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Simple Triage and rapid treatment


Triage will be performed using the Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (START) Triage System.


Triage ribbons should be used for initial triage of patients on Multi-Casualty Incidents.  Patients triaged with ribbons will be assigned a triage tag once a treatment team is committed to the patient.


Note:  A complete patient assessment will take place when a treatment team is assigned to the patient and every patient leaving the scene shall have a triage tag assigned to them.


If appropriate resources are available, provide immediate spinal immobilization when dealing with potential spinal injuries.


Triage personnel will report the number of patients and triage category to their supervisor as soon as that information is available.

Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment

Triage in an MCI should follow the “30-2-CAN DO” assessment to determine the acuity level of each patient and the need for immediate treatment and transport.


For smaller incidents, the use of a modified START triage system is necessary to ensure proper spinal precautions are taken when available.

  • In traumatic events, when spinal immobilization and resources are available, do not have the patients stand up and walk to a designated area.

  • All patients that self-extricate or move from the original place of injury may be designated a Minor.  Direct to a predetermined location for further evaluation.

  • All patients that stay in their original positions will be designated Immediate or Delayed.


Utilizing the Ribbons

  • Initial triage should be performed with Ribbons indicating patient acuity.

    • Black/White – Deceased or expectant

    • Red – Immediate

    • Yellow – Delayed

    • Green – Minor

  • Ribbons should be placed on a visible limb of the patient and can also be used to identify vehicles or locations of patients.

  • Patient catagories and numbers should be documented and returned to the Triage Unit Leader, if establihsed.


Triage Tags

Utilizing the Triage Tags

  • When using the triage tags for initial or secondary triage, tear off all tabs below the desired triage category and discard.

  • Both halfs designated tabs should be left in place to designate the triage category.

  • If the patient is moved to a treatment area, one tab may be torn off and given to the treatment area manager for tracking.

  • The triage tag should be utilized for documentation of patient treatment and patient tracking.


Litter Teams - On incidents that require separate ambulance staging and loading areas or treatment areas, litter teams can be utilized to move patients from the triage area to the treatment or transport area. It takes 3 or 4 persons to make up a litter team.

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