Development of prehospital, population-based triage-management protocols for pandemics

Prehosp Disaster Med. Sep-Oct 2008;23(5):420-30. doi: 10.1017/s1049023x00006154.


The lack of disease-specific triage-management protocols that address the unique aspects of a pandemic places emergency medical services, and specifically, emergency medical services practitioners, at great risk. Without adequate protocols, the emergency health system will risk needless exposure, loss of functional capacity, and inappropriately triaged patients. This paper reports on the development of population-based triage-management protocols at two patient points of contact. The primary objective of the triage-management protocols is to identify patients infected by or exposed to the biological agent, and consequently, appropriately triage patients so as to optimize the utilization of emergency medical services and surge capacity resources through disposition and care at hospital- and non-hospital-based care facilities. Protocols must include standardized "flu questions" and a Fear and Resiliency Checklist to ensure protection and separation of the susceptible population from those infected or exposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Protocols*
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Triage / organization & administration*
  • Young Adult