Mass casualty triage: an evaluation of the data and development of a proposed national guideline

Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2008 Sep:2 Suppl 1:S25-34. doi: 10.1097/DMP.0b013e318182194e.


Mass casualty triage is a critical skill. Although many systems exist to guide providers in making triage decisions, there is little scientific evidence available to demonstrate that any of the available systems have been validated. Furthermore, in the United States there is little consistency from one jurisdiction to the next in the application of mass casualty triage methodology. There are no nationally agreed upon categories or color designations. This review reports on a consensus committee process used to evaluate and compare commonly used triage systems, and to develop a proposed national mass casualty triage guideline. The proposed guideline, entitled SALT (sort, assess, life-saving interventions, treatment and/or transport) triage, was developed based on the best available science and consensus opinion. It incorporates aspects from all of the existing triage systems to create a single overarching guide for unifying the mass casualty triage process across the United States.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Guidelines as Topic / standards
  • Humans
  • Mass Casualty Incidents*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Triage / standards*
  • United States