Checking Response of a Casualty - Basic Resuscitation Techniques Series -


This is our new series that will detail the resuscitation techniques in the days to come.



On discovering a collapsed casualty, you should first establish whether he is conscious or unconscious Ask a simple question such as ‘What has happened?’ or give a command such as “Open your eyes!” Speak loudly and clearly in his ear and gently shake his shoulders. If there is no response, shout for help then proceed to opening the airway

IF a collapsed casualty does respond you need to establish the level of consciousness, see AVPU code below Monitor his condition, until he recovers or help arrives as he may drift in and out of consciousness.

ALWAYS assume there are head or neck injuries, handle the head carefully and shake the shoulders very gently.


An unconscious casualty might not make any response. But someone partially conscious may speak unclearly, groan or make slight movements. You can make a quick assessment based on the AVPU code:

A – Alert

V – responds to Voice

P – responds to Pain

U – Unresponsive.


Important Observations to Make

  • Observe the following in the casualty:
  • Eyes: Does the victim open his eyes?
  • Speech: Is this victim responding to your questions?
  • Movement: Is the casualty able to follow instructions?
  • Does the casualty responds to stimuli such as pinching etc?

Read Opening airway guide in the next part

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