EMT Exam Practice Questions about Trauma

By Arthur Hsieh

The practice questions you find here are similar to the EMT exam’s questions about trauma. Read each question carefully, and then select the answer choice that most correctly answers the question.

Sample questions

  1. The patient has sustained a single blow to the head. He is awake, alert, and complaining of a severe headache and neck pain. His blood pressure is 148/84 mm Hg, his pulse rate is 100, and his respiratory rate is 20 breaths per minute. You should

    • (A)assist his ventilations with a bag-valve mask and oxygen at a rate of 20 breaths per minute.

    • (B)manually stabilize his head and neck and prepare to immobilize the patient to a long backboard.

    • (C)immediately transport the patient to a trauma center.

    • (D)place the patient supine on a long backboard, with the head slightly lower than the legs.

  2. A driver of a vehicle was struck by another vehicle at the driver’s door. There are 8 inches of intrusion into the passenger compartment. She is tachypneic, taking rapid, shallow breaths and complaining of chest pain when she inhales. Lung sounds are diminished over the left side of the chest, which is tender to palpation. Which of the following do you suspect is the most likely injury?

    • (A)Left-sided pneumothorax

    • (B)Right-sided hemothorax

    • (C)Tension pneumothorax

    • (D)Diaphragmatic rupture

  3. An adult male is complaining of right-sided flank pain after being assaulted 24 hours earlier. There is bruising and swelling to his right lateral abdomen and right lower back. He reports seeing blood when he urinates. You suspect that he may have sustained an injury to his

    • (A)spleen.

    • (B)liver.

    • (C)urinary bladder.

    • (D)kidney.

  4. A young adult woman has been shot. She is alert and sitting on the sidewalk; you notice an open wound to her left anterior chest just inferior to the clavicle. Blood is oozing from the wound. She is coughing up blood and appears to be in respiratory distress. Your first intervention is to

    • (A)place her in a supine position.

    • (B)apply gauze to the wound to stop bleeding.

    • (C)cover the wound with a gloved hand or occlusive dressing.

    • (D)manually suction her airway.

  5. A 19-year-old female was struck by a car in the street. She presents approximately 7 feet from the front of the vehicle. You note bruising to her lower abdomen, a hematoma to her left lateral head, and deformity to her right wrist. She is confused and tachycardic with pale and diaphoretic skin. Her blood pressure is 104/78 mm Hg. Which of the following suspected injuries best explains her presentation?

    • (A)Wrist fracture

    • (B)Head injury

    • (C)Pelvic fracture

    • (D)Punctured stomach

  6. An adult male is rescued from a burning apartment by firefighters. He is alert, with his face and body covered with soot. He is coughing, and you hear raspy sounds as he breathes. His respiratory rate is 22 breaths per minute, and he has a pulse rate of 104. You should

    • (A)administer high-flow oxygen via a nonrebreather mask.

    • (B)suction his airway.

    • (C)ventilate with a bag-valve mask and oxygen.

    • (D)manually stabilize the patient’s head and neck.

  7. A 22-year-old male was struck in the face by a heavy object while working. He presents supine on the ground, unresponsive, with blood and broken teeth in the airway. Your next step is to

    • (A)measure and apply a cervical collar.

    • (B)roll the patient onto his side and suction.

    • (C)administer high-flow oxygen using a nonrebreather mask.

    • (D)ventilate the patient with a bag-valve mask and high-flow oxygen.

  8. A 24-year-old female was stabbed in the third intercostal space of the left lateral chest. She is confused, with cool, pale skin. You note accessory muscle use when she breathes and jugular venous distension (JVD). Her blood pressure is 70/50 mm Hg, and her heart rate is 126. Which of the following possible injuries most likely explains her presentation?

    • (A)Hemothorax

    • (B)Cardiac tamponade

    • (C)Tension pneumothorax

    • (D)Simple pneumothorax

  9. An adult male has been shot in the neck. He is alert and sitting in a car, tachypneic with a rapid radial pulse. There is a small wound to the right lateral side of his neck, with minor bleeding. He is spitting up blood and can feel and move all extremities. Your sequence of care is to

    • (A)cover the wound with an occlusive dressing, have suction ready, and transport in a sitting position.

    • (B)cover the wound with an occlusive dressing, apply a cervical collar, immobilize to a long backboard, and transport supine.

    • (C)cover the wound with gauze, apply a cervical collar, immobilize to a long backboard, transport supine, and suction as needed.

    • (D)cover the wound with gauze, transport in a sitting position, and ask the patient not to cough.

Answers and explanations

  1. B. Although he may have suffered a head injury, there’s no sign of increasing intracranial pressure.

  2. A. The MOI and diminished breath sounds lead to a left-sided injury.

  3. D. The location of the injury points toward the retroperitoneal space, where the kidney is located.

  4. C. An open wound to the chest must be sealed as soon as possible to reduce the chance of additional air leaking into the chest cavity and causing harm.

  5. C. She is exhibiting signs of decompensating shock with her poor skin, confusion, and a marginal blood pressure.

  6. A. Stridor results from some form of obstructed airway.

  7. B. Your next step is Choice (B), clearing the airway so that you can further evaluate the patient’s breathing ability.

  8. C. The MOI, along with the JVD and severe hypotension, point to excessive atmospheric pressure inside the chest cavity — a tension pneumothorax.

  9. A. Open wounds to the neck have to be occluded immediately to reduce the chance of air leaking into the neck tissue or, worse, into a lacerated artery or vein that may then cause a possible air embolus.