Safety within the school environment is a top priority. Every educator hopes they never face an emergency, but the reality is that these situations can and do happen. One such event is when someone goes into shock. There’s a commonly mistaken belief that giving someone in shock food or drink can help. I am here to dispel this myth. Drawing from my years of experience, I’ll explain the reasons behind this crucial advice.

Understanding Shock:

Shock occurs when the body isn’t getting the blood flow it needs to function properly. This can damage multiple organs. Symptoms may include clammy or bluish skin, rapid heartbeat, and shallow breathing.

*This video is a snippet from our Free Online CPR, AED, and First Aid Training

The Risks of Giving Food or Drink:

  1. Choking Hazard: A person in shock may have a compromised airway or decreased level of consciousness. Introducing food or drink can lead to choking, adding another complication to an already precarious situation.
  2. Aspiration Risk: Even if they don’t choke, a person in shock can aspirate, which means they can inhale food or liquid into their lungs. This can cause aspiration pneumonia, a serious condition.
  3. Digestive System Slowdown: During shock, the body diverts blood away from non-essential systems, like the digestive system, to prioritize vital organs. Consuming food or drink can stress this already compromised system.
  4. Complications in Medical Assessment and Treatment: Ingesting food or drink can interfere with specific medical interventions and assessments that might be necessary once professional help arrives.

The Right Course of Action:

  1. Call for Help Immediately: If you suspect someone is in shock, call for emergency services right away.
  2. Lay the Person Down: If possible, have the person lie down and elevate their feet about 12 inches unless this causes pain or further injury.
  3. Keep Them Warm: Use a blanket or clothing to prevent loss of body heat.
  4. Do Not Give Anything to Eat or Drink: As mentioned, this can exacerbate the situation.

Education is Key:

I strongly believe in the power of education, especially in life-saving skills. That’s why I advocate for comprehensive training in CPR, AED, and First Aid. I’m excited to offer school staff a unique opportunity for free online CPR training. The training is free and if you require certification, there’s a nominal fee. For schools wishing to ensure their staff is certified, reach out to us; many districts opt to sponsor or cover certification costs.

Remember, a well-prepared educator doesn’t just shape minds but can also save lives.