Tuesday, 16 January, 2024

The UK has experienced a number of incidents in recent years which have presented a range of challenging clinical scenarios such as blast injury, penetrating injury and the use of chemical agents, unlike those seen in normal day-to-day practice.

As a result, in April 2023 NHS England launched a significant new development in major incident casualty triage, alongside new triage tools to be used by any responder who may be involved in a major incident. This includes Police and Fire & Rescue services.

The NHS Ten Second Triage tool (TST) is intended to be used by anyone responding to a major incident to provide care to casualties prior to the arrival of the NHS clinical response.

It has now been launched with all NHS ambulance services, Police, Fire & Rescue and other frontline emergency responders expected to adhere to the new system before June 30th 2024.

Effective casualty labelling following ten second triage (TST)

The main thing for police officers to be aware of is the new way of labelling casualties in the immediate aftermath of the incident, using specially-designed, different coloured slap bands denoting the level of injury sustained by the casualty, so that they are treated according to clinical need when the NHS response arrives.

Simple but consistent labelling that indicates the priority of the casualty must now be used to communicate to further responders and ensure resources are directed appropriately. Four colour-coded triage bands correspond to the triage category colour – P1, P2, P3 and Not Breathing.

Once a casualty has been triaged it is important to ensure that the assigned priority is communicated to further responders to ensure casualties are dealt with in the order of priority and avoid duplication of effort – ultimately helping to save more lives.

Getting the right kit in place before June 2024

Metafont Ltd is a UK-based company that is now already supplying these triage bands to a broad range of emergency service organisations, each conforming to correct NHSE specifications.

The products have a steel memory metal core encased within low light fluorescent reflective coloured material (made of PVC and latex free). The bands are flexible so they wrap around a limb (wrist usually) so they can be pulled straight but snap around a limb if ‘slapped’ against the limb and can then be straightened again and reused multiple times if required.

The company also offers a bespoke carry bag with individual pockets for each triage band category, ensuring ease of storage and deployment in the field by first responders. When unrolled, it displays a printed panel of the TST algorithm to aid the user processing the triage, as well as a pen holder for use with the attached wipe-clean tally chart.

For more information

For more information or to receive samples or a quotation please email enquiries@metafont.co.uk. You can also view a short three minute film about the products at www.metafont.co.uk .

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