Trauma Primary Survey

So in this episode we’re going to run though the primary survey in trauma. This clinical assessment helps us identify and treat life threatening injuries and to rapidly intervene and correct them, so getting it right really matter1. 

How this is done is hugely dependant upon the setting (either pre or in-hospital) as it is affected by the access to the patient, the number of people there to contribute to care and the challenges that the scene or hospital environment might hold.

We run through a model of primary survey that looks to gain as much information as possible in a rapid and effective pattern and discuss the slightly different approaches we all take, along with  rationale behind them.

Finally we cover the communication of the primary survey to the team, strategies that we can undertake to achieve this and how this can affect the momentum and onwards care of the patient. 

We found this a really useful topic to consider in some depth and we hope it’s of use to you too!

Once again we’d love to hear any comments or questions either via the website or social media.


Simon, Rob & James

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LITFL; Initial Trauma Assessment
Trauma Primary Survey. Planas. Stats Pearls. 2022
Prehospital accuracy of (H)EMS pelvic ring injury assessment and the application of non-invasive pelvic binder devices. Mota. Injury. 2023
Diagnostic accuracy of clinical examination to identify life- and limb-threatening injuries in trauma patients. Wohlgemut. SJTREM. 2023
Straight leg elevation to rule out pelvic injury. Caroline Bolt. Injury. 2018


  • w.farrow99 says:

    Hi there,
    just found this Podcast and love it.
    Is there a way that I can show hours of education on the certificate so I can use it for my record of education.
    (I’m an RN in New Zealand)

  • zoelboswell says:

    Love this! Especially the emphasis on don’t #%^k around trying to secondary survey, bit sick pt requires stabilising/treating what will kill them and rapid transport to the proper grown ups in hospital!

    Thank you! X

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