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Deterioration in the condition of a casualty

Hazard Knowledge

A casualty can suffer further injury, illness or death from the incident if they do not receive appropriate and prompt medical assistance. However, it may take time for medical responders to reach the scene of the incident and, depending on the nature of the incident, their access to the casualty may be further delayed.

In the absence of medical responders, it may be essential for personnel to follow the principles of casualty care, carry out a structured assessment of a casualty, and provide them with life-saving treatment. Personnel may find a casualty in a location that could be detrimental to their condition, and have to move or transport them to a place of relative safety.

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

The privacy and dignity of casualties should be protected, to minimise their distress. Consideration should also be given to the psychological distress that can be caused to people if they can see the casualty or the medical treatment taking place.