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Invited Commentary
February 6, 2019

Optimizing Prehospital Trauma Triage—A Step Closer?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, Colorado
  • 2Division of Paramedic, Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, Colorado
  • 3Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora
  • 4Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora
  • 5Department of Surgery, Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, Colorado
  • 6Department of Surgery, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora
JAMA Surg. 2019;154(5):429-430. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.4764

Identifying patients with severe injuries in the prehospital setting remains the first step in a series of interventions that aim to reduce trauma-related morbidity and mortality. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma partnered to revise and update the Field Triage Decision Scheme (FTDS) with the goal of providing a structure to decision making by paramedics when determining appropriate destinations for patients with injuries.1 Recent research suggests that the sensitivity of the FTDS is lower than previously described, particularly for vulnerable populations (eg, elderly people), and lower than the target of 95% (ie, 5% undertriage rate).2-4

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