ASSESSING THE CASUALTY
The DRSABCD or Basic First Aid Action Plan is the start of all treatment. This plan will identify any life threatening injuries the casualty may be suffering from that will need urgent attention.
D – Danger – Is the Area Safe?
R – Response – Check for a Response. Is the casualty conscious?
S – Send for Help – Call for an Ambulance.
A – Airway – Is the airway open and clear?
B – Breathing – Look, Feel and Listen for breathing.
Complete a Head to Toe Examination
Look and feel the head and neck
- DO NOT let the casualty move their head or neck.
- Run your fingers gently over the head and neck and look and feel for any bleeding, swelling, or lumps.
- Look at the face, nose, mouth and ears. Is there any bleeding or clear fluids running from the ears or nose?
- Are there any loose or knocked out teeth?
- Can the casualty talk and move their mouth?
- Is there any pain or deformities?
- Are their pupils equal in size?
Look, listen and feel the chest
- Watch the rise and fall of the chest.
- Notice any increase in breathing or difficulty in breathing.
- Does the rib cage look deformed?
- Can you hear noisy breathing, a sucking noise or gurgling?
- Is there pain on breathing?
Look, and feel the abdomen
- Is there any visible bleeding?
- Is there any pain in the region?
- Is there any swelling, bruising, trauma?
- Check the pelvis – does it hurt?
Look and feel the limbs
- Are there any deformities, bruising, swelling, or bleeding?
- Have the limbs a loss of strength, movement or feeling?
- Is there numbness, pins and needles, or pain?
- Is the limb cold to touch and/or blue in colour?
- Are there any puncture wounds?
Look and feel the spine
- If the casualty has no pain or pins and needles, then gently log roll the casualty into the lateral position, supporting the neck and head.
- Look at the neck and spine.
- Feel for deformities.
- Check for bleeding, bruising, swelling or lacerations.