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Secondary Survey

Secondary Survey - SAMPLE

Posted by Jo O'Donovan   |   18 Mar

Secondary Survey

After you have completed the Primary Survey and you have dealt with any life-threatening conditions then you, as a first aider need to complete the Secondary Survey. This is the systematic way of dealing with any first aid incident and gives a method of prioritising urgent treatment then thoroughly assessing the casualty.

Examine the casualty head to toe, checking for other injuries or illness in a methodical manner – ask permission and where possible wear gloves. Leave the casualty in the position that you found them in until it is safe to move them into a more suitable position.

History – Ask the casualty or any bystanders questions to find out what has happened:

What happened?

What is the casualties medical history?

Does the casualty have allergies?

What medications does the casualty take?

When did they last eat?

What caused the incident and what is the worst injury?


Signs – look for any visible signs such as:

Pale skin

Cyanosis (blue tinge)

Skin that is flushed red

Unusual pulse (fast slow or irregular)





Symptoms – you need to ask the casualty how they are, some questions that you could ask include:

Do you have any pain?

Where is the pain?

When did the pain start?

Do you have any other symptoms (such as sickness, dizziness etc)


SAMPLE – we use Sample to remind us some of the things to check:

S – Signs and symptoms

A – Allergies

M – Medication

P – Past medical history

L – Last meal

E – Event History


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