DOTS stands for:
- Open wounds
A deformity is used to describe an abnormal shape of a body part. Common causes of deformities are fractures or dislocations as they disrupt the skeleton.
The best way to check for a deformity is to compare sides. For example, comparing both wrists to look for a deformity associated with a wrist fracture.
Searching for open wounds is an important part of the assessment of a casualty, especially if the person is unresponsive. It is important to find and stop any bleeding in order to prevent the casualty deteriorating.
Wounds can be hidden and not immediately obvious so you may have to go searching! Always remember to protect yourself from any bodily by wearing gloves.
Pressing on an area may cause pain, this is known as tenderness and may indicate an underlying injury. Tenderness will occur before other more visible signs (for example bruising).
In an unresponsive patient who is unable to communicate you should always look at the face when assessing for tenderness. You may see a pain response if you press over an injury.
Swelling occurs mainly with soft tissue injuries and fractures. Swelling does not occur immediately after an injury so may not be obvious during your initial assessment.
Life First provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. Life First is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that you attend a First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.