Health Economics

  • (written as Triage)
    The word triage comes from the French word 'trier', to sort (not necessarily into threes.). It seems to have originated with a Frenchman, Baron Dominique Jean Larrey (1766-1842), a surgeon in Napoleon's army, who devised a method for evaluating and categorizing the wounded in battle quickly so as to evacuate those most likely to benefit from receiving urgent medical attention. Its usage today varies from place to place and circumstance to circumstance but in general it still involves the classification of patients according to judgments of their capacity to benefit and the urgency of their case. For example, people injured and at the site of an accident might be sorted into: the dead for whom one can do nothing; the injured who need immediate transfer to hospital; the injured whose transport can be delayed; and the walking wounded who may need only primary rather than secondary care.


  • noun the system in which a doctor or nurse sees patients briefly in order to decide who should be treated first


  • noun the process of assessing a casualty’s priority for medical treatment according to the nature of the injuries


  • noun the process of prioritising sick or injured people for treatment according to the seriousness of the condition or injury