The START model of triage stands for Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment; it is the best approach that enables the EMS team to handle emergency problems with a lot of ease. The model is the best answer for the EMS department when they are attending to victims of calamities such as earth quake, fire outbreaks or even terrorism. The approach has shown positive results in many hospitals and health care units where it has been employed, for instance in California community based response organizations have used the this model of triage in attending to victims of fire out breaks and earth quakes. In some countries the model has been used to help victims of train accidents (Turegano, 2008).
The START method is useful in saving lives in cimcurmtances of the aforementioned situations; it enables the EMS team to identify the problems that can result to death of an accident victim within a short period of time. It aims at ensuring that injuries to sensitive parts of the body such as the brain are identified and attend within a short period of time, complications such as breathing difficulties are also discovered and solved before they can generate into serious problems that may cause death of the accident victim.
At the start of the START model patients information are recorded and their conditions are observed, the team should be to talk to the victims who are able to speak to ensure that complains are recorded. It is from the information provided by the victims that enable the EMS team to administer the most appropriate method of treatment, for instance, the team members may rescue a managed years from a building on fire, the victim may complain of reduced breathing pace. In such a case the victim should be placed in an open place where he can breathe fresh air and should also given airway assistance to solve the breathing difficulties. Further assessment of the victims should be to report on conditions that were not discovered during the primary assessment, for instance serious injuries such as broken parts of the body, any interference with the body tissues and body color change (Elixson 2009).
The first stage of the START model, the attendants look at the respiratory rate, mental condition of the victim and palpable pulse. Different colors are used to denote the conditions of the victims involved in a disaster, for instance Green color denotes those who are to stand and walk on their own and therefore can leave the scene without any support. The Red color is used to denote the victims who have respiratory difficulties and therefore need the airway help from the attendants, the victims under this category need may show no palpable pulse when tested on the body parts such wrist and chest, however they are still breathing. The Red tag are able to breathe for more than 30 times in a single minute, faster rate of respiration for this category of victims may indicate that they are shocked or are in a respiratory distress. The Red category of victims may not follow the instructions and commands from the attendant due tiredness. The next category of victims are denoted by the Yellow color, this category of victims are unable to walk, cannot take commands from the EMS members attending to them, they are breathing just like those in the Green category and show no palpable pulse at the wrist or chest (Turegano, 2008).
The category under the Yellow color should be handled with a lot of care to ensure that they do not faint or die due to suffocation. The Yellow tagged victims may have some external bleeding that should be controlled to ensure reduce lose of blood which can cause death. The victims under this category are in dire need of immediate air way assistance. The last category of the victims is those denoted by the Black color, these are the unlucky victims who lost their lives in the tragedy.
The START method is very important as it enables the EMS team to identify the conditions of the victims and tag them according to the level of injury. It enables the team to work with victims and attending to them differently depending on the nature of injury. Treatment of the victims is administered by starting with those who are seriously injured to those who have minor injuries. The method also minimizes the number of equipments used during triage administration (Elixson 2009).
The START model ensures that patients are helped in order of priority and therefore enhances the chances of survival among the victims. The method ensures efficiency in the use of resources to attend to the victims and save their lives in situations of an emergency.
Burstein, J. (2007). Disaster medicine. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 25.
Elixson E. (2009). “Hypothermia. Cold-water drowning”. Crit Care Nurs Clin North Am 3 (2): 287–92.
Turegano F. (2008). “Overall Assessment of the Response to Terrorist Bombings in Trains, Madrid, 11 March 2004”. European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery 34 (5): 433–441.