Triage of the veterinary patient

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Triage is a concept that dates back to the Napoleonic Wars. It is the process by which the stability of patients is determined, allowing those that are the most unstable to receive an examination, the implementation of essential treatment and further investigations as soon as possible. Well-executed triage should allow the rapid ‘processing’ and initial assessment of multiple casualties to maximise the efficiency of the emergency team. This article discusses the aims of the triage process, the preparation required when waiting for the arrival of an emergency patient, and how to undertake primary and secondary surveys of the sick animal.




Donnelly, E., & Lewis, D. (2016). Triage of the veterinary patient. In Practice, 38, 6–11.

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