Triage: The process of sorting people based on their need for immediate medical treatment as compared to their chance of benefiting from such care. Triage is done in emergency rooms, disasters, and wars, when limited medical resources must be allocated to maximize the number of survivors. Triage in this sense originated in World War I. Wounded soldiers were classified into one of three groups: those who could be expected to live without medical care, those who would likely die even with care, and those who could survive if they received care.
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Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016