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Treating Shock

Here are some proper responses to accidents that can occur while boating.

  • Shock: The seriously injured should be treated for shock by keeping the victim warm, still, and in a lying-down position until medical attention arrives. Elevate the feet several inches except in cases of head injury or hypothermia.
  • Bleeding: Bleeding usually can be controlled by applying direct pressure to the wound. If the bleeding is minor, apply first aid. If it is serious, apply a dressing, maintain direct pressure, and seek medical attention.
  • Burns: In cases of burns, the immediate goals are to relieve pain, prevent infection, and treat for shock. Immediately place minor burns in cold water and apply a dry bandage after the pain subsides. Seek medical attention for more severe burns.
  • Broken Bones: Seek medical assistance immediately for broken and dislocated bones. Apply temporary splints with care. An improper splint can result in lifelong disfigurement; lack of a splint can lead to hemorrhage, shock, or death.
  • Head, Neck, or Spinal Injury: In cases of head, neck, or spinal injuries, never move a victim more than is absolutely necessary. The water can provide excellent support until medical personnel arrive. If a victim must be moved, place him or her gently on a firm, full-length support.