We sought to evaluate the accuracy and speed for the triage of multiple patients during a disaster drill by Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel. During a disaster drill (train collision with blast injury and chemical release), the accuracy and speed of triage of 130 patient-actors by the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY) EMS personnel was evaluated using the Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (START) triage system. All EMS personnel had been previously trained in START, but refresher training was not administered before the drill. Overall triage accuracy was 78%. In patients that had additional changes in their status during the triage process (injects), 62% were retriaged appropriately. Because of security and decontamination procedures, triage at the triage/treatment area began 40 minutes after the drill commenced. It took 2 hours and 38 minutes to completely clear the scene of all patients. On average, the time from the start of triage to transport was 1 hour and 2 minutes. Despite the fact that triage is a skill practiced by every EMS system in the country on a daily basis, few studies regarding triage accuracy are available. Limited data suggest that the triage accuracy rates using different triage strategy algorithms are approximately 45% to 55%. During this drill, FDNY-EMS triage accuracy using the START system exceeded these expectations. This study provides insight as to the triage experience of a large urban EMS system operating at a disaster drill.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Burn Care and Research|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2006|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine