Part 4 of 9: Patient Assessment System – Vital Signs:
STOP – SECONDARY SURVEY: How hurt are they?
The Secondary Survey consist of:
How well are they? Vital Signs
What are their injuries? Patient Exam
What is their past medical history? AMPLE History
What is our patient care plan? SOAPnote
VITAL SIGNS: How well are they doing?
Respiratory Rate and Effort:
Respiratory rate and effort shows us how well the Respiratory System, the airway and lungs, is doing at oxygen exchange and in particular, in supplying the brain with O2.
LOOK – Do they look like they are having difficulty breathing?
LISTEN – Are they complaining of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
FEEL – Is the chest moving properly with breathing?
Heart Rate and Effort (blood pressure):
The heart rate and effort, blood pressure, tells us how well the Circulatory System, the heart and blood vessels, are doing.
LOOK – Do they look shocky?
LISTEN – What is there heart rate, beats per minute.
FEEL – Take a blood pressure by palpation (systolic), if you do not have a BP cuff.
Level of Consciousness:
Level of consciousness tells us how well the Central Nervous System, the brain and spinal cord, are doing.
Level of Consciousness (LOC) is determined using the AVPU scale:
Awake, Verbal, Painful, Unresponsive.
Conscious: “The lights are on, is anyone home?”
Awake, their eyes are open but, are they alert oriented times 3, person, place, and time?
Person, do they know who they are?
Place, do they know where they are?
Time, to they know the day, week, and year?
Unconscious: If their eyes are closed they are unconscious, but how responsive are they?
Verbal stimuli, “Hello, anyone in there?”
Speak to them, do they react to hearing their name?
Do they follow simple commands?
Painful stimuli, “That’s got to hurt.”
A knuckle rubbed on their sternum?
Is it an appropriate response to pain?
Unresponsive, “Speak to me; say something.”
No response to verbal or painful stimuli.
Skin color, temperature, and moisture:
Skin color varies by individual and race.
Look – What is their skin color, pale, ashen, cyanotic?
Listen – Are they complaining about feeling hot or cold?
Feel – Is their skin dry, moist, clammy, hot, or cold?
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