Importance of Head to Toe Assessment in First Aid

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For many students who are taking first aid classes for the first time, learning about head to toe assessment can be a pain since there are many types of examinations under this category alone. However, its importance should not be overshadowed by its wide scope or its difficulty. Here is a short rundown of the important of conducting head to toe assessment after administering first aid.

It uncovers hidden injuries

Oftentimes, bruises and broken bones are masked by clothing especially if the victim is wearing layers upon layers of clothing. This is because bruises and broken bones usually do not come with obvious signs and symptoms. They can occur without obvious signs of bleeding or torn clothes. Aside from clothes, the hair in the scalp can also hide symptoms of head injuries such as bumps. Performing a head to toe assessment would uncover these hidden injuries since appropriate removal of clothes and palpations are practiced during this type of examination.

Icing the shoulder
Icing the shoulder

Aside from the obvious signs, a head to toe physical assessment can also uncover hidden injuries by triggering the pain receptors in certain areas of the body where there are no obvious signs of trauma.

It enables proper diagnosis

By performing a full head to toe assessment, rescuers can make a full list of the symptoms and injuries that are being experienced by the victim. Relaying this vital information to other healthcare providers would pave the way for better diagnosis since it will allow them to identify the real medical condition that the victim is experiencing. It can also help doctors avoid wrong or incomplete diagnosis.

Why do you need first aid training to perform heat to toe assessment?

Even though head to toe assessments are necessary and important, there are times wherein it should not be performed due to the extent of the victim’s injuries in which performing the assessment would worsen the victim’s condition. Proper decorum should also be practiced by rescuers especially when removing the clothes of the victims to ensure that they do not compromise the integrity and privacy of the victim.

Rescuers should also have basic knowledge in anatomy before performing head to toe assessments to ensure that they can properly document their findings using medical terms that doctors and other healthcare professionals can understand. First aid classes cover all of these topics and so much more. This is why rescuers should avoid performing head to toe assessments until they receive first aid training.

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