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There are many acronyms used in emergency services that are intended to make procedures easier to remember. Here is a list of some common ones and when to use them:


This is applied as a precaution for EMS providers to protect and isolate from body substances such as blood, urine, feces etc. while giving medical treatment. BSI should be applied before every call and can include gloves, eye protection, facemask, gown etc. depending on the nature of the call.



After you have determined the scene is safe, your first action of the physical assessment will be to check your ABCDE’s. This is an acronym that lists everything you need to initially check and maintain in order.






SAMPLE (History)

SAMPLE history is an acronym for remembering what questions are important to ask during you assessment of a patient. This acronym is the gold standard for a subjective history of a patient and

A grandstand holding more than 200 people at a high school football field has collapsed, resulting in numerous injuries of all different levels. You and your partner arrive first to the chaotic scene. You are overwhelmed as you notice the amount of patients needing help, knowing there are not enough resources available to treat them all. Fortunately, there is a simple triage system that gives you a place to begin treating the situation: START triage. START (Simple Triage and Rapid Transport) is the most commonly used triage algorithm in the US. It is a scene management system that is used when the number of patients exceeds the resources of the on-scene responders. As a first responder, you may be called to a scene like this where you will be responsible for making patient contact and categorizing each person based on the severity of their condition. Your goal is to triage each victim in a timely manner, determine their need for transport, and to effectively communicate with dispatch so that they can alert th

The abdominal cavity is the largest cavity in the body, housing many vital organs. For this reason, many calls EMS providers respond to involve abdominal pain. Although it is not always clear what might be going on when someone presents with abdominal pain, it is important to know the anatomy of the abdomen so you have an idea of what organ system might be affected. The abdomen is divided into four quadrants anatomically. You can determine what organ system might be affected based on which quadrant the pain is located in.

Types of Pain

There are three types of pain associated with abdominal pain: visceral, parietal and referred. Visceral pain is experienced when the walls of an organ are stretched and the nerves send signals to the brain. Due to the lack of nerves, the pain is poorly localized and often described as an ache or cramp. Parietal pain is caused by irritation of the peritoneal lining that surrounds the abdominal cavity. Patients with this type of pain will usually present in a guarding posit