. Sensory SystemTest for sensations
using pain, heat or cold, touch, and vibration.
. Reflexes-Check deep tendon reflexes,
and also check the
pathological reflexes (i.e., Brudzinskis sign and
Kernigs sign). Reflexes are checked to localize
nervous system disorders.
RADIOING FOR ADVICE
After taking the history and performing the
physical examination, make an assessment of the
patients condition related to all positive findings.
Independent duty hospital corpsmen usually have
the most modern communications facilities at
their disposal and should never have to guess. If
you are in doubt as to the diagnosis, seek advice.
Ships information such as latitude, longitude,
destination, and the like will be provided by the
responsible section. Message format is likewise
available from the communications section.
Where to seek help is an administrative problem
since the location of ships with medical officers
aboard is not in the purview of the corpsman.
However, you are responsible for the content of
the message and should provide all essential
information. Give the patients full name, rate,
SSN, age, mental state, and ship to which
attached. List the principal complaint, nature and
onset of symptoms, and also their duration. List
the associated symptoms, and list personal and
work habits that may have a bearing on the case.
If injured, give the cause, location, amount of
bleeding, deformity, and any other significant
signs and symptoms. State the patients vital signs
and their trends, if any. List all other pertinent
physical findings, results of tests, and any
ACUTE THORACIC EMERGENCIES
For acute thoracic emergencies:
Establish and maintain and open airway.
Keep the patient well oxygenated and, if
necessary, use artificial respiration and
intermittent positive pressure oxygen.
Avoid using sedatives that depress the
respiratory center (i.e., narcotics).
Counteract shock and maintain an ade-
quate level of circulating blood volume.
DISEASES OF THE
The following are some of the more commonly
encountered diseases of the respiratory tract.
Upper Respiratory Infection (URI)
In most cases, the signs and symptoms listed
below indicate a severe URI and a need for
An elevated temperature of 101°F or more
that has persisted for 3 or more days.
A white or dirty gray exudate in the throat.
Diffuse reddening of the throat.
A persistent cough of 2 or more weeks.
Complicating symptoms that you should
be alert for are skin rashes, stiff neck,
muscular weakness, and swelling.
ETIOLOGYThis is an acute inflammatory
process in the alveolar spaces of the lung.
Pneumococcus accounts for approximately 60 to
80 percent of all primary bacterial pneumonias.
Because bacterial pneumonias are usually second-
ary to injury of the respiratory mucosa by viral
infections such as influenza and the common cold,
they often occur during periods of cold, inclement
SYMPTOMSThere is a sudden onset of
symptoms with rapid progression. The condition
of the patient deteriorates rapidly. Temperatures
range form 100° to 105°F, pulse rate may go as
high as 160, and respiration is marked by
tachypnea (30 to 40 per minute). Respirations are
shallow and a peculiar grunt may be heard
upon expiration; the patient will often lie on the
affected side in an effort to splint the chest. The
patient experiences hard, shaking chills; sharp,
stabbing chest pains that are exaggerated by
respiration; and a productive cough with
rusty colored sputum. Upon auscultation, fine
inspiratory rales may be heard, followed by the
classic signs of consolidation (absent breath
sounds and dullness). Sometimes the abdomen
becomes distended and a pleural friction rub may