Stabilisation of the emergency patient should be done using the ABC (airway-breathing-circulation) system. Following the stabilisation of respiration and ensuring that the blood is saturated with oxygen, the blood circulation must be normalised. The state of the circulation is evaluated according to heart rate, pulse quality and rate, mucous membrane colour, capillary refill time, and body temperature. Shock is defined as decreased systemic blood flow leading to hypoxia. Depending on the cause and pathophysiological processes involved, shock can be differentiated into hypovolaemic, obstructive, distributive or cardiogenic forms. All lead to a decrease in cardiac output, followed by a decreased perfusion of the body's tissues and subsequent cellular hypoxia. Shock therapy includes oxygen supplementation, bolus fluid therapy with isotonic crystalloid or colloid solutions, analgesia and haemorrhage control. Intensive monitoring is required for successful stabilisation.