How to do the Primary Survey – First Aid Training – St John Ambulance


In this video we will teach you what to
do if you’ve found someone collapsed. The initial assessment is called a primary
survey. This is a quick, orderly assessment to
establish how best to treat our casualty in order of priority. We can use the initials DR. ABC or DRABC to remind us of the steps we need to follow. These initials stand for Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing and Circulation. So, when I see a casualty, first I’m going to check for any danger, to make sure it’s safe for me to approach them. I don’t want to become a casualty myself. Then I’m going to see if I can get any response from the casualty. As you approach, introduce yourself. Ask them questions to try to get a response. If they are not alert and do not respond to your voice, kneel down beside them and gently shake their shoulders ‘Hello Amy, it’s Winston, can you hear me?
Open your eyes.’ Still no response? You can pinch their ear lobe to see if they respond to pain. Depending on how the casualty responds to you will stablish a level of response. We use the AVPU scale and each letter can represent the casualty’s level of response. A – Alert, V- response to voice, P – response to pain and U – is the casualty unresponsive to any stimuli. If there’s still no response they are unresponsive and we need to check their airway. If the casualty is alert and speaking to you, you know that there is no problem with the airway. It is clear. If the casualty is unresponsive, open their airway by putting one hand on the forehead and gently tilting the head back with two fingers under the chin. Now we need to check to see if they are breathing normally. We do this by placing our ear and cheek over their nose and mouth, looking down the body to see if their chest rises and falls. We do this for 10 seconds. If the casualty is not breathing normally call for help. Ask them to call 999/112 for emergency help and bring an AED. If you are alone, call for emergency help using a mobile on speaker phone and begin CPR with chest compressions. The casualty is breathing normally, so I’m going to check their circulation. Are there any signs of severe bleeding? Look and check down the body. If you find severe bleeding, try to control the bleeding to prevent life-threatening shock. Call 999/112 for emergency help before continuing to treat the casualty. You may also need to treat them for shock. I’ve established that my casualty is not bleeding. So remember to do a primary survey:
Follow the order DR ABC. Complete each step, in that order, as quickly as possible, dealing with any life-threatening conditions as you find them. Call for emergency help – call 999/112. And that’s how we perform a primary survey. If this video has been helpful to you,
help support St John Ambulance by going to sja.org.uk/donate

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