When you come across an accident, it’s hard to know who to help first. Among all the chaos, it’s hard to tell who’s needs help the most or who’s most in danger. Triage was developed to help people recognize who needs help first. After a bit of research, I’ve come across a few “methods” of triage, but there’s two pretty simple ones I’d like to talk about.

Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (S.T.A.R.T.)

This method uses four colored categories to label victims so medical professionals know who to help first; they are green (minor injuries), yellow (urgent, delayed), red (critical, immediate), and black (deceased). If a patient can get up, move, responds normally, and aren’t going to get any worse, they are green and can wait for help. Yellow definitely needs medical attention, but are in no immediate threat of dying; like, I broke my arm, it hurts a lot, but I’m not going to die and can wait, even if I don’t want to. Red requires immediate attention as they are at risk of dying soon; they aren’t breathing or breathing correctly, they aren’t conscious or are incoherent, or there’s a very serious injury. If the victim didn’t survive, they’re going to be black (sometimes blue).

Australasian Triage Scale

In Australia and New Zealand, there’s another common triage method based more on time that the participant must have medical care by. There are five categories: ATS 1 (immediate), ATS 2 (10 minutes), ATS 3 (30 minutes), ATS 4 (60 minutes), and ATS 5 (120 minutes). It’s basically the same in terms of how urgently the patient needs assistance without the confusion of the “black” tags.

In my opinion, the S.T.A.R.T. method is a little more clearly worded, but both are essentially the same. However, I hope you never have to use these skills. Be safe.

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