Triage is a system used by of rationing limited medical resources when the number of injured needing care exceeds the resources available to perform care so as to treat those patients in most need of treatment who are able to benefit first. The term comes from the French word for sort.
Simple Triage And Evacuation (START)
START is a simple triage system that first aiders can learn to use with little training. Simple triage identifies which persons need advanced medical care. In START, persons should be treated and evacuated as follows:
- DECEASED are left where they fell, covered if necessary; note that in START a person is not triaged "DECEASED" unless they are not breathing and pulseless and an effort to reposition their airway has been unsuccessful.
- IMMEDIATE or Priority 1 (red) evacuation by MEDEVAC if available or ambulance as they need advanced medical care at once or within 1 hour. These people are in critical condition and would die without immediate assistance.
- DELAYED or Priority 2 (yellow) can have their medical evacuation delayed until all IMMEDIATE persons have been transported. These people are in stable condition but require medical assistance.
- MINOR or Priority 3 (green) are not evacuated until all IMMEDIATE and DELAYED persons have been evacuated. These will not need advanced medical care for at least several hours. Continue to re-triage in case their condition worsens. These people are able to walk, and may only require bandages and antiseptic.