Since the first ATLS® course in , the concept has matured, has been disseminated around the world and has become the. Filed Under: Emergency Medicine, Trauma Tagged With: ABCDE approach, atls, emergency, initial assessment and management, primary. In many countries, Advanced Trauma Life Support(R) (ATLS) is the the primary survey, the mnemonic ABCDE is used to remember the order.

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Your trauma patient from Trauma Tribulation has arrived… A trauma call was activated and the team assembled. The patient was transferred onto a bed in the trauma bay, and removed from a spinal board used fro transfer. Handover and vital signs are being obtained as the trauma team get to work. Intubation may also be advisable prior to invasive procedures e.

Patients that require urgent, but not emergent intubation e. Major trauma patients should be suspected of having cervical spine injuries. Until the cervical spine is cleared, spinal precautions should be employed.

What does assessment and management of circulation with haemorrhage control involve? These findings suggest life-threatening injuries to the neck or thorax e.

Advanced Trauma Life Support®. ABCDE from a radiological point of view

The secondary survey is carried out after the primary survey and immediate management of potential life threats in a stable patient to identify the presence of other injuries missed in the focused primary survey. What are the key aspects of history required for assessment of trauma patients and how can they be obtained? This may occur on multiple occasions over the days following injury. In a trauma center, major trauma patients are usually admitted under the Trauma Surgery team.

Major atl patients, particularly in a country as large as Australia, are often first assessed and managed in smaller centres. The transfer process should be commenced as soon as it becomes clear that injuries are beyond facilities capabilities. To optimize the care of major trauma patients in non-trauma centers systems should be in place locally to make the transfer process as quick and easy for the referring hospital. A dedicated member of staff may need to concentrate on the transfer process while others continue to assess and manage the patient.

This teaching video shows the stages of initial trauma assessment in an OSCE style format. The video is useful for demonstrating a traditional, comprehensive systematic approach. Note that in reality, many of abcdde steps will occur simultaneously and be performed by multiple different team members.


Some of the examinations performed such as chest percussion are not particularly useful are are rarely performed in practice. He has a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.

After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He agls since completed further training in emergency medicine, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology and health professional education.

He created the abcfe Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. His one great achievement is being the father of two amazing children. Abcdde Twitter, he is precordialthump. Your email address will atsl be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Initial Assessment and Management. What are the 5 key components of the primary survey in major trauma? Airway maintenance with cervical spine protection Breathing and ventilation Circulation with hemorrhage control Disability neurological status Exposure and environmental control completely undress the patient but avoid hypothermia.

Talk to the patient. After any intervention, return to the start of the primary survey.

Airway assessment and maintenance: Ensure patency and consider if airway protection is required. Escalate from simple to advanced techniques as required.

Employ simple airway maneuvers — jaw thrust and chin lift. Head tilt inappropriate with cervical spine control.

Use airway adjuncts — oropharyngeal airway usually only a temporizing measure if tolerated as usually requires definitive airway. Nasopharyngeal airways are inappropriate in head and facial trauma due to risk of intracranial passage.

Respiratory insufficiency due to a large pulmonary contusion, flail chest, or other thoracic injury. To learn more about airway management, check out the videos at Own the Airway! Control cervical spine with a hard collar, sandbags and tape Easy access to airway may mandate manual cervical spine immobilization by a third party until airway control is achieved.

ME — Another reason to be skeptical about collars Resus. ME — Cervical spine guideline Resus. ME — Neck movement in spite of collar. Assessment Respiratory rate and SpO2 Exposure and inspection essential: Percussion — often difficult in a noisy trauma bay Auscultation — listening for air entry bilaterally, gauge adequacy and assess for added sounds Trachea — palpate to see if deviated, although true tracheal deviation due to a tension pneumothorax is pre-terminal and it is unlikely to be the only sign May be appropriate to log roll at this stage if concerned about a posterior chest injury.


ABCDE Approach to Emergency Management

Assessment Pulse rate, blood pressure, capillary refill and the warmth of peripheries Systematically look for evidence of bleeding. The 6 key areas are: Insert 2 large bore at least 16 gauge intravenous cannulae, ideally in the antecubital fossae. If this cannot be rapidly achieved obtain intraosseous access see intraosseous access.

Venous blood gas is useful for rapid determination of lactate and initial hemoglobin. Others tests include full blood count, urea and electrolytes, creatinine, glucose, coagulation profile and lipase. These rarely alter initial management. Change to blood if remains haemodynamically abcfe after 2 L of crystalloid, or earlier if obvious signs of major bleeding. This approach is being superseded by the concept of damage control resuscitation. Exposure and environmental control: While maintaining thermostasis, completely expose the patient If not yet done, consider log-rolling the patient now Areas where potentially life threating injuries can be missed are: Tracheal deviation Wounds External markings Laryngeal disruption Venous distention Emphysema surgical.

Head, face, eyes, ears, nose and throat — carefully check the scalp and the oral cavity Neck Chest Abdomen Pelvis The back Extremities All wounds. Around the time of the secondary survey clarification of the history is important to ensure that no injuries, or relevant comorbidities, are missed. Efforts to further assess or stabilise the patient should not delay transfer. Journal Articles and Textbooks Fildes J, et al. Legome E, Shockley LW. Concepts and Clinical Practice 7th editionMosby Part 1 — Evaluation and Part 2 — Interventions.

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