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Med Secoli. 1991;3(2-3):175-90.

Triage for health care in a metropolis: Paris under Napoleon.

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School of Medicine, U.C.L.A., USA.


Paris under Napoleon offers the earliest example of medical patient triage in a metropolis. A central admitting office opened at the Hotel-Dieu of Paris in 1801 under the supervision of a municipal hospital council. It admitted about 22,000 patients in the first eighteen months. This number represented about 44% of all applicants; another 16,000 were admitted to various hospitals as emergencies; the rest were treated as outpatients and helped on the spot or referred to district welfare offices, dispensaries, and nursing homes. Thus the historian can discern a concerted effort by hospital authorities to keep indigent patients out of the hospital.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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