The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
All authors contributed equally in the process of designing and conducting this study. All authors had substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, and analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content and all of them have approved the final version to be published.
This text describes the process of development of the new Spanish Prehospital Advanced Triage Method (META) and explain its main features and contribution to prehospital triage systems in mass casualty incidents. The triage META is based in the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) protocols, patient’s anatomical injuries and mechanism of injury. It is a triage method with four stages including early identification of patients with severe trauma that would benefit from a rapid evacuation to a surgical facility and introduces a new patient flow by-passing the advanced medical post to improve evacuation. The stages of triage META are: I) Stabilization triage that classifies patients according to severity to set priorities for initial emergency treatment; II) Identifying patients requiring urgent surgical treatment, this is done at the same time than stage I and creates a new flow of patients with high priority for evacuation; III) Implementation of Advanced Trauma Life Support protocols to patients previously classified according to stablished priority; and IV) Evacuation triage, stablishing evacuation priorities in case of lacks of appropriate transport resources. The triage META is to be applied only by prehospital providers with advanced knowledge and training in advanced trauma life support care and has been designed to be implemented as prehospital procedure in mass casualty incidents (MCI).