BRIDGE eTriage

eTriage: Marking and Monitoring of Victims for Real-time Situation Awareness

Motivation

 

Our interviews with triage and emergency professionals uncovered several hindrances and delays in the handling of a major incident:

  • Treatment starts after triage has ended, i.e., up to 40 minutes late
  • Incident Commanders learn the situation only when triagers return
  • Triaged, panicked victims wander in unknown directions, delaying efforts to get them to safety
  • Victims’ vital signs must be monitored all the time, but current technology does not support this
  • Victims are periodically retriaged according to their progress, but important changes are only noticed at the next retriage
  • Hospital information systems are incompatible to each other, especially if they are from different hospitals

Vision

 

The eTriage concept aims to ease the triagers’ task and bridge the process from triage to hospital admission.

 

For the triager: The Triage Tablet will notify of danger zones to avoid and of areas with possible survivors to triage. Retriage can be done remotely based on vital signs from sensors.

 

For the situation commander: Real-time monitoring of victims’ vital values and geographical position will help with deployment of rescue teams and medics.

 

For doctors and hospitals: The vital values from triage to admission will be logged in the triage bracelet and easily accessible. The triage bracelets will be interoperable with current admission systems.

Technology

 

The eTriage system is made up of two parts: the Triage Bracelet and the Triage Tablet.

 

The Triage Bracelet is a colored, reflective bracelet that snaps easily around a victim’s limbs or neck. The bracelet incorporates a ZigBee radio node, a GPS sensor, and other microelectronics that allow it to become part of the Bridge MESH, where it reports the data from its sensors. Vital value sensors connect automatically to this bracelet. A local memory chip records all the measured values, so as to have a backup against network problems. The bracelet and tablet software work together to guarantee that a triaged victim will appear in the incident database as soon as possible, and no later than with the current process. No explicit interaction is required to start the data gathering and transmission.

 

The Triage Tablet is carried by triagers and medical personnel. It shows the map of the area around the triager, with an overlay of important points, danger areas, areas with the most likelihood of survivors, and currently triaged victims. The information is updated in real-time. The tablet allows a virtual-reality mode to “see through walls” so that triaged victims can be found even when they are not immediately visible.

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