Decisions about assessment and care are typically made within the first few seconds of observing the patient.
Initial Assessment Includes: Form a general impression Identify life-threatening injuries; provide immediate interventions as necessary Assess mental status Assess the airway Assess breathing Assess circulation Make an initial transport decision
General Impression of the Patient Sick or Not Sick
General impression: The EMS provider’s immediate assessment of the environment and the patient’s chief complaint.
The process of forming a general impression takes a few seconds.
Determine if the patient has a medical condition......or an injury.
Nature of illness: The patient’s description of the chief complaint; or why EMS was called.
Mechanism of injury: The event or forces that caused the patient’s injury.
If a life-threatening condition is identified… …it must be corrected immediately!
TRANSPORTEDIMMEDIATELY! If available, request ALS Priority patients should be
Transport Rapidly Poor general impression Unresponsive with no gag reflex or cough Responsive but unable to follow commands Difficulty breathing Signs and symptoms of hypoperfusion
Transport Rapidly continued Complicated childbirth Chest pain with a BP less than 100 systolic Uncontrolled bleeding Severe pain
SUMMARY General Impression General Impression Assessing the Patient’s Mental Status Assessing the Patient’s Mental Status Assessing the Patient’s Airway Status Assessing the Patient’s Airway Status Assessing the Patient’s Breathing Assessing the Patient’s Breathing Assessing the Patient’s Circulation Assessing the Patient’s Circulation Identifying Priority Patients Identifying Priority Patients