How is Examining a Casualty for First Aid
How is examining a casualty for first aid?
What you have to do when you find casualty in front of you? Before you do your action to help the casualty, you should examine the casualty . A detailed examination of the casualty should be undertaken only after taking any vital action needed. As first aider you may need to move or remove clothing, but ensure that, at every stage of your examination, you do not move the casualty more than is absolutely necessary. Always start at the head and work down; the " top-to-toe" routine is both easily remembered and thorough.
1. Run your hands carefully over the scalp to feel for bleeding, swelling or depression, that may indicate a possible fracture. Be careful not to move any casualty who you think may have injured her neck, especially if she is unconscious.
2. Speak clearly to the casualty in both ears to see if she responds or if she can hear. Look for blood or clear fluid (or a mixture of both) coming from either ear. These may be signs of damage inside skull.
3. Examine both eyes, noting if they are open, the size of the pupils, whether they are equal in size, and whether they react to light (each pupil should shrink when light falls on it). Look for any foreign body, blood, or bruising in the whites of the eyes.
4. Check the nose for the same signs as in the ears. Look for blood or clear fluid (or mixture of both) coming from either nostril. Any of these might indicate damage inside the skull.
5. Record the rate, depth, and nature (easy or difficult, noisy or quiet) of breathing. note any odor on the breath. Look and feel inside the mouth for anything that might endanger the airway. If dentures are intact and fit firmly, leave them in place. Look for any wound in the mouth or irregularity in the line of the teeth. examine the lips for burns.
6. Note the colour, temperature, and state of the skin: is it pale, flushed or grey-blue (cyanosis); is it hot or cold, dry or damp? For example, pale, cold, sweaty skin suggests heatstroke or fever. A blue tinge indicates lack of oxygen; look for this especially in the lips, ears and face.
7.Loosen clothing around the neck, and look for any warning medallion, or hole in the windpipe left by a surgical operation. Run your fingers gently along the spine from the base of the skull downwards as far as possible, without disturbing the casualty's position, checking for irregularity, swelling or tenderness.
8. ask the casualty to breathe deeply, and note whether the chest expands evenly, easily, and equally on the two sides. Gently feel the ribcage for any deformity, irregularity, tenderness, or a grating sensation on breathing. Observe whether breathing causes the casualty any pain or discomfort. Look for signs of bleeding from any wounds.
9. Gently feel along both the collar bones and the shoulders for any deformity, irregularity or tenderness.
10. Check the movements of elbows, wrists, and fingers by asking the casualty to bend and straighten the arm at the joints. Check that the casualty can feel normally with her fingers and there are no abnormal sensations in the limbs. Note the colour in the fingers, whether they are pale or grey-blue, as this indicates a problem with the circulation. Look for any needle marks on the forearms, or a warning bracelet. take the pulse at the wrist.
11. If there is any signs of impairment of movement or loss of sensation in the limbs, do not move the casualty to examine the spine. Otherwise, gently pass your hand under the hollow of the back and feel along the spine without disturbing the casualty, checking for swelling and tenderness.
12. Gently feel the front of the abdomen for evidence of bleeding, and to identify any rigidity or tenderness of the muscular wall.
13. Feel both sides of the hips, and gently move the pelvis to look for signs of fracture. note any incontinence or bleeding from orifice.
14. Ask the casualty to raise each leg in turn, and to move her ankles and knees. Look and feel for bleeding, swelling, deformity or tenderness.
15. Check movement and feeling in all the toes. Look at their colour: grey-blue skin may indicate a circulatory disorder or cold injury.