shock? Pain, injury and being frightened, scared or excited.

Should I give a student in shock anything to eat or drink? No. When someone is in shock their digestion stops including their ability to swallow.

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