What Are the Protocols for Triaging Patients?


Quick Answer

The protocol for triaging patients depends on the type of health care facility, type of medical condition, the available medical equipment and the setting where an emergency case occurred, explains MedicineNet.com. Generally, triaging patients involves giving priority to patients who are most in need or are in a severe situation.

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In an emergency room or walk-in clinic, the first step is an interview with a triage nurse, who notes the symptoms and medical history of a patient, says MedicineNet.com. This is essential in determining the severity of a patient's situation, which allows clinics to offer immediate care to patients with serious problems.

Medical cases that require emergency operation can prevent an ongoing facelift operation in hospitals, notes MedicineNet.com. In such cases, the availability of the necessary medical equipment determines which patient is given priority.

During a distance or a mass casualty situation, the protocols can be different, explains MedicineNet.com. One common system used in such cases is called Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment, or START. People who lack high medical training can implement this system. Another system is the color-coding scheme whereby skilled nurses use color tags of red, yellow, black, white and green to categorize patients. Red tags are for patients who need immediate help, while black tags are for the deceased.

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