The first aid primary survey and secondary survey methods of checking a casualty gives us a systematic order in which to deal with the most urgent problems first, then move on to find other clues-helping with diagnosis and treatment.
In an emergency you may need to call for an ambulance it always helps to have an action plan while emergency help is on the way.
Perform primary survey first on every casualty and until it’s complete do not distracted by more superficial, non life-threatening conditions.
Use DRSABCD to remember the primary survey sequence.
Danger is all about ensuring the area’s safe for everyone at the scene.
Dangers include things such as electrical wires, gas, fumes or obstacles. Incase any of these are present only proceed to help when it’s safe to do so.
Check for a response ask the casualty their name or gently squeeze their shoulders. Supposing that you get a response place the casualty in a position of comfort, check and treat any life-threatening injuries and monitor the casualty until help arrives on the occasion that there’s no response send for help immediately.
Call an ambulance by dialing 999/112 or ask another person to make the call. If the casualty isn’t responding then we continue with the action plan.
Leave the casualty as you’ve found them open their mouth and look for anything that may cause a blockage such as the back of the tongue food or vomit.
Suppose the airway is blocked put them in the recovery position (tilt the mouth down and clear with your fingers to open the airway gently tilt the head back and lift the chin).
Look, listen and feel for breathing. If breathing is normal keep the casualty in the recovery position continue to monitor until help arrives.
Casualty not breathing normally or unsure? Then it’s time to apply CPR. Find the center of the casualty’s chest place one hand over the other and compress to approximately a third the depth of the chest CPR is at the rate of 30 compressions to 2 breaths. Continue with compressions at a rate of 100 to 120c per minute keep going with CPR until the casualty recovers or help arrives. Learn how to perform CPR on an adult and an infant.
On the assumption that there’s one available don’t be afraid to use it just continue with CPR, turn it on and follow the voice prompts that give you. In an emergency remember DRS ABCD action plan and you too could help save someone’s life.
Once you have completed your first aid primary survey and have treated any life-threatening conditions you can move on to the secondary survey.(top to toe survey)
A physical secondary survey is important to conduct on a casualty that does not require CPR and where life threatening problems have been managed. The secondary survey should be done quickly and systematically.
To assess, note or even treat an injury a systematical approach is best starting from the head to toes.
Examine the head for any lumps, bumps, swelling, bruising or lacerations, sweating or pale color. Any blood or fluid from the nose or ears.
Conduct a neural examination. Look at the patient’s pupils for size, shape and reaction to light.
Look at the color of the victim’s skin. Note if it is a normal color, pale or bluish. Feel the victim’s forehead with the back of your hand for temperature and note if it is hot, cold or clammy.
Feel for any facial hot, cold hematomas or swelling. Even soft, squishy indentations in the skull.
Listen for stable, regular and clear breathing as well as their airways being clear with no noise or obstruction. Ask them if the feel dizzy?
Look and feel for lacerations or bruising. Any spinal deformity, tenderness you may even see the pulse in the veins.
Look for any wounds or evidence of a penetrating injury any deformity or lack of movement. Are their lungs operating well without pain or distress?
Feel for any tenderness or possible rib fractures even air under the skin.
Also look for bleeding, swelling or other obvious deformity (such as part of the chest looking caved in or a rib sticking out). If an open hole is seen, try to cover it with a sterile bandage.
Look again for any wounds, bruises or even swelling(distension). Feel for tenderness or a muscle spasming when you gently touch. Do not touch around a penetrating wound or other deformity. Note any of these findings and treat bleeding with pressure and dressing as needed
Examine the arms and legs for deformity and bleeding as well as abrasions and bruises. If an arm is or leg looks crooked or otherwise deformed, splint it in the exact position it was found. Do not try and move it.
Finish your neural exam after checking out the rest of the body by asking the conscious patient to move fingers and toes.
NB; If there is lack of movement in any of them. Ask the victim to squeeze your hand with each arm if there is no deformity or suspected neck or spinal injury.
Continue monitoring the patient’s ABCs and mental status until medical personnel arrive. Inform paramedics or other personnel of the patient’s condition.