Psychogenic Shock

Jun 20, 2013 by

Psychogenic Shock

Psychogenic Shock!!!  What is it and what you need to know if it happens to you.

Would you know what to do if you started feeling dizzy, nauseous, or light headed due to something   you were watching or perhaps hearing?  I think it’s time to educate people on what you should do if you feel like you are going to pass out.

A few weeks ago one of my students started experiencing the symptoms of psychogenic shock while watching the CPR video during class.  Psychogenic shock causes the vessels in the body to dilate reducing blood flow to the brain.  This can happen when you see, feel, or hear something that affects you in a negative way.  When the vessels dilate, your blood pressure will drop making you feel dizzy, nauseous, or light headed.  If you decide to stand up while this is happening your blood pressure will drop even more, causing you to drop too!  We often call this fainting.

This is dangerous because injuries can occur during the fall.  IF YOU EVER feel light headed or dizzy, DON’T stand up. Get down to the floor immediately and lie either on your back or side (if you feel like you are going to vomit).  If possible elevate your legs above your heart.  Let people around you know how you are feeling and what they can do to help you.  Generally, within seconds you will begin to feel better. This type of shock is usually harmless unless you are injured during a fall.

Unfortunately, my student got up to walk out of the classroom and didn’t make it.  He passed out while walking and landed flat on his face.  He lacerated the side of his eye and ended up with 8 stitches and some bruises.  If he had laid down or alerted a fellow student of his condition perhaps he could have avoided a trip to the hospital.

I must say that the one positive thing that came out of this was that the other students learned first-hand what not to do if they feel faint and what first aid measures to take if someone else faints. And that it’s important to pay attention in class because you never know when you will have to use the information taught by SAVE-A-LIFE EDUCATORS. They saw a real life medical situation occur and how it was dealt with appropriately.

BELOW are the signs, symptoms, and treatment for shock:

Shock occurs when the circulatory system cannot deliver blood to all areas of the body.  There are many types of shock.  Not all associated with blood loss. Some forms of shock can be a result of a serious injury or illness.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Large amount of blood loss (not in all forms of shock)
  • Pale, cool, clammy skin
  • Feel faint, weak, nauseous
  • Rapid pulse & respirations
  • Low blood pressure
  • Altered level of consciousness


  • 911 only if needed or transport if necessary
  • Are they breathing?
  • Lie victim on back, with legs elevated * (if accident victim, take those precautions)
  • Control bleeding
  • Maintain body temperature
  • Calm & reassure victim
  • When victim feels better and no accident was involved, have them sit up slowly.  At this point a decision can be made on whether they need further medical attention.

*DO NOT elevate legs if:  victim has a head or back injury, leg fracture, heart attack, or is having difficulty breathing.

Related Posts


Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *