III. Patient Assessment System – Primary Survey

Part 3 of 9: Patient Assessment System – Primary Survey

STOP – PRIMARY SURVEY: Are they alive, and are they going to stay alive?

A: Approach and Assess – Are they conscious and can they speak?
A: Airway – Do they have an open airway?
B: Breathing – Are they breathing?
B: Breathing – How well are they breathing? 
C: Circulation – Do they have a pulse? 
C: Circulation – Are they bleeding?
D: Deformity – Are there any obvious deformities?
D: Disability – Is their neck or back at risk of injury?
E: Environment – Can they stay where they are?
E: Everyone Else – How is everyone else in the group doing?

A: Approach and Assess – status of the central nervous system
Are they conscious and can they speak?
Look – Are they awake; are their eyes open; what position are they lying in?
Listen – Speak to them. Do they speak back?
Feel – What is your general impression of the situation?

A: Airway – status of the respiratory system
Do they have an open airway?
Look – Is there anything in their airway?
Listen – Can you hear air moving in and out of the airway?
Feel – Can you feel air moving in and out of the airway?

B: Breathing – status of the respiratory system
Are they breathing?
Look – Is their chest wall moving as they breathe?
Listen – Can you hear any adventitious breath sounds indicating a partially occluded airway, such as wheezing, gurgling, or snoring?
Feel – Is the chest wall moving appropriately with respirations?

B: Breathing – status of the respiratory system
How well are they breathing?
Look – Is their chest wall moving as they breathe?
Listen – Can you hear any adventitious breath sounds indicating a partially occluded airway, such as wheezing, gurgling, or snoring?
Feel – Is the chest wall moving appropriately with respirations?

C: Circulation – status of the circulatory system
Do they have a pulse?
Look – Is there any bleeding?
Listen – Can you hear a heartbeat?
Feel – Can you feel a carotid pulse?

C: Circulation – status of the circulatory system
Are they bleeding?
Look – Is there any bleeding?
Listen – Can you hear a heartbeat?
Feel – Can you feel a carotid pulse?

D: Deformity
Do they have any obvious injuries or deformities?
Look – Do you see any obvious injuries or deformities?
Listen – Where are they complaining of pain?
Feel – Where does it hurt? As you touch them, where can you cause pain?

D: Disability
Is their neck or back at risk of injury?
Look – What was the mechanism of injury (MOI)? Can they move their extremities?
Listen – Are they complaining of any neck or back pain?
Feel – Do they have normal sensation in their extremities?

E: Environment
Can they stay where they are?
Look – Where are they lying?
Listen – Are they complaining about being hot, cold, or wet?
Feel – Is their skin warm, dry, cold, or wet?

E: Everyone Else
How is everyone else in the group doing?
Look – How does the rest of the group look?
Listen – Is anyone complaining of being cold, wet, hungry, or thirsty?
Feel – What is the emotional status of the group?

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