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Control measure

Handover of a casualty to a medical responder

Control measure knowledge

The handover of accurate standardised information, which is recognised by local medical responders, is essential and aims to contribute to successful pre-hospital care. An example of a mnemonic to ensure this is done is ATMIST:

  • Age
  • Time of the incident
  • Mechanism of injury
  • Injuries sustained
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Treatment and needs

If treatment has included irrigation of a wound or burn, it may useful for the medical responder to be provided with a sample of the water or liquid used, in case of later infection in the casualty.

Example of a casualty ATMIST handover

If an ATMIST form is used, it should not contain any data that could identify the casualty. It is important to remember that there may be local variations in the casualty handover, using different protocols.

When handing over information to medical responders, consider the following:

  • Keep the handover brief; aim for 30 seconds to get the information across
  • Do not rush the handover
  • Use written notes for reference
  • Identify the team leader, or the next link in the chain of care, and introduce yourself
  • Let the team know if the casualty is responsive or unresponsive
  • Tell them the name of the casualty
  • Present accurate and standardised information
  • Ask for any questions or points of clarification before handing over the casualty

Handing over the casualty to attending medical resources

Failing to hand over information relating to the casualty's injuries or condition could result in further harm or death, and compromises accepted standards in record keeping.

Details of the medical treatment provided by the fire and rescue service to any casualty must be recorded on a handover form. The form should contain details of the treatment given and two copies of it produced. One copy should be handed over to the medical responder and another copy securely retained for future reference or investigation.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Align service casualty handover protocols with that of local medical response

  • Provide a handover form to record the medical treatment provided to the casualty by personnel

  • Ensure that personnel are aware of casualty handover protocols

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Provide a structured handover when transferring casualty to medical responders

  • Complete two copies of a casualty handover form