Evolution of triage systems

Emerg Med J. 2006 Feb;23(2):154-5. doi: 10.1136/emj.2005.030270.


The French word "trier", the origin of the word "triage", was originally applied to a process of sorting, probably around 1792, by Baron Dominique Jean Larrey, Surgeon in Chief to Napoleon's Imperial Guard. Larrey was credited with designing a flying ambulance: the Ambulance Volante. Baron Francois Percy also contributed to the organisation of a care system for the ongoing management of casualties. Out of the French Service de Santé, not only emerged the concept of triage, but the organisational structure necessary to handle the growing number of casualties in modern warfare.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / trends
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration
  • Emergency Medical Services / trends
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • South Africa
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • Triage / organization & administration
  • Triage / trends*