Injuries Interfering with Vital Physiological Functions

ABCDE's of the Primary Survey
Airway and Arterial Bleeding
  • Is the patient having difficulty breathing?
  • Are there mandibular fractures interfering with the airway?
  • Has a bite wound disrupted the larynx or trachea?
  • Is subcutaneous emphysema present?
  • Is there evidence of arterial hemorrhage?
  • Is the patient in respiratory distress?
  • What is the color of the mucous membranes?
  • Does the respiratory distress worsen with positional changes?
  • Is there evidence of thoracic penetration or a flail chest?
  • Are the peripheral veins distended?
  • Is there evidence of a neurological injury?
  • What is the motor posture of the animal?
  • Is the animal bright, alert and responsive?
  • Does the animal respond to painful stimuli?
  • Are the pupils dilated, constricted, of equal size, and responsive to light?
  • Is there an extremity fracture that might threaten a peripheral nerve?
  • Are there lacerations?
  • Is there bruising and is the bruising getting worse?
  • Are there multiple fractures?
  • Is the abdomen painful?
  • Is there evidence of debilitation or concurrent disease?

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