START Adult Triage Algorithm (Overview)

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The START (Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment) triage system, developed by Hoag Hospital and the Newport Beach Fire Department (Newport Beach, CA), relies on making a rapid assessment (taking less than a minute) of every patient, determining which of four categories patients should be in, and visibly identifying the categories for rescuers who will treat the patients.

If you are the initial START rescuer, you DO NOT stop to do other than the most basic intervention. If you attempt to treat every patient before completing the triage, you cannot assess the rest of the patients and identify the top priorities.

Remember that in a serious disaster, it is unlikely that you can save all the victims. The important thing is to work together with the other rescuers to save as many patients as you can. START gives you the best chance of doing that.

Source: Radiation Event Medical Management (REMM) (
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