During the Respond Right & Respond Right Instructor programs the initial approach & evaluation of any scene requires an assessment, looking for potential hazards & how to respond to them.
This scene assessment is described on the Respond Right evaluation criteria with the abbreviation DRS: Dangers, Response, SEND FOR HELP!
Danger/Response can of course pertain to the physical dangers facing a patient, e.g. serious bleeding is a very urgent danger & the correct response is of course to apply direct pressure to help stop it. It also relates to the environmental factors involved in any efforts to attempt first aid &/or a rescue & the judgement call that has to be made of, can I remove the danger from the victim or do I have to remove the victim from the danger?
In this episode of the GPS bloagapalooza I’d like to cover some of the reasons you may consider moving a victim before giving first aid in extreme emergency.
FIRE – In instances of fire, as with most extreme dangers, the rescuers safety must take precedence & the question must be asked: Can I manage this fire with the previsions available to me or must I attempt to remove the victim form the fire zone?
FLOOD – When looking at water as a potential danger, other aspect of the scenario should be taken into account; is the water acting as a conductor for an electrical source, creating another potential F, FUSE. Is the victim in danger of slipping from a river bed? Or the scenario most pertinent to use as divers during the Diver Stress & Rescue program; is the victim in the water? We can remove the victim or other potential dangers with the scenario for conduction, remove the victim or secure the area surrounding them at the river side, but we only really have one option when dealing with the scenario of being in the water, the victim has to moved, as we quiet clearly can’t remove an ocean!
FALLING – Just as with the river bad example, falling from a ledge is an immediate danger to the rescuer & victim, as is the risk of falling object on both parties. A full check of the scene is imperative to whether the choice is made, to treat or to move.
FACEDOWN – The treatment of a conscious, breathing victim when facedown can be a relatively simple decision of whether to move them or not: do you suspect spinal injuries & can any injury be treated in that position? If yes to either of those question, treat in position found. If the victim is discovered facedown, unconscious & not breathing, the game changes. I have to be able to gain an airway & may have the possibility of having to begin resuscitation, neither of which can be successfully achieved while the victim is facedown. It’s time to roll the victim & the more people I can get to assist in this, the better.
There are of course no black & white answers when it comes to providing care; each of the above scenarios could have five answers for each variable added.
These are of course just four F’s that can be applied but whatever additional F’s can be added, the principles remain the same.
Can you think of any more F’s for the DRS?