New concepts in triage

Ann Emerg Med. 1986 Aug;15(8):927-30. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(86)80677-1.


The triage process is a valid concept in the initial approach to multiple casualties. Triage tags are, in theory, a reasonable adjunct to the process, but have proved to be a failure in practice. Based on the historical perspective and on the authors' experience with approximately 180 mass casualty drills and incidents, it is recommended that the "daily routine doctrine" be applied and that conventional, color-coded triage tags be replaced by a process of "geographical triage." A valid model for disaster planning is needed, and organizers must conduct drills that are based on the actual threat to the community in order to determine the most efficacious way to manage medical response.

MeSH terms

  • Disaster Planning*
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Triage / organization & administration*
  • Triage / standards