How to Evaluate a Casualty During Combat Continued, Back to page 1
CHECKING THE CASUALTY FOR BLEEDING
a. Look for blood-soaked clothes.
b. Look for entry and exit wounds.
c. Place your hands behind the casualty’s neck and pass them upward toward the top of the head. Note whether there is
blood or brain tissue on your hands from the casualty’s wounds.
d. Place your hands behind the casualty’s shoulders and pass them downward behind the back, thighs, and legs. Note
whether there is blood on your hands from the casualty’s wounds.
e. If life-threatening bleeding from an extremity (arm, forearm, thigh, or leg) is
present, stop the evaluation and control the bleeding using a tourniquet
a. After any needed immediate live-saving aid has been administered, move the casualty to an area where additional aid
can be given.
b. If possible, send a soldier to find a combat medic.
c. Administer additional care until the combat medic arrives or until you are told to resume your combat duties. Now that
you are in a safe area, you can render care that you could not administer while under fire.
NOTE: When the combat medic arrives, he may require your assistance, especially if several soldiers require treatment.
d. Reassure the casualty. Show confidence in your actions.
e. If you have administered the needed care and a combat medic has not arrived, initiate a Field Medical Card for the
f. If needed, request aeromedical evacuation and/or evacuate the casualty
As discussed in earlier, the three primary preventable causes of death from injury on the battlefield are:
(1) Severe bleeding from an arm or leg wound (apply a tourniquet or emergency trauma dressing).
(2) Collapsed lung (perform needle chest decompression).
(3) Blockage of the nose and throat from an injury to the face (insert a nasopharyngeal airway).
Listed below are some situations in which you should
avoid treating the casualty while under fire.
(1) Your own life is in imminent danger.
(2) There are other soldiers in your area who require treatment more urgently.
(3) The casualty does not have vital (life) signs; that is, the casualty is not breathing, does not have a pulse, and is not
(4) The casualty's injury is not survivable unless the casualty can be evacuated to a medical treatment facility within a
given time and evacuation is not possible within the time limitation. Examples of such injuries are:
(a) Penetrating head injuries with brain tissue exposed.
(b) Severe burns covering a large part of the body.
(c) Mutilating blast injuries.
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