Initial assessment

The initial approach remains SABCDE. All patients with head injury and a GCS less than 15 should have full cervical spine immobilisation.

Having run through the ABC components of the primary survey as described previously, “D”, (neurological disability) assessment, is performed using “ACVPU”.

  • A = alert
  • C  = confused
  • V = responds to vocal stimulus
  • P = responds to pressure stimulus
  • U = unresponsive

NB in order to score “A” for alert, the player needs to be orientated in time, place and person. If this cannot be demonstrated, they score a “C” for is awake but responds to vocal stimulus with a confused response. The assessment of pupils is not typically done on the pitch.