What does COWS stand for in first aid?

Unconscious childCOWS is a method of assessing a victim’s level of response when dealing with a collapsed victim. 

Although a slightly unusual memory aid, it does remind first aiders of the importance of assessing the level of response in a methodical way.

COWS consists of two questions and two commands.

What does COWS stand for?

COWS stands for:

Can you hear me?

Open your eyes

What’s your name?

Squeeze my hand

If someone does not respond to any of these commands, then they are not responding to verbal commands. The next step would be to gently squeeze their shoulders to see if they respond. If they do not then they are unconscious and this a medical emergency requiring urgent first aid.

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