CDC Promotes Revised Field Triage Guidelines Of Trauma Patients

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Guidelines published in today′s MMWR Reports and Recommendations are aimed at ensuring that trauma patients with more severe injuries are taken to trauma centers designed to handle such injuries. The recommendations designed to standardize decision-making at the injury scene also offer guidance on new technologies such as vehicle crash notification systems, which alert emergency services that a crash has occurred and automatically summon assistance.

The guidelines in the publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were developed by CDC and key experts in trauma care.


The report provides the rationale and development process for the revised 2006 Field Triage Decision Scheme: the National Trauma Triage Protocol for emergency medical service (EMS) providers. It was compiled by key trauma care experts to provide broader access of the information for emergency care services. The goal is to guide the nation′s 800,000 EMS providers in making crucial field triage transport decisions.

Previous CDC-funded research has shown that decisions made at the scene of the injury are vital. The risk of death of a severely injured person is 25 percent lower if the patient receives care at a Level 1 trauma center, which has additional resources specifically designed for care of severe trauma.

“Quality and timely care at an injury scene by EMS providers are integral to determining the severity of injury, initiating medical management, and identifying the most appropriate facility to which the patient should be transported,” said Richard C. Hunt, M.D., director of CDC′s Division of Injury Response, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and an author of the report. “The Decision Scheme provides a safety net that the public won′t see. But we know it can help improve the chances of survival for severely injured patients.”