Triage is the process of “seiving” out the most sick and injured patients from the least sick and injured patients. It was created during war time, when doctors had too many patients for them to physically treat within the required timeframes to save the lives of patients with massive trauma from bullets and explosions. Consequently, the doctors told the nurses to only let the patients with the most life-threatening injuries (who could survive) in. This process was then termed “triage,” which literally means in French “To Seive.”
Paramedics use a smiliar triage system when they arrive on a scene and there are more patients than they have paramedics or resources to manage. Most Ambulance Services use a different system of triaging critically ill patients, but the concept remains the same – “Provide the greatest good for the greatest number of patients” and it is well acknowledged that you can’t treat everyone as you would normally if you only had one patient.