Performing a Casualty Assessment in the Army

Topics: Pneumothorax, Heart sounds, Auscultation Pages: 12 (2042 words) Published: February 13, 2011
Perform a Casualty Assessment

 On the battlefield, rapid systematic assessment of a casualty increases the likelihood that life threatening injuries are identified and prioritized.  If life threatening injuries are identified during the assessment, life saving treatment and interventions can be initiated immediately.  As a review the A-B-C’s are the first step in an initial assessment.  This handout outlines assessment techniques and reassessment interventions and how to perform a casualty assessment in a combat environment. Determine threats in the area near the casualty

                        The medic situational assessment differs from the civilian scene size-up in that it centers around an awareness of the tactical situation and current hostilities in order to safely and effectively render care  *Examining the battlefield and determining zones of fire during engagement (1)        Determine routes of access to the casualty and egress with the casualty to ensure safety (2)        Casualties will occur over time, thus, changing the demands on your services and resources  

Consider care under fire
(1)        Anticipate the care you will offer at the casualty’s side and what effect the care being given will have on drawing fire such as movement, noise or light (2)        Determine what care is best offered at the casualty’s side and what is best given after movement to safety (3)        Do not offer extensive assessment and care until you can move the casualty to cover or at least concealment  

*As you enter a fire zone, recognize hazards, seek cover and concealment, and carefully scan the area for potential danger (1)        Survey the area for small arms fire
(2)        Detect area for fire or explosive devices
(3)        Determine threat for chemical or biological agents (4)        Survey building(s) structure for stability  
Remove casualty to safe area if necessary prior to assessment or treatment

(1)        Getting the casualty to cover (or concealment) may entail moving the casualty. Tell the casualty to move as quickly as possible to cover while maintaining a low profile. If the casualty is unable to move, the medic may need to assist the casualty using manual evacuation. The risk in moving the casualty is further injuries, but the benefit of protection outweighs the risk (a)               In most cases the medic should never hesitate to move a casualty who is exposed to fire, however, each situation is different. You must evaluate the pros and cons of movement.  If the casualty is not currently receiving fire and a C-spine injury is likely, you may elect to delay movement until it can be done safely. (b)        Ideally, choose a technique that is least likely to aggravate the casualty’s injuries (2)        Request assistance: You should request assistance in movement and treatment prior to attempting to move casualty. (a)        Direct Combat Life Savers (CLS) to provide treatment. CLS' will be utilized and directed by medical personnel once hostilities have ceased. (b)        Assign individuals to perform self aid or buddy aid as needed (3)        Request covering fire to reduce the risk to you and the casualty during movement to and from the casualty’s location (4)        Be sure that the location you are moving to will provide optimum cover and concealment.  Plan you evacuation route prior to exposing yourself to hostile fire. (5)        Consider a NBC environment

Determine mechanism of injury

(1)        Determine how the injury occurred
(a)        Burns
(b)        Ballistic, etc.
(c)        Falls
(d)        NBC

(2)        Determine number of casualties: Request addition help, if available (this information can be obtained from situational reports and evacuation requests) (a)        The number of casualties determines how and where you will treat (i)         Consider care of casualties under fire

(ii)        Consider a mass casualty situation
(b)        Manage...
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