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Emergency crews plan 'Triage Tuesday' as part of mass injury training

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

McCOOK, Nebraska -- If you or a family member is brought to Community Hospital by McCook ambulance on a coming Tuesday, you may be surprised to find yourself wearing a tag, according to officials.

Community Hospital in McCook and the McCook City Fire Department are teaming up for an education experience known as "Triage Tuesday." On every Tuesday, all patients being transported to the hospital by McCook ambulance will be "tagged" in a manner normally used in mass casualty incidents.

"Triage" is a French word that means "to sort," according to officials. It is a process that occurs daily with every ambulance and every emergency department in the country. All patients are "triaged" so that those most in need of emergency medical care receive it first, but usually "tags" are not involved.

In an incident where there are many patients involved, a triage tag will help both EMS personnel and hospital emergency departments prioritize care of you, your loved ones and neighbors. The tag will help all of those involved in care to better identify the type of care that the patient will need and make sure that those most in need of care receive it first.

When there is an incident, involving may people, EMS and First Responders must act quickly to identify those most in need of immediate treatment. By tagging patients, EMS and first responders are "triaging" (sorting) the patients and identifying them by color-code. When there is little time for communication, the triage tag will be a visual sign telling everyone involved the urgency of treatment to the patient.

Triage Tuesday is sponsored by the City of McCook Fire Department and Community Hospital McCook with the idea of improving care to those injured and work toward reducing injurty.

For more information, contact McCook Fire Chief Marc Harpham at (308) 345-5710 or Misti Soderlund, director of nursing at Community Hospital, (308) 344-2650.

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