Faculty & Staff Publications - Public Safety

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Paramedics routinely rely upon two assessment and treatment algorithms, known as the primary survey and the secondary survey to guide their care. Despite their ubiquity, there is no international consensus for the assessments and interventions that are included in, or omitted from, these algorithms.

A Delphi process evaluated Australasian paramedic clinical practice guidelines alongside six other international paramedic CPGs from the United States of America, Ireland, United Kingdom, South Africa, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates in order to identify current assessments and interventions, described in best-practice recommendations for paramedics. The panelists also contributed to concepts they felt were important additions based on their experience as experienced paramedics and paramedic educators.

The resulting amalgamation of concepts identified in each term was then formed into two mnemonics, which sequentially list approximately 100 specific clinical concepts that paramedics routinely consider in their care of patients. We describe these as the "International Paramedic Primary and Secondary Surveys".

The primary and secondary surveys presented in this paper represent an evidence-based guide to best practice in conducting a primary and secondary survey in the context of paramedicine. Findings will be of use to paramedics, paramedic students, and other clinicians working within this diverse clinical field.

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