Trauma: as easy as ABC?
It was my first weekend in the emergency department and I had been allocated to the resuscitation bay. In preparation for my post I had completed the advanced trauma life support (ATLS) course and felt I had an idea of what to expect.
The night before my shift began I looked over the ATLS manual. The algorithm for primary assessment of a trauma patient was clear: A is for airway, B is for breathing, C is for circulation, D is for disability, and E is for exposure/environment.
They are prioritised in this order as this is the order in which a fault causes death. As I went to sleep that night I reminded myself of what we had been taught on the course: “Trauma is as easy as ABC.”
At noon the next day we received a call from the ambulance service: an unidentified man had been involved in a