I have been sitting on this topic for a while and feel it is finally time to share my thoughts or at least ask the question that I have been trying to answer in my head.
In the video below we see a Mass Casualty drill. As most of you know during any Mass Casualty (Drill or otherwise) we use a triage system to sort out the dead patients from the live ones, and the ones who are most significantly injured, from the “walking wounded”. In order for the system to be efficient, a minimum amount of interaction between patient and provider takes place basically focusing on Pulse, Respirations, and Mental Status. How the patient presents in these categories indicates to the provider what Triage category the patient is being placed in, and indicates to the porters (stretcher carriers) who to get first, second, third, or last.
So here in lies the question. If we are ok with doing that, and saying that someone is dead, or that you do not need definitive care right now, than why are people up in arms about Survivability Profiling?
Think about it the concept that Capt. Marsar from the FDNY promotes is not all that different from a Triage. We pull up tot a fire building, and after a short interaction with it we determine, where are resources would be best utilized, based on building construction, fire conditions, and staffing.
I have heard the argument that Survivability Profiling is like “playing god” with people’s lives. Well that is exactly what we are doing on the EMS side with Triage, we are basically determining who lives and who dies in a matter of seconds. Yet one practice is universally accepted and one is met with scrutiny.
No is Survivability Profiling the end all of the fire service? Absolutely not, EMS pundents would argue that no Triage system is 100% effective either. They are however tools in a tool box that can be applied when needed. I have said time and time again that I use survivability profiling more to tell me were to start my search, not a determination of who is dead and who is not. If a fire is blowing out of a room, I’m going to start in the adjacent rooms, and search the fire room once the engine has made a stretch. This gives me the chance to help people who I know I can help, versus someone who may be beyond my help.
Anyone else have an opinion? Leave yours in the comments section, twitter @averagejakeff, or email.
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word and STAY SAFE![vodpod id=Groupvideo.9858758&w=450&h=325&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]