Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Triage

Contributor(s): Graham Bilbrough, Elisa Mazzaferro, Kate Murphy, Daniel H Lewis, Neus Elias

Introduction

  • Definition: French word "Trier" which means to sort or to select.
  • Triage is the process of determining the priority of patients' treatments based on the severity of their conditions.
  • If there is more than one emergency at a time, this allows examination of all patients quickly, and classification of the patients according to the urgency in which their injuries must be addressed. Traditionally, the most urgent cases would involve problems with the cardiovascular, respiratory or neurological body systems.
  • Immediate transport to treatment area - include patients with:
  • Detailed histories are often delayed while patients are triaged and are initially treated; a 'capsule history' may, however, be useful during emergency assessment and treatment.
  • Permission for stabilization and treatment must be signed by client before proceeding.
  • Client should be asked if, in the event of cardiopulmonary arrest Cardiac arrest Cardiopulmonary arrest: pathophysiology, whether they would like the triage/critical care team to initiate cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. If no, then "do not attempt resuscitation" (DNAR) status should be known to all personnel.
  • The triage team must be prepared and organized. Various tasks should be delegated to appropriate trained personnel, and the team should practice in order to maintain efficiency when faced with real emergencies or disaster situations.

Essential equipment in the emergency room

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Primary survey

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Immediate treatment priorities for life-threatening problems

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Categories for triage

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Secondary survey

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Lisciandro G R (2011) Abdominal and thoracic focused assessment with sonography for trauma, triage and monitoring in small animals. J Vet Emer Crit Care 21(2), 104-122 PubMed.
  • Kovacic J P (1994) Management of life-threatening traumaVet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 24(6), 1057.
  • Faggella A M (1994) First Aid, Transport, and TriageVet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 24(6), 997-1014.

Other sources of information

  • Lisciandro G R (2014) Focused ultrasound techniques for the Small Animal Practitioner. Wiley.
  • Wingfield W E, Lannan L (2002) Disaster preparedness, response, and triage. The Veterinary ICU Book. Wingfield W E & Raffee M R (eds), TetonNewMedia, Jackson Hole, WY, pp 1226-1246.
  • Wingfield W E (2001) Treatment priorities in trauma. In: Veterinary Emergency Secrets, 2nd edition. Wingfield W E (ed), Hanley and Belfus, Philadelphia, pp. 53-56.
  • Wingfield W E (2001) Disaster preparedness and the veterinarian. In: Veterinary Emergency Secrets, 2nd edition. Wingfield W E (ed), Hanley and Belfus, Philadelphia, pp. 107-110.
  • Kirby R (1998) Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Self-assessment color review. Iowa State University Press.


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