Primary Survey DRABC

Primary survey

Having conducted a scene survey and established that the immediate area is safe from any dangers, you can now approach the casualty. When approaching the casualty, an initial assessment should be conducted; this initial assessment is called a primary survey. The primary survey is a systematic process of approaching, identifying and dealing with immediate and or life – threatening conditions.

The primary survey can be remembered by the acronym DRSABC (or the easy way to remember, Doctor ABCD)

D = Danger – Prior to approaching the causality, ensure the safety of the casualty, yourself and any bystanders

R = Response – If possible, approach the casuality from their feet as this prevents hyperextension of the neckfrom a responsive casualty. Use the AVPU scale when checking for a response

A ALERT – Are they moving /talking – NO– proceed to V

V Voice – Do they respond to speech? – NO – proceed to P

P Place/Pain – Place your hand on their shoulder and gently shake them asking “ Are you alright ? “ or pinch their earlobe to see if they react to pain, if NO response then proceed to U.

U Unresponsive – Assume the casuality is unresponsive.

Shout- If you are your own do not leave the casuality at this stage

Airway- Open the airway. Place the casualty on their back. Open the airway using the Head/tilt/chin-lift method. (Place your hand on their forehead and gently tilt back the head; with your fingertips under the point of the casualitys chin, lift the chin to open the airway).

Breathing – After opening the airway ; look, listen and feel for normal breathing for no more than 10 seconds

Call 999/Circulation – Call an ambulance (999/112) Ask a helper to call, otherwise call yourself. Stay with the casuality when making the call if possible, and activate speaker function on the phone to aid communication with the ambulance service.

Send someone to get an AED if available. If your on your own do not leave the casualty; start CPR

Casualty not breathing – Commence CPR. ((30 compressions 2 breaths). Depth of compression 5-6cm at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute

Defibrilation- If an AED arrives, switch it on and follow the spoken or visual prompts. An AED is used in conjunction with CPR

Watch this video by St John’s Ambulance