It is a French term used in the field of international health management . More specifically, it is a system selection and classification to determine the priorities of patients in the service of emergencies. Thus, through screening there is an objective criterion to determine which patients should be seen first in the emergency department.
Screening assessment is performed by a physician, who assesses each patient’s symptoms. It should be noted that this is not a medical diagnosis, but rather setting priorities through symptom assessment.
General Screening Criteria
Screening is very useful to identify the severity of a medical emergency . The important thing in this initial assessment is to determine if the patient is at any type of vital risk . At the same time, the initial examination provides a general idea of the maximum time a patient can wait to be seen.
As a general rule, medical care is given priority to people over 65, pregnant women, infants and people with any kind of disability.
The screening classification is determined according to the use of the four colors: red, yellow, green and white.
– The red is applied to patients who are in a life-threatening situation and need to be treated immediately, for example, people with an epileptic attack, cardiac arrest, fracture, a serious accident, imminent birth or suicide attempt.
– At a lower level of urgency, the color yellow corresponds to patients who present a life-threatening emergency situation and who can develop complications at any time, such as symptoms of fever with cough, a foreign body in the eyes or ear , pain headache with other associated symptoms, signs of infection caused by a wound or pregnant women with bleeding.
– The color green is used to identify patients with some type of health problem and who do not represent a danger to their physical integrity, therefore, their care is not urgent, for example, in cases of diarrhea without dehydration, symptoms of allergies, chronic diseases , muscle spasms, cough or malaise.
– The white color is used in patients with less serious or chronic illnesses, but who attend the emergency department, such as common colds, flatulence, menstrual cramps or constipation.