First Aid Refresher – Secondary Survey

Head to Toe Check

This is a systematic examination of the patient, looking for evidence of injuries. Generally, follows a ‘look, listen, feel’ approach. Remember that everyone has a top, a bottom, two sides, a front, and a back. Injuries can also hide in corners.

REMEMBER!!! Wear gloves and check at each stage for blood on your hands, otherwise you will get to the toes and not realise where the blood is coming from!

 

Head

  • Wounds – bruising/bleeding
  • CSF leaks from ears or nose
  • Panda eyes/Battle’s sign
  • Pupils
  • Colour
  • Noisy breathing
  • Depressed/soft areas of skull

Neck

  • Wounds
  • Swelling
  • Symmetrical expansion
  • Wounds/bruising
  • Deformity
  • Paradoxical movement
  • Breath sounds, rate, depth
  • Tenderness

REMEMBER – Check for medical alert tags – necklace or bracelet!!!

Jane-Rawlings---M

Abdomen

  • Bruising/wounds
  • Distension
  • Bowel sounds
  • Tenderness
  • Rigidity/guarding

Pelvis

  • Bruising/deformity
  • DO NOT PRESS ON OR ROCK THE PELVIS

Back

  • Wounds/bruising
  • Tenderness Arms and Legs
  • Wounds
  • Deformity
  • Movement
  • Tenderness
  • Pulses
  • Sensation