First Aid Acronyms Explained – MIST

MIST is an acronym used by first aiders when handing over a casualty to the next level of emergency care. This clinical handover in the trauma setting follows a standard format in order to prevent information being lost between casualty carers.

The 4 parts of MIST are:

  • Mechanism of injury
  • Injuries found
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Treatment

M – Mechanism of Injury

What was the cause of the injury? If possible, get a brief description of what happened.

If a casualty was hiking and suffered an injury to the foot, the mechanism is what caused the injury. It could be impact, an impaled object or a worsened on-going injury. For a non-traumatic injury, such as ingesting something toxic, the mechanism would be poisoning.

I – Injury

What do you suspect the illness or injury to be?

For our hiking casualty, it could be a strain. For our poisoning casualty, it could be pain or a burning throat.

S – Signs & Symptoms

What made you noticed the injury? When you ask the casualty what the problem is, what do they describe?

For our hiking casualty, pain or bleeding is a clear sign. For our poisoning casualty, it could be vomiting or difficulty breathing.

T – Treatment

What treatment have you provided, or has been provided by others, prior to handing over to the medical professional?

Some care providers expand this acronym to DMIST. The D stands for ‘Details’ and included information such as the casualties gender and age.