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Chief Complaints

Posted Jan 27 2009 6:25pm
Depending on the symptoms that the caller gives, each call is put as a 'chief complaint'. For example, if you say 'my daughter's fallen out of a tree', that would go under number 30: Traumatic Injuries.

The 'public' chief complaints go from number 1 to 32.

1. Abdominal pain
2. Allergies/Envenomations
3. Animal bites/attacks
4. Assault/Sexual Assault
5. Back pain
6. Breathing problems
7. Burns, Scalds and Explosions
8. Carbon Monoxide/Hazchem (Hazardous Chemicals)
9. Cardiac or Respiratory Arrest/Death
10. Chest Pain
11. Choking
12. Convulsions/Fitting
13. Diabetic Problems
14. Drowning/Diving/SCUBA accident
15. Electrocution/Lightning
16. Eye Problems
17. Falls
18. Headache
19. Heart Problems/AICD (internal defibrillators)
20.Heat/Cold Exposure
21. Haemorrhage/Laceration
22. Inaccessible/Other Entrapment
23. Overdose/Poisoning/Ingestion
24. Pregnancy/Childbirth/Miscarriage
25. Psychiatric/Suicide attempt
26. Sick person
27. Stabbing/Gunshot/Penetrating Trauma
28. Stroke (CVA)
29. Traffic & Transportation Accidents
30. Traumatic Injuries
31. Unconscious/Fainting
32. Unknown Problem (3rd party) This is mainly used when a careline calls us because a client of theirs has pressed their emergency button but not made verbal contact. We also use it when a caller isn't actually with the patient, for example if they drive past a person who is lying face down. We don't know whether it should be 31 (unconscious), 23 (overdose), 17 (falls), 12 (convulsions) or 9 (cardiac/respiratory arrest)

I have been working for the ambulance service for nearly six months now, and have used every single chief complaint at least once. Some complaints are more common than others: breathing problems and chest pain being among them. But ask any EMD and they will tell you without fail that the most common chief complaint is 17 - FALLS!!!
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