Policy-making

Field Triage Criteria

Each year, the approximately 1 million emergency medical services (EMS) providers have a substantial impact on the care of injured persons and on public health in this country. The profound importance of daily on-scene triage decisions made by EMS providers is reinforced by CDC-supported research that shows that the overall risk of death was 25 percent lower when care was provided at a Level I trauma center than when it was provided at a non-trauma center.

The "Field Triage Decision Scheme: The National Trauma Triage Protocol" (Decision Scheme) educational initiative was developed to help EMS providers, EMS medical directors, trauma system leadership, and EMS management learn about and implement the revised Decision Scheme. This Decision Scheme, developed by the Expert Panel of which Stewart Wang is a member, was developed in 2006 in partnership with the American College of Surgeons-Committee on Trauma and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is grounded in current best practices in trauma triage. It has been endorsed by 17 organizations, along with concurrence from NHTSA, and is intended to be the foundation for the development, implementation, and evaluation of local and regional field triage protocols.