History, signs and symptoms

By looking at the below this can help you in correctly diagnosing your casualty and administering the correct treatment. 

What happened before you arrived?

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Every question asked is to ascertain the events leading up to your arrival, this helps you diagnose the casualty in order to administer the correct treatment.


Conscious casualty can be asked plenty of questions about what happened however an unconscious casualty cannot give you details but you can look for information from any bystanders.

Below are some examples of questions such as: 

What happened?:

  • Description of what occurred

How did it happen?:

  • Did they fall?

  • Were they hit? By what?

  • Did they faint? 

Where did it happen?:

  • It may not of happened where you are now

Previous medical conditions:

  • Have they had this before?

  • How long ago?

  • How long did it last?

  • Are they on medication for it?

When did they last eat or drink?

  • Useful info for the ambulance

What​ time did it happen?

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What you can hear, see or smell

First Aid - Cyanosis

These are the sensory signs that you are to look for when assessing your casualty such as:

Can you see:

  • any blood or vomit

  • Any disformaty in bone structure

  • Blue face or extremities

  • An item that could be the cause of the injury

  • Any medications on the person

  • Any clues on the person

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  • Agonal gasps

  • Crepitis - broken bones rubbing together

  • Wheezing breaths


  • Blood

  • Vomit

  • Urine

  • Poisons

  • Drugs


What they can tell you about how they are feeling

First Aid - communication

This is what the casualty can tell you about how they are feeling however the art of questioning plays a part here. 

Avoid yes or no questions such as if I were to ask you "did you read this page today?" your answer would be "YES". 

Asked in a different way I would gain more information "What time did you read this page today?" your answer would what ever time you read it. 

This tells me you did read the page plus at what time you read it, giving me two answers instead of one.  

Try basing your questions by starting with the words:

  • Who

  • What

  • Why

  • Where

  • When

  • How

Practice this an you will gain more information quicker than using "did you...." or "have you...." style questions