The triage examination is a rapid assessment of patients presented to the emergency room. The primary survey assesses the respiratory, cardiovascular, neurologic, and urogenital systems in patients to identify life-threatening conditions requiring immediate veterinary attention. Observation of respiratory pattern and rate while listening for respiratory noise can indicate and localize diseases of the respiratory system. The cardiovascular system is assessed by observation of mucous membrane colour and capillary refill time, combined with palpation of peripheral pulses. Neurologic and urogenital triage will be covered in part 2 of this series. Combined with a capsule history, the triage examination is used to identify and stratify emergency room patients so that the patients most in need are assessed and treated first.
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