Title

Performance of first aid trained staff using a modified START triage tool at achieving appropriate triage compared to a physiology-based triage strategy at Australian mass gatherings

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Prehospital and Disaster Medicine

ISSN

1049023X

Volume

35

Issue

2

First Page

184

Last Page

188

PubMed ID

31983350

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

School

School of Medical and Health Sciences / School of Science

Comments

Douglas, N., Leverett, J., Paul, J., Gibson, M., Pritchard, J., Brouwer, K., ... & Smith, E. (2020). Performance of first aid trained staff using a modified START triage tool at achieving appropriate triage compared to a physiology-based triage strategy at Australian mass gatherings. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 35(2), 184-188. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049023X20000102

Abstract

© World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2020. Introduction: Triage at mass gatherings in Australia is commonly performed by staff members with first aid training. There have been no evaluations of the performance of first aid staff with respect to diagnostic accuracy or identification of presentations requiring ambulance transport to hospital.Hypothesis: It was hypothesized that triage decisions by first aid staff would be considered correct in at least 61% of presentations.Methods: A retrospective audit of 1,048 presentations to a single supplier of event health care services in Australia was conducted. The presentations were assessed based on the first measured set of physiological parameters, and the primary triage decision was classified as expected if the primary and secondary triage classifications were the same or not expected if they differed. The performance of the two triage systems was compared using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) analysis. Results: The expected decision was made by first aid staff in 674 (71%) of presentations. Under-triage occurred in 131 (14%) presentations and over-triage in 142 (15%) presentations. The primary triage strategy had an AUROC of 0.7644, while the secondary triage strategy had an AUROC of 0.6280, which was significantly different (P =.0199). Conclusion: The results support the continued use of first aid trained staff members in triage roles at Australian mass gatherings. Triage tools should be simple, and the addition of physiological variables to improve the sensitivity of triage tools is not recommended because such an approach does not improve the discriminatory capacity of the tools.

DOI

10.1017/S1049023X20000102

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