Secondary Survey

A player with a time critical illness or injury should never be detained in the pre hospital setting in order to perform a secondary assessment if transport to the appropriate hospital is available.

Proceed only to the secondary survey when:

  • Primary survey with appropriate resuscitation completed
  • ABCDE have been reassessed
  • Vital signs are normalising

A full secondary survey includes obtaining a full history of the incident, the players past medical history and a systematic head to toe examination of the patient designed to detect all of the player’s injuries. A rapid pre hospital head to toe examination involves palpating for areas of pain, deformity, haematomas, and evidence of blood loss, vascular and neurological compromise.

The secondary survey history allows for documentation of the mechanism of injury, signs and symptoms, details of the player’s past and current medical history, current medications, allergies and when the player last ate or drank. A useful mnemonic for this is SAMPLE:

  • S: Signs and symptoms
  • A: Allergies
  • M: Medications
  • P: Past medical history
  • L: Last meal and drink
  • E: Events and environment of the injury/illness

The recording of this information can be facilitated by the medical team having pre prepared documentation including the players personal details, contact details including a next of kin and the AMP parts of SAMPLE history already completed, allowing for the last parts just to be added.