Secondary Survey – "LOCPRESS"

The information posted in this blog about the secondary survey when doing First Aid is meant for information purposes only. To receive hands on training and learn the correct methods of doing the secondary survey and how to use “LOCPRESS”, please take first aid and CPR courses with Vancouver First Aid.

“LOCPRESS” is an acronym used after the primary survey, history check and the head-to-toe have been completed in order to receive more information about the victims condition and to uncover any new injuries or conditions. During this portion fo the secondary survey, the rescuer(s) will monitor the vital signs of the victim periodically (every 5 to 10 minutes) while treating any discovered injuries.  Rescuers will be on alret for sounds, odours, colores, rates and rhythms and temperature shifts. The five vital signs that rescuers will be monitoring is level of consciousness, breathing, pulse, skin temperature, and pupils. A good method of remembering the vitals to monitor is by using an acronym called “LOCPRESS”.   “LOCPRESS” stands for:

  • LOC – Level of Consciousness
  • P – Pulse
  • R – Respiration
  • E – Eyes
  • S – Skin Color
  • S – Skin Temperature

For for level of consciousness (LOC), the rescuer(s) generally have three options to classify the victim into: conscious, semi-conscious, or unconscious.

The pulse is the heartbeat. It can be detected in several places throughout the body, including carotid artery (used manly on adults and children) and the Brachial (used primarly on infants). The Brachial Radialis, found on the wrist is a very good non-intrusive method of checking the victims pulse. When checking the pulse rescuers should check for the Rate, Rhythm, Strenght or quality. The normal rate is between 60 to 100 beats per second. The rhythm can be divided into regular or irregular. Finally, the strength or quality can be either strong and full or weak and thin.

The Respiration is the breathing of the victim. The regular number of breaths for an adult is between 12 and 20 per minute for an adult, 12 -30 for a child and 20 – 30 for an infant. The Rhytm can be fast or slow and regular or irregular. The depth of the breaths can also be monitored and classified into deep or shallow. The sounds of the breaths can be monitored and checked for wheezing, rasping, gurgling and signs of pain.

When monitoring the victims eyes, the rescuer(s) will be checking the victims pupils. The pupils should be equal and reactive to light. They can also vary in size bewteen large or small.

Finally, the rescuer(s) can monitor the skin. The skin can be normal, warm-hot or cool-cold. The moisture content can also be recorded as it can be wet-clammy, profuse sweating, dry or normal. Finally the skin color can be monitored and classified as pale or ashen (white-grey), red-flushed or normal.

If you have any questions or comments regarding “LOCPRESS” and how it apply’s to the secondary survey please post a comment. If you want to receive hands on training, receive more information and become certified with a nationally accredited Red Cross or Lifesaving Society award,  then register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid Ltd.

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