Keep Checking – How to act in an Emergency Scene
If your patient doesn’t have any life-threatening injuries, you should check the ABCs and vital signs every fifteen minutes. This will enable you to make sure the patient is stable. Industry-standard protocol is to keep checking until care is transferred to EMS or other official medical provider. It’s important to track any changes in the injured person’s status. This is especially true if you suspect the patient has internal injuries such as bleeding, since the body will continue to react to those injuries and you may have to take further steps to stabilize the patient. However, should a person simply have a bruised elbow, it’s easy enough to ask how he is feeling a few times per hour or until the initial onset of pain and swelling subsides. Let common sense prevail.
For patients with more substantial injuries such as fractured limbs, burns, or breathing problems due to wounds to the thoracic cavity, reassess every five minutes until additional help arrives.