Patient Assessment of the Trauma VictimBy
In emergency medical situations a patient assessment is one of the most important steps emergency personnel utilizes at the scene. This assessment will assist the Advanced Cardiac Life Support emergency workers in answering all of the vital questions. Who, what, how, and address all life threatening situations not only with the patient but in the surrounding area as well. Who the patient is; is the patient a pediatric or an adult? This makes a big difference in your approach to treatment. What happened; what is the emergency and how did it happen or the mechanism of injury.
Knowing where the injury is and how it happened will also weigh in on the mode of transportation as in by air or ambulance, is it going to be a rapid transport situation. If it is going to be a rapid transport situation then all of the life threatening wounds should be addressed and the rest can be done on the way to the receiving facility. Knowing the what and how will also be able to help you decide the type of receiving facility to transport to. Some facilities offer higher levels of care than others depending on severity of injury.
The patient assessment always begins with a scene size up. You should always make sure the scene is safe. Look for downed power lines, irate individuals with weapons, gas leaks, etc… Once the scene is safe and you are allowed to enter you will want to then make sure you observe body substance isolation or (BSI). Before you enter a scene it is a good idea to have BSI. You want as much protection as you can get from the fluids and other substances from the patient and your scene. Once you have observed BSI you will want to find out the number of patients. Knowing this will help you to find out if you are going to need to triage patients as well as know if you are going to need additional resources which is the next step in the patient assessment.
Once you have determined whether or not you will need additional resources and they are contacted if needed, you will then need to determine the mechanism of injury. Knowing the mechanism of injury will assist you in determining the level of care the patient will need and almost always in conjunction with all of the other steps it will help you to make a transport decision. Finally you will need to have a partner hold c-spine. Especially if they have suffered a fall, motor vehicle collision, or any injury involving the neck, head, or spine. This is also where knowing the mechanism of injury comes in.
Knowing how to perform a patient assessment is a vital part of the emergency care process. This will be a part of your skills and knowledge required in your training in the Emergency medical field, especially that of an Emergency medical technician. This will also help anyone who is in any field in which responds to medical emergency calls such as first responders and volunteer firefighters as well as paid firefighters.