Determining whether a patient is conscious or unconscious can be done very quickly. If you notice a person appearing in distress, lying down in a public place, or possibly injured, call out to them.
- Make sure the scene is safe before approaching the individual and conducting the BLS or ACLS Survey.
- When encountering an individual who is “down,” the first assessment to make is whether they are conscious or unconscious.
If the individual is unconscious, then start with the BLS Survey and move on to the ACLS Survey. If they are conscious, then start with the ACLS Survey.