Fifteen-minute consultation: A guide to the paediatric primary survey

Karl Kavanagh , Stephen Mullen, Charlotte Sloane, Ben Watson, Thomas Waterfield, Nuala Quinn

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It’s 21:00 and you receive a stand-by call from the local ambulance service. Peter, a 9-year-old boy, was riding an electric scooter and has collided with a car. He has reduced consciousness, signs of shock and is hypoxic. How will you prepare your team? What are the possible injuries? Who will perform the primary survey? Injury is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the paediatric population accounting for approximately half of all attendances to paediatric emergency departments in the UK and Ireland. Major trauma can be distressing for patients, parents and physicians. Managing major trauma is challenging and it is vital to have a clear and organised approach. In this 15-minute guide we describe a structured approach to the primary survey that includes how to prepare before the child’s arrival, the suggested roles of team members and the key components of the primary survey. We discuss life-threatening injuries, the life-saving bundle and the principles of resuscitation, and the role of imaging in the initial assessment of the injured child.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood: Education and Practice Edition
Early online date17 May 2022
Publication statusEarly online date - 17 May 2022


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