6. Triage Rules

  1. Lieutenant Colonel Rob Russell MB, BS, MRCP(UK), FCEM, DipIMCRCSEd, RAMC Clinical Lead (Emergency and Critical Care) Consultant Senior Lecturer1,2,3,
  2. Colonel Timothy J Hodgetts CBE, QHP, MMEd, MBA, CMgr, FRCP, FRCSEd, FCEM, FIMCRCSEd, FIHM, FCMI, FRGS, L/RAMC Professor Consultant3,4,5,
  3. Colonel Peter F Mahoney OBE, TD, MSc, FRCA, L/RAMC Defence Professor Consultant5,6 and
  4. Nicholas Castle MSc, DipIMCRCSEd, RGN, SRPara Nurse Consultant Honorary Research Fellow7,8

Published Online: 18 NOV 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444329681.ch6

Disaster Rules

Disaster Rules

How to Cite

Russell, L. C. R., Hodgetts, C. T. J., Mahoney, C. P. F. and Castle, N. (2010) Triage Rules, in Disaster Rules, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444329681.ch6

Author Information

  1. 1

    Emergency Medicine, Peterborough, and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK

  2. 2

    Military Emergency Medicine, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, UK

  3. 3

    Emergency Medicine, University of Birmingham, UK

  4. 4

    College of Emergency Medicine, UK

  5. 5

    University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, UK

  6. 6

    Royal College of Anaesthetists, UK

  7. 7

    Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, UK

  8. 8

    Durban University of Technology, Republic of South Africa

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 NOV 2010
  2. Published Print: 24 NOV 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405193788

Online ISBN: 9781444329681



  • Triage Rules;
  • Physiological triage is more consistent than anatomical triage;
  • Triage is dynamic - patients can get better, or worse;
  • focused abdominal sonography in trauma (FAST);
  • computerised tomography (CT);
  • advanced life support (ALS);
  • Over-triage of children is common - roll out the tape


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Rule 29: Physiological triage is more consistent than anatomical triage

  • Rule 30: Triage is dynamic: patients can get better, or worse

  • Rule 31: Label the dead or they will keep popping up

  • Rule 32: When lightening strikes reverse your triage

  • Rule 33: Over-triage of children is common: roll out the tape

  • Rule 34: Effective triage for mass casualties is a balance of clinical need with available resources

  • References