What does AEIOU TIPS stand for in first aid?

AEIOU TIPS is a mnemonic used to remember common causes of altered level of consciousness (sometimes called Altered Mental State – AMS).

First aiders and first responders would not be expected to be able to identify the cause of altered consciousness in all cases. The most important job is to maintain the ‘ABCs’ (keep the airway open, keep the casualty breathing and prevent shock) whilst seeking urgent expert medical help. What causes fainting?

However AEIOU TIPS is useful as knowing some background to causes of altered consciousness can be useful especially when it comes to handing over your patient to a medical professional.

So what does AEIOU TIPS stand for?

A – Alcohol (too much or too little – alcohol withdrawal)

E – Epilepsy (seizures)

I – Insulin overdose or under dose (diabetes)

O – Overdose (drugs, poisons, toxins)

U – Uraemia (renal failure)

T – Trauma

I – Infection (sepsis)

P – Psychiatric conditions (e.g. catatonic states)

S – Stroke, shock

This is just one version of AEIOU TIPS. There are several different versions of this mnemonic depending on the skill level of the healthcare worker. We think this version is most appropriate for first aiders and first responders.

Do you know a different version of AEIOU TIPS for first aiders and first responders? Please let us know in the comments!

John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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1 Response

  1. Rachael Hines says:

    Thank you very much

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