Some guidelines when working in triage include readily surveying each patient for signs of immediate injuries such as blast injuries and carefully observing a patient for signs of difficulty breathing and chemical exposure. Triage guidelines also include gathering information as to the causes of trauma so as to best formulate a plan for treatment.
The triage provider should take care to asses patient breathing. If a person's breathing is labored or challenged, the care provider should prioritize treating the patient and correct the breathing problem. Sweating, coughing, vomiting or unusual secretions should also prompt patient prioritization.
Triage guidelines also require prioritizing a patient for treatment if the patient shows signs of exposure to chemical substances. Guidelines require extra care for cases in which the patient might have inhaled chemicals that do not cause symptoms for a period of time. In such a case, if the treatment facility has the ability, triage providers should keep the patient for extra observation.
If a patient shows only signs of mild or moderate injuries, triage guidelines recommend releasing the patient with minimal care. Guidelines include issuing a minimally injured patient strict follow-up instructions and releasing the patient to self-care. Within a category of trauma, children and pregnant women should receive priority care over others.
In addition, triage guidelines require treatment providers to prioritize care during a mass-casualty event. In a mass-casualty event, triage guidelines require treatment providers to overlook persons already suffering from seizures or cardiac arrest. Instead, providers should focus on other patients if limited resources require providers to choose among patients.