A few important letters to remember

15 Apr 2018 8:25 PMTandem Health
A few important letters to remember

Here’s a few simple shortcuts that might be helpful in an emergency situation.

They’re called mnemonics and can help you stay calm and identify symptoms that require professional medical assistance.


FAST - Can help you recognise a stroke.

F - Has their face dropped?

A - Can they lift both arms?

S - Is their speech slurred and do they understand you?

T - Time is critical – Call 000

Remember, it is vital to get treatment as soon as possible, call 000.


ICE - Can help emergency care providers get in touch with your next of kin or emergency contact person.


Case of


All you need to do is program ICE into your phone and add your preferred contact’s telephone number. This is the person paramedics will call in case of emergency. It’s important to inform your ICE contact of your blood group and any allergies, illnesses or medications.


DRS ABCD - Can potentially help you save a life in an emergency situation.

Danger:  Check that the area is safe. Always check the danger to you, any bystanders and then the injured or ill person. Make sure you do not put yourself in danger when going to the assistance of another person.

Response: Check for a response by asking the patient’s name, touching their hand and squeezing their shoulders. If there is no response send for help before doing anything else.

Send for help – call 000.

Airway: Check that the airway is open and clear. Check for foreign material.

Breathing: Look, listen or feel.

CPR: Perform CPR if breathing has stopped. 30 chest compressions followed by 2 breaths.

Continue until help arrives.

Defibrillation: Keep going with CPR until a defibrillator is available. Use for unconscious adults who are not breathing. Follow voice prompts.


Another great one to remember is SIT DOWN SIR, which can help you get the most out of each appointment with your Doctor.

Symptoms: Where and what are you suffering?
Intensity: On a scale of 1 – 10.
Type or nature.
Duration of symptoms.
Onset: When did it all start?
With: Is there anything else that happened at the same time?
Now, what makes it aggravated or annoyed, what makes it worse?
Spread: Where else does it affect?
Incidence or frequency: How many times has it happened?
Relief: What makes it stop?