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Trauma criteria

New Updated 4/2019

Base Hospital Contact for all patients who meet trauma triage criteria


* Age limits are not absolute.  Some rescuer judgment is allowed if patient meets all other criteria and rescuer is comfortable with patient responses and patient assessment.


Trauma Victim: - Blunt or penetrating injury with the presence of ANY of the following:


Abnormal Vital Signs:

- Failure to follow commands due to decreased state of alertness OR

- Resp: < 12 or > 30 (adults/adolescents/children), OR

- Systolic BP: < 90 (adults/adolescents); < 80 (children 14 y/o and under)



- Penetrating or open injury of the head,


- Depressed skull fracture


- Blunt or penetrating head injury with:

  •        Loss of consciousness, OR

  •        Focal neurologic deficit, OR

  •        Asymmetric pupils, OR 

  •        Vomiting


- Penetrating (appears for penetrate all skin layers) injury to neck, chest, abdomen, back or groin


- Penetrating (appears for penetrate all skin layers) injury to extremity above elbow or knee


- Extremity injury w/ poor circulation or w/o pulse


- Paralysis or paresthesia of arm or leg due to injury


- Blunt chest injury with abnormal respiration as defined above


- Seat belt bruising or abrasion of neck, chest or abdomen


- Unstable pelvic fractures


- Blunt abdominal injury, w/ palpable tenderness


- Fracture of 2 or more long-bones (femur/humerus)


- Pelvic rim pain or deformity on palp (+ barrel hoop)


- Amputation (partial or complete) above  the wrist or ankle


- Crushed / de-gloved, or mangled extremity (excluding only fingers/toes)


- Reported or obviously pregnant women with blunt or penetrating abdominal injury


- Blunt head injury with bruising in area of injury and known to be:

  • Taking anticoagulants or platelet inhibitors ("blood thinners"), excluding ASA OR

  • Known to have hemophilia OR

  • Known to be a dialysis patient


Mechanism of Injury:


- Adults / Adolescents: > 15 ft. (one story is equal to 10 ft.)

- Children: > 10 ft. or 2-3 times height of child

- Adults / Adolescents / Children: fall from galloping horse


High-Risk Auto Crash: (heights, speeds, and distances are all estimates)

- Passenger space intrusion > 12 inches occupant site; > 18 inches any site w/in passenger space

- Ejection (partial or complete) from auto

- Death in same passenger compartment

- Dive and shore break injuries with suspected spinal cord injury

- Auto vs. pedestrian/bicyclist thrown any distance, run-over, or with significant (> 20 mph) impact 

- Motorcycle crash including “laying bike down”, > 20 mph



- Unmanageable Airway – Triage to a Trauma Center

- Traumatic Cardiopulmonary arrest - Triage to a Trauma Center

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