Date of Award

8-2015

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

Emergency and Disaster Management

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Randall Cuthbert

Abstract

The most recognized goal of any triage system is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people, but is doing the greatest good leaving out an entire generation. The older population is aging and this will have far-reaching implications in the future regarding disaster triage goals if the current expectant categories of triage systems are not updated. A review of the available literature was analyzed and the findings validated the initial claim that the older population is significantly undertriaged and classified as unsalvageable based on chronological age. Additionally, triage system algorithms do not take into consideration the physiological changes in addition to the comorbidities that occur in the aging population. In order to mitigate this generation being ignored during mass casualty incidents in the triage phase, policymakers will need to implement an updated set of protocols that incorporate a new set of criteria aimed specifically at the older population. Unless these protocols are deemed a necessity in the near future, the result of the overall response effort will not be considered as doing the greatest good for the greatest number because at some point the greatest number of people will be the older population.

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