Shock and the Capillary Refill Test

In this RoyOnRescue Video Blog, a student had emailed Roy a question about explaining the Capillary Refill Test and how it may relate to determining if someone is suffering from shock.
Be sure to watch this episode of RoyOnRescue and learn a new trick that could either tell you if someone is going into shock, or that their hands are simply cold.
There are three main reasons why a person may have more than a 2 second capillary refill time:
1. Shock
2. Peripheral Vascular Disease
3. Hypothermia or cold hands
This slow capillary refill time of more than 2 seconds should only be an indication that we should check for other problems. Please don’t assume simply because someone has a slow cap. refill that they are going into shock. It is simply a quick and easy test to help point a first aider in the right direction and to tell us we should check for other issues.

Roy Shaw

Roy is the lead trainer and co-founder of ProTrainings. He is also an EMT paramedic whose opinions about rescue come from many years of experience on the ambulance.

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One comment on “Shock and the Capillary Refill Test

  1. comment: the biggest thing for shock sign that I have seen is a person with profuse sweating and so this was a new way for me to dectect shock.

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