Triage is the sorting and prioritizing of sick/injured people or those surviving a disaster. When triaging patients, medical professionals consider resource availability, and patients are sorted based on their need for emergency medical care.
Medical professionals that may perform triage include:
- Hospital emergency room gatekeepers
- Emergency medical technicians (EMTs)
- Soldiers on a battlefield
Triage systems differ by facility, with each system setting different categories regarding the priority of who is cared for or transported for care first. In most cases, the triage system uses color coding for the different categories.
Some examples of different colors, and their meanings, include:
- Red, yellow, and green are for different levels of care needs, where red is a need for immediate attention due to a critical life-threatening illness or injury, and green is a less serious injury that can handle delayed transport.
- White: no injuries or illness
- Black: the individual is deceased or mortally wounded and beyond help