THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Emergency medical care provided by state-run hospitals will undergo a sea change as the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) has decided to implement the triage system. The new system will be implemented at the emergency departments of district and general hospitals. Patients who arrive at the casualty wing will now be categorised as per their medical condition so as to provide them with timely and appropriate treatment.
“The trauma care system being followed at state-run hospitals is on the cusp of change. What the DHS plans to do is to implement a triage protocol at the emergency departments of district and general hospitals in the state. For this, the service and expertise of Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS, New Delhi, will be solicited,” said Trauma Care nodal officer Srikanth D.
The DHS proposal claims that once the triage system is adopted, the morbidity and mortality rate could be brought down as it will help in early detection of the seriously ill patient and rapid initiation of therapy.
While stating that the medical or surgical emergency is a condition being determined clinically, the proposal reminds that failing which can result in the loss of life or limb or permanent disability. It also highlights the well-known concept of ‘golden hour’, in which a person needing emergency care will have to be provided with appropriate attention in the first 60 minutes. Once it is ensured, the survival rate is more than 90 per cent.
“The concept of triage is to prioritise the patients who arrive at the casualty wing as per their clinical urgency. Under this concept, patients will be categorised into three categories: emergency, urgent and non-urgent. The emergency wing will be divided into three areas: red, yellow and green,” said a Health Department officer.
As per the plan, patients who need immediate medical attention and fall under the emergency category will be shifted to the red area. Those patients who have a high risk of clinical deterioration fall under the urgent category and will be sent to the yellow area for treatment. And those who don’t have any chance of clinical deterioration will be treated as non-urgent ones and will be shifted to the green area of the emergency department.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the DHS has pitched the triage system to be implemented at all general hospitals, district hospitals, taluk hospitals, taluk headquarters hospitals and community health centres, and also demanded the government to issue an instruction in this regard to the respective District Medical Officers to establish the same.
In 2017, it was decided to constitute an emergency medical department (EMD) at the Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. A meeting chaired by Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan had set up a core team to study and come out with a standard operating procedure for various medical emergencies. It is said that the EMD being planned will start functioning by August.
The DHS proposes to implement the triage system at state-run hospitals
The proposal will cover general hospitals, district hospitals, taluk hospitals, taluk headquarters hospitals and community health centres
The triage system means categorising those who arrive at the casualty wing as per their medical condition
Patients will be categorised into three categories: emergency, urgent and non-urgent
The emergency wing of a hospital will be divided into three areas: red, yellow and green
Red area will be for those who are in need of immediate medical attention and falls under the emergency category
Yellow area for those patients who have a high risk of clinical deterioration and falls under the urgent category
Green area for those who don’t have any chance of clinical deterioration and falls under the non-urgent category