Initial Assessment and Resuscitation of the Trauma Patient
In the United States, accidental injury is the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 1 and 44. Traumatic injury of all causes is responsible for over 160,000 deaths annually. Over 40 million people will seek medical care because of intentional or accidental trauma this year, accounting for nearly 40% of all emergency department visits in the USA.
The injured patient must be assessed quickly and treatment of life-threatening injuries begun immediately. A systematic approach to this evaluation ensures that the most critical injuries are identified early, and that potentially lethal injuries are not missed. The “ABCDE” primary survey is the most widely accepted initial approach. This strategy also provides a framework for reevaluation if the patient’s condition deteriorates, redirecting the physician back to the start of the algorithm in search of a missed or worsening injury.
Once the primary survey is complete and the patient’s vital signs are normalizing, the secondary survey is begun.
KeywordsGlasgow Coma Scale Chest Tube Cervical Spine Injury Tension Pneumothorax Flail Chest
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