How to assess a casualty

If you think someone needs your help, before you do anything you need to check the situation is safe and assess what’s wrong with them. These checks are broken into two stages – called The Primary and Secondary Survey:




First, you need to look and see if they have any injuries or conditions that could be immediately life-threatening, and deal with these as quickly as possible. To do this, the letters DR. ABC will help you to remember to check for Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing and Circulation.




If you manage to deal with anything life-threatening successfully, or there is nothing life-threatening to deal with, then you can assess someone in more detail for any other injuries or conditions.

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