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Role of Trauma Score in Triage of Mass Casualties

  • Howard R. Champion (a1) and William J. Sacco (a1)


The development of emergency medical services (EMS) systems in the United States, incorporating various levels of sophistication in prehospital care and echelons of capability in hospital resource availability, has brought new connotations to the word “triage” (sorting).

Heretofore, triage consisted entirely of estimating treatment needs so that prioritized transfer of patients could be made to hospitals. The decision is no longer binary, since the introduction of Trauma Centers requires the triage decision maker to not only decide which patient first, but also which patient to which hospital. Clear cut decision rules for this process applied to routine civilian emergency medical practice have yet to emerge.



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1. Champion, H, Sacco, W et al. The trauma score. Crit Care Med 1981;9:672.
2. Baker, S, O'Neill, B. The injury severity score: an update. Journal of Trauma 1976;16:882.
3. Champion, H, Sacco, W et al. Assessment of injury severity: the triage index. Crit Care Med 1980;8:201.
4. Gravelyn, TR, Weg, JG. Respiratory rate as an indicator of acute respiratory dysfunction. JAMA 1980;10:244.
5. Markler, J, McHugh, R, Milholloand, A et al. PEBL: A code for penetrating and blunt trauma, based on the H-ICDA index. Technical Report ARCSC-TR-78054 US Armament Research and Development Command. CSL, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, October 1978.
6. Champion, H, Sacco, W et al. Quantification of injury and critical illness: final report. National Center for Health Services Research Grant No. R 18 HS 02559, 1981.


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