Emergency Scene Management: Steps to Managing First Aid

In ever medical emergency, the priority of emergency scene management is to ensure the safety of both rescuer and victim and give appropriate first aid. There are four steps to emergency scene management: (1) scene survey (2) primary survey (3) secondary survey and (4) on going casualty care.

Emergency Scene Management: Scene Survey

The steps given do not necessarily have to be in chronological order, however, in most scenarios, this is what is done. Take control of the emergency situation. The victim should not be moved if suspected to have neck and/ or spinal injuries. Give support to the head, neck, and spine

  • Assess the scene.
    • Check for hazards. If danger is present, move the victim to a safer location. If there is no danger in the immediate surroundings, there is no need to move the victim.
  • Check for response.
    • Tap the shoulder and yell “are you ok?”
    • Attract bystanders by calling for help.
  • Do not leave the victim alone.
    • Assess the accident.
    • Check for number of casualties and mechanism of injury.
  • Wear protective gear if possible.
  • Identify yourself as a first aider. Obtain consent before giving out first out.

Emergency Scene Management: Primary Survey

Assess the casualty for life-threatening scenarios. It is during the primary emergency when the priorities of first aid are checked. These must be checked in this chronological order:

  • Circulation
    • Check for pulse by placing two fingers on the groove of the neck.
    • If no pulse, initiate CPR.
  • Airway
    • Ask “what happened?” and the wellness of answer will determine if there is obstruction in the airway.
  • Breathing
    • Place cheek on victim’s nose and mouth and feel for air. Watch for rise and fall of chest.
    • If breathing is present, put in recovery position.
  • Deadly bleeding
    • Find entry/ exit wounds or pool of blood.
  • Emergency medical tags
    • Find bracelets or anklets as they may provide supplementary information on mechanism of injury

*In cases of more than one victim, primary survey should be performed on both.

Emergency Scene Management: Secondary Survey

In emergency scene management, the secondary is not always Emergency Scene Managementnecessary especially if the emergency medical assistance has arrived. However, if there is a delay in the paramedics or pain is present in more than one region, secondary survey must be performed in the following order:

  • Find out the history of the victim (SAMPLE)
    • Symptoms
    • Allergies
    • Medication
    • Past and present medical history
    • Last meal
    • Events leading to the incident
  • Check and monitor vital signs
  • Perform a head-to-toe examination
  • Perform first aid for non-life threatening conditions

Emergency Scene Management: Ongoing Casualty Care

It is necessary for the victim to maintain in the best possible condition after first aid has been administered.

  • Maintain support of head/ neck/ spine
  • Administer first aid for shock.
  • Do not leave victim alone.
  • When paramedics arrive, give all known information.

The instructions mentioned above are strictly for learning purposes. First aid and CPR courses are offered by various institutions and organizations. In these courses, it will be taught that in a medical emergency, it is always necessary to perform emergency scene management in order to preserve what is best for the victim and rescuer.


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