Thursday, 1 October 2009


Dave has just sent an email around to let us know that a new piece of kit has just arrived at the station. He often does this to keep us in the loop and fully informed of what is changing. Not that we often have to resort to triage, but in the past we have identified each casualties priority level with a card tag which would be attached to them. We now have these rather nifty arm bands which are much clearer and will remove a lot of the confusion. The said, I'm suprised to see that we should now be categorising casualties as 'Dead' rather than the old P4...somehow it felt more subtle and perhaps professional to refer to them as a priority number (also, we have always been told that we are not qualified to declare someone as being dead therefor were not allowed to use the term. Just goes to show that things do change.

Thanks Dave for the photo

1 comment:

Paul Savage, Clinical Lead RNLI said...

Last year the MCA requested that P4 was dropped in favour of the term "dead". This is partly because in strict international triage rules P4 does not mean dead. P4 is a category called "expectant" which means the patient is not dead but will not survive the injuries they have sustained. This call is usually made by a doctor.

Also, in line with all the other emergency services, when involved in a major incident management and using the triage sieve, if the patient is not breathing they are "declared" dead. Certification of death will be done after the incident by a doctor and police officer.
These rules only apply on mass casualties, the definition of which is casualties outnumbering rescuers on a 1:to:1 ratio.
When rescuers outnumber casualties non-breathing casualties will always be given CPR and be a P1 patient.

Hope this helps.