Once you are required to perform first aid measures to an individual having a medical emergency, it is vital to gather as much information as part of a first aid assessment so that it can relayed to the healthcare professionals. This is essential so that they can provide appropriate medical care.
First aid assessment
When performing a primary assessment, you have to determine if there are life-threatening conditions such as ensuring that the individual has an open airway, breathing and has a pulse. It is also important to check if there is major bleeding as well as any injuries to the neck, head or back. Always remember that any of these conditions must be treated right away or it can lead to complications or even death.
Once you are certain that there are no life-threatening conditions present, it is time to move on to the secondary assessment. During the second assessment, you have to gather information regarding the condition of the individual in order to provide it to the healthcare professionals. If the individual is conscious, you have to talk to him/her and ask questions regarding his/her condition and what lead to the current state. You should also check for secondary or non-life threatening conditions such as broken bones, small cuts or abrasions, injured joints and even minor burns.
Important points to consider during the assessment
- Signs and symptoms – this pertains to the current condition of the individual. It is important to determine what is wrong and the appropriate treatment to provide.
- Medications – ask about any medications that are currently taken by the individual as well as those that are prescribed.
- Allergies – it is important to figure out if the individual is suffering from any allergies that could have triggered the current condition. Do not forget to verify if there are treatments that can be provided that will not worsen the condition.
- Last oral intake – ask the time the individual last drank or ate. This is important since there is a possibility that it might cause the current condition. It can also affect treatment options such as a non-emergency surgery that can be delayed.
- Past medical history – this information can help determine if past diseases have led to the current condition. Always remember that the information must be kept confidential and only shared to the medical team.
- Events that led to the condition – take note that what the individual was doing might have led to the condition he/she is currently in. It is vital to determine why the individual is experiencing the symptoms so that the appropriate treatment can be provided.
Once the emergency team arrives, readily provide all the vital information. The information that you will provide is useful so that advance medical care can be provided. Even though every emergency is different and needs a distinct type of care, this basic assessment procedure will allow you to provide better first aid care before the medical team arrives.