Monitoring signs of life

It is important that throughout the treatment of a casualty, the first aider monitors and records the casualty’s signs of life.  Remember, if NO signs of life are present, the casualty would be:

  • Unconscious
  • Unresponsive
  • Not purposely moving.
  • Not breathing regularly

The Casualty’s Breathing: 

  • Is it fast or slow?
  • Is it regular or irregular?
  • Is it deep or shallow?

Is it noisy, wheezing or gurgling? 

  • Is it laboured?
  • How many breaths per minute?

The Casualty’s Skin: 

  • Is it pink, blue or pale?
  • Is it warm or cold?
  • Is it dry or moist?

Signs of life should be monitored continuously and if possible, recorded every 5 – 10 minutes (more often after successful CPR or defibrillation). This information should then be passed on to the Ambulance officer or qualified personnel, such as a doctor, when they arrive on scene.