Advanced Life Support (ALS) Level 3 (VTQ)

117 videos, 6 hours and 42 minutes

Course Content

Primary Survey

Video 7 of 117
4 min 15 sec
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The Primary Survey in Patient Assessment


Discover the crucial steps of the primary survey in patient assessment, a fundamental process employed consistently in healthcare.

The Primary Survey Components

  • D for Danger: The initial assessment begins with evaluating the scene for potential dangers.
  • R for Response: Assess the patient's level of consciousness by asking, "Are you okay?"
  • CABCDE Mnemonic: Follow the mnemonic CABCDE for systematic evaluation:
    • C for Catastrophic Bleeding: Identify and address rapid, life-threatening bleeding.
    • A for Airway: Ensure the airway is clear to maintain breathing.
    • B for Breathing: Assess respiratory rate, lung function, oxygen levels, and signs of cyanosis.
    • C for Circulation: Check the patient's colour, pulse, blood pressure, and assess for bleeding or abnormalities in cavities.
    • D for Dysfunction: Evaluate pupils, blood sugar levels, level of consciousness (using the AVPU scale), and temperature.
    • E for Expose and Examine: Thoroughly examine the patient for rashes, oedema, bruises, haemorrhage, or other indications of their condition.

Identifying Life-Threatening Conditions

The primary survey is swift, taking only a few seconds, and aims to identify and address life-threatening issues promptly. Complications discovered during this survey take precedence as they pose the greatest risk to the patient's survival.

Upon completing the primary survey without identifying life-threatening conditions, further investigations and assessments can be conducted.