Triage - Emergency Response in Corporate America

The word “Triage” comes from the French verb “trier” meaning to separate, sort or select. Its early foundation is thought to have originated during the Napoleonic Wars from the work of Dominique Jean Larrey. It was then further used during WWI by French doctors in the battlefield.

Triage is used in today’s emergency response field to “sort out” patients during mass casualty incidents. The emergency response field includes Emergency Response Teams in business and corporate environments. Incidents which often involve injuries to large quantities of people include airline crashes, rail transportation accidents, multiple vehicle accidents, and here in the bay area, earthquakes.

Let’s assume you are the safety manager for a building of 300 employees.  If just 10% of that employee population was injured in an earthquake, 30 employees, how would you decide which employees to provide first aid to first?  Now think about a corporation such as TESLA with an employee population of almost 8,000 employees in Fremont. 10% is 800 injured employees, so where do you begin?

Today’s Traige has been refined to assess 3 critical elements during patient assessment.  They include Respirations, Perfusion, and Mental Status (RPMs). Based on those initial assessments, employees can be provided care based on categorizing the injured into Immediate, Delayed, and Minor groupings.

Triage is simple to learn, and FIRST IN encourages any business or corporate emergency response team to include triage as a part of their training curriculum.