History of trauma field triage development and the American College of Surgeons criteria

Prehosp Emerg Care. 2006 Jul-Sep;10(3):287-94. doi: 10.1080/10903120600721636.


The use of trauma field triage criteria is designed to match a patient's injury type and severity to prioritized transport and an institution with the resources to provide timely, definitive care. Triage schemes used in austere environments created by war or mass casualty events are less applicable to day-to-day civilian trauma. Civilian triage criteria, developed and refined over the past 25 years, rely on physiologic, anatomic, and mechanistic indicators of severe injury in an attempt to optimize overtriage and undertriage. As organized trauma systems continue to mature, the need for more accurate direction of high- versus low-acuity patients to regional centers, stratified by their capabilities, becomes more apparent and is essential in avoiding a completely 'exclusive' trauma system. New technology utilizing vehicular telemetry and Web-based information systems may simplify the seemingly simple but often formidable task of creating destination decision rules for victims of major injury.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • General Surgery*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Societies*
  • Trauma Centers
  • Triage / history*
  • Triage / standards
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries / classification