First of all you have to know that every injury and illness manifests itself in distinctive ways that may help your diagnosis. These indications are divided into two groups; signs and symptoms. Some will be obvious, but others may be missed unless you examine the casualty thoroughly from head to toe. A conscious casualty should be examined, wherever possible, in the position found, or with any obvious injury comfortably supported; and unconscious casualty's airway must first be opened and secured. do not remove clothing unnecessarily and do not leave the casualty exposed to cold conditions any longer than required.
Use your sense-look, listen, feel, and smell. Be quick and alert, but be thorough, and do not make unjustified assumptions. You should handle the casualty gently, but your touch must be firm enough to ensure that you feel any swelling or irregularity or detect a tender spot. ask a conscious casualty to describe any sensations your touch causes.
Symptoms are sensations that the casualty experiences, and may be able to describe, if she is conscious. Ask if she has any abnormal sensation, if there is any pain, where it is felt, what type of pain it is, and how movement affects it. If the pain did not follow any injury, find out how and where it began. Severe pain in one place can mask a more serious, but less painful, injury in another.
Ask if there are any other symptoms such as nausea, giddiness, heat, cold, weakness, or thirst. All symptoms should be assessed and confirmed, wherever appropriate, by an examination for signs of injury or illness.
Signs are details of a casualty's condition that you can see, feel, hear or smell. Many are obvious, but others may be discovered only during a thorough examination by first aider. Assess the casualty's level of response. If he or she is unconscious or unable to speak clearly, you may have to make a diagnosis purely on the circumstances of the incident, information obtained from onlookers, and the signs you find.
Apply you senses
Look for bleeding, discolouration or deformity. Feel the strength and rhythm of the pulse and listen to the breathing.
Gently feel parts of the body that are painful, noting tenderness or variation in the alignment of a bone. Note if the casualty is unable to perform any normal function, such as moving a limb. Use your sense of smell to search for clues.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF INJURY OR ILLNESS
The casualty may tell you
· Pain, anxiety, heat, cold, loss of normal movement
· Loss of sensation, abnormal sensation, thirst, nausea, tingling
· Faintness, stiffness, momentary unconsciousness, weakness
· Memory loss, dizziness, sensation of broken bone
You may see these signs
· Anxiety and painful expression, unusual chest movement, burns
· Sweating, wounds, bleeding from orifices, response to touch
· Swelling, deformity, foreign bodies, needle marks, vomit
· Incontinence, containers and other circumstantial evidence
You may feel this signs
· Dampness, abnormal body temperature, tenderness to touch or pressure, swelling, deformity, irregularity, grating bone ends
You may hear this signs
· Noisy or distressed breathing, groaning, sucking sounds (chest injury), response to touch, response to speech, grating bone(crepitus)
You may smell these signs;
Remember to smell the casualty’s breath
· Acetone, alcohol, burning, gas of fumes, solvents or glue
· Incontinence, cannabis