In the early stages, shock requires immediate intervention to preserve life. Therefore, the early recognition and treatment depends on the transfer to a hospital.
- Immediate reassurance and comforting the casualty if conscious.
- Ensure the patency of the airway and assess breathing. Position in the recovery position if able.
- Attempt to stem any obvious haemorrhaging.
- Cover the patient with a blanket or jacket, but not too thick to cause vasodilation.
- Do not give a drink, moisten lips if requested.
- Prepare for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- In case of respiratory insufficiency (i.e. diminished levels of consciousness, hyperventilation due to acid-base disturbances or pneumonia) intubation and mechanical ventilation may be necessary.
- Raising the blood pressure to be able to transport "safely" (when the blood pressure is too low, any motion can lower the heart and brain perfusion, and thus cause death).
- Respecting the golden hour. If surgery is required, it should be performed within the first hour to maximise the patient's chance of survival.