Electronic registration of disaster victims

In mass casualty incidents (MCI), regular rescue resources are scarce. The operational command centre and rescue forces need information about the type and number of injuries as quickly as possible to allocate rescue personnel, vehicles and receiving hospitals in a most efficient way. The path the injured take through the various stations within the rescue chain also has to be clearly traceable.

According to the current procedure, inspection teams first classify the injured at the site (“triage”), recording the results on paper triage tags, which they attach to the victims. Rescue forces subsequently read those tags to prioritise the treatment and transport of the injured. The current process makes disaster management difficult, since the information remains attached to the patients. Duplicating these data in paper form and over voice radio is a time-consuming and error prone process.

The objective of e-Triage is to create a system for the electronic registration of victims converting the previously paper based handling of data into a consistent overall concept. The goal is to provide a communication and database system for everyone involved in the rescue, transport and placement of victims in hospitals and temporary lodgings. These processes must be coordinated quickly, reliably and efficiently, and they must be documented automatically to permit analysis of operations later. This e-Triage system comprises a satellite-based communication system with radio cells that can be installed locally, matching end devices with application software for the registration of victims and a distributed self-synchronising database system.

Apart from technical aspects, the degree to which emergency forces will accept the e-Triage system will depend primarily on psychological factors.  These factors will be investigated as an integral part of the research project and made comprehensible through accompanying psychological research.

e-Triage Consortium:
DLR, TriaGnoSys, Euro-DMS Ltd., University of Munich

Website: http://www.e-triage.de (only in german)

Schematic diagram of the sequence previously used in individual emergencies and mass casualty incidents (source: e-Triage):

click to enlarge