Secondary assessment

This consists of a thorough physical examination, together with appropriate investigations. Conventionally, examination is from head to toe, and represents an "anatomical" assessment. Before embarking on this phase, it is important that the resuscitative measures are fully under way. From the respiratory viewpoint, do the following:

• Perform a detailed examination of the airway, neck, and chest.

• Identify any swelling, bruising, or wounds.

• Re-examine for symmetry of breath sounds and movement.

• Do not forget to inspect and listen to the back of the chest.

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