Medic tip #2
How to handle multiple victim scenarios:
When mass casualties occur, like in a protest situation or in the event of a terrorist attack, you may have to sort the victims by severity of injury. This allows you to sort the victims in a manner that allows you to help as many people as possible.
Ambulatory- they are able to walk. If they are uninjured or relatively non-traumatized, they may be able to help you with first aid. Ambulatory victims can have minor injuries and still be able to assist. Be aware that there are injuries you may not be able to see, like psychological ones or internal (physical) ones, always try to check on victims multiple times to ensure they don’t become worse. Example: large scrapes, bruises, minor bleeding
Delayed- they may not have life threatening injuries (meaning you can delay treatment), but the injury is significant enough that they cannot/should not move on their own. Assess for responsiveness. Remember- delayed victims can become immediate if not watched. Keep an eye on everyone if possible and go check in on victims you’ve labeled as delayed. Example: broken leg
Immediate- they have life threatening injuries that must be treated or they will become dead/expectant. The most important part of this category is that you can correct it with as little intervention as possible. Ambulatory victims can help with this. To decipher between immediate and expectant when the victim is unresponsive, open the airway. If the person takes a breath, they are considered immediate. If they don’t, readjust the head and try to open the airway one more time. If they don’t take a breath they are considered dead/expectant. Example: Gunshot injuries, partial/complete amputation, major bleeding
Dead or expectant - No signs of life (no pulse and/or no breathing). This person is in need of CPR or they are already dead. If you are the only responder, move on. This is a terrifying reality, but they need resuscitation beyond your capability. Remember- CPR/AED will not revive a victim. You are compressing the heart in order to move blood and oxygen around the body. If you have an ambulatory victim that knows CPR/can understand your instruction to perform CPR, they can be used in this instance. Note: if someone is not breathing but has a pulse, you can consider them immediate if you have an ambulatory person that can perform rescue breaths.