Academic Emergency Medicine
Background and Objectives: Although countries around the world have been combatting the same COVID-19 pandemic over the last year, the triage approach taken by various Emergency Departments (ED) is unique. This paper outlines the guidelines followed by two tertiary care hospitals in Detroit, USA and Manipal, India. By comparing hospital triage implementation protocols, this paper offers insight regarding similarities and differences between Detroit and Manipal ED, as well as strategies to overcome respective challenges. Methods: Triage algorithms from the Detroit Medical Centre in Detroit and Kasturba Medical College Hospital in Manipal were contrasted to illustrate the similarities and differences in entry point screening, handling both possible and confirmed COVID-19 cases, home isolation guidelines and unique challenges that were faced in each hospital system. Results: In both Detroit and Manipal, it was found that often with Emergency Departments becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, there had to be modifications made to the triage protocol in order to adequately meet the high demands. The study has shown that despite unique challenges being present in these distinct cities, the solutions were largely applicable to both hospital systems. Conclusion: The lack of a unified global triage system results in different countries developing their own protocols and having to learn from their mistakes rather than gain from the experiences of others. As such, it is important to establish strong standardized protocols in order to prevent delays in implementation. This comparison between Detroit and Manipal allows hospital systems to learn from one another and can serve as a helpful tool for other countries who may be experiencing similar challenges in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Patel M, Sudandiradas R, Mathew T, Kilgore P, Rao M, Mukhopadhay C, et al. Current challenges in COVID-19 triaging: a global perspective. Acad Emerg Med. 2021 May;28(Suppl 1):S275.