Abstract Introduction. Accuracy and effectiveness analyses of mass casualty triage systems are limited because there are no gold standard definitions for each of the triage categories. Until there is agreement on which patients should be identified by each triage category, it will be impossible to calculate sensitivity and specificity or to compare accuracy between triage systems. Objective. To develop a consensus-based, functional gold standard definition for each mass casualty triage category. Methods. National experts were recruited through the lead investigators' contacts and their suggested contacts. Key informant interviews were conducted to develop a list of potential criteria for defining each triage category. Panelists were interviewed in order of their availability until redundancy of themes was achieved. Panelists were blinded to each other's responses during the interviews. A modified Delphi survey was developed with the potential criteria identified during the interview and delivered to all recruited experts. In the early rounds, panelists could add, remove, or modify criteria. In the final rounds edits were made to the criteria until at least 80% agreement was achieved. Results. Thirteen national and local experts were recruited to participate in the project. Six interviews were conducted. Three rounds of voting were performed, with 12 panelists participating in the first round, 12 in the second round, and 13 in the third round. After the first two rounds, the criteria were modified according to respondent suggestions. In the final round, over 90% agreement was achieved for all but one criterion. A single e-mail vote was conducted on edits to the final criterion and consensus was achieved. Conclusion. A consensus-based, functional gold standard definition for each mass casualty triage category was developed. These gold standard definitions can be used to evaluate the accuracy of mass casualty triage systems after an actual incident, during training, or for research.
In civilian trauma care, field triage is the process applied by prehospital care providers to identify patients who are likely to have severe injuries and immediately need the resources of a trauma center. Studies of the efficacy of field triage have used various measures to define trauma center need because no "criterion standard" exists, making cross-study comparisons difficult. This study aimed to develop a consensus-based functional criterion standard definition of trauma center need.
While emergency medical technicians-basic (EMT-Bs) in select emergency medical services (EMS) agencies use the Esophageal Tracheal Combitube (ETC) for the airway management of out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrests, the effect of this intervention on patient outcomes is not known. We compared the associations between initial EMT ETC placement and initial paramedic endotracheal intubation (ETI) on patient survival after out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest.
This article is a support paper for the National Association of EMS Physicians position paper on induced therapeutic hypothermia in resuscitated cardiac arrest patients. Induced hypothermia is one of the newest treatments aimed at increasing the dismal neurologically intact survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients. Two landmark studies published in 2002 by the New England Journal of Medicine led to the American Heart Association (AHA) Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care IIa recommendation of cooling unconscious adult patients with return of spontaneous circulation after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation to 32 degrees C to 34 degrees C for 12 to 24 hours. Despite many limitations of those studies, the AHA also suggests that this therapy may be beneficial for patients with non-ventricular fibrillation arrests. However, the literature is lacking in answers with regard to the best methods to utilize in cooling patients. While avoiding delay in the initiation of cooling seems logical, the literature is also lacking evidence indicating the ideal time at which to implement cooling. Furthermore, it remains unclear as to which patients may benefit from induced hypothermia. Finally, the literature provides no evidence to support mandating induced hypothermia in the prehospital setting. Given limited prehospital resources, sometimes consisting of only two providers, attention first needs to be given to providing the basic care with the utmost skill. Once the basics are being delivered expertly, consideration can be given to the use of prehospital cooling for the resuscitated cardiac arrest patient in the setting of continued cooling in the hospital.
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