SAMPLE Questions That Can Save Someone’s Life
You probably know
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. But, do you know how to use SAMPLE questions as an assessment tool for a patient or fellow diver who appears unwell?
SAMPLE helps you remember the key questions to ask when assessing someone who may have an illness. Collecting this information can be very helpful to medical professionals that may arrive on the scene.
What are SAMPLE Questions and How Do You Use Them in an Emergency?
If you encounter someone who appears to be exhibiting signs and symptoms of a medical issue or illness, use the acronym SAMPLE to remember what questions to ask regarding their medical history and the events leading up to this potential illness. If the patient is unresponsive, you may be able to ask a friend or family member present.
S – Signs and Symptoms
Ask, “How do you feel now?” to learn what the patient’s symptoms are. Also, make note of any signs of illness that you observe yourself.
A – Allergies
Does the patient have any known allergies? Are they allergic to any medications?
M – Medications
Find out if the patient is taking any medications and how recently they took their medication(s).
P – Pre-existing Medical Conditions
Ask the patient whether they have any known, pre-existing medical conditions. Make note of any that the patient tells you of and pass this information to the Emergency Medical Service workers upon arrival.
L – Last Meal
Knowing how recently the patient ate or drank something, and what it was, can be helpful. If the patient hasn’t eaten for 12 hours and is feeling dizzy, they may have low blood sugar. Diarrhea within 1-6 hours of eating might indicate food poisoning. Remember, however, you are not diagnosing, but rather collecting information.
E – Events Leading Up to the Injury or Illness
Asking the patient, “What you were doing when you began to feel ill?” can offer valuable clues as to what led up to the patient feeling unwell. If it’s a hot day and the patient was recently expelling a lot of energy they may be suffering from heatstroke or dehydration.
If the patient is unconscious or exhibiting signs of a medical emergency, activating emergency medical services should always be your first priority.
SAMPLE questions are designed to help you gather valuable information from breathing, conscious, patients to pass to professional medical responders, not to diagnose medical problems.
CPR, AED, First Aid