Some people respond abnormally when under stress or faced with an alarming situation, i.e. an accident or on hearing bad news affecting their family. The person becomes agitated and panicked and on occasion may be labelled by some as being hysterical.
You may notice
The casualty hyperventilates, with fast and unusually deep breathing.
The casualty trembles: this can be so severe as to cause loss of coordinated movements.
Loss of control: shouting, screaming, and displaying other unusual behaviour.· Tingling in the hands.
In extreme cases, the casualty’s hands may go into spasms.
Remain calm at all times; you will need however, to be firm in the initial stages, so as to gain their cooperation.
If possible remove the casualty from the stimulus to the attack; this will include any audience that has gathered, including concerned family and friends.
Encourage the casualty to control his/her breathing., by taking deep breaths at a slower rate and then gradually to take slower breaths until a near normal breathing pattern is achieved .Allow the casualty to talk about his/her anxiety, but not to become overwrought and unintelligible.
Encourage the casualty to become more composed before facing friends and family or returning to normal activities.
If the panic attacks are frequent occurrence or related to some devastating personal tragedy, suggest that the casualty seeks medical advice.
Some people, when faced with news affecting their family (good or bad), respond in a highly emotional way. This should not be confused with a panic attack.