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A wireless first responder handheld device for rapid triage, patient assessment and documentation during mass casualty incidents.

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  • 1Universty of California San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego, CA, USA.


Medical care at mass casualty incidents and disasters requires rapid patient triage and assessment, acute care and disposition often in the setting of overwhelming numbers of victims, limited time, and little resources. Current systems rely on a paper triage tag on which rescuers and medical providers mark the patient's triage status and record limited information on injuries and treatments administered in the field. In this manuscript, we describe the design, development and deployment of a wireless handheld device with an electronic medical record (EMR) for use by rescuers responding to mass casualty incidents (MCIs) and disasters. The components of this device, the WIISARD First Responder (WFR), includes a personal digital assistant (PDA) with 802.11 wireless transmission capabilities, microprocessor and non-volatile memory, and a unique EMR software that replicates the rapidity and ease of use of the standard paper triage tag. WFR also expands its functionality by recording real-time medical data electronically for simultaneous access by rescuers, mid-level providers and incident commanders on and off the disaster site. WFR is a part of the Wireless Information System for Medical Response in Disasters (WIISARD) architecture.

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