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How to Perform Prehospital Emergency Telephone Triage

A Systematic Review

Montandon, Diego Santiago, MSc, RN; de Souza-Junior, Valtuir Duarte, MSc, RN; dos Santos Almeida, Rodrigo Guimarães, PhD, RN; Marchi-Alves, Leila Maria, PhD, RN; Costa Mendes, Isabel Amélia, PhD, RN; de Godoy, Simone, PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000380

Prehospital emergency telephone triages are mechanisms to verify the appropriate need for care in an emergency call by telephone. Considering the high rates of trauma and clinical cases that need prehospital care, the importance of knowing how the services that send rescue teams can guarantee improved care is highlighted. The objective of this study was to characterize the services that support effective telephone triage. Literature review was conducted in 6 phases to answer the following question: How can prehospital emergency telephone triage be performed? To search for primary studies, we used specific search strategies in the databases: LILaCs, PubMed, CINAHL, LISA, ISTA, and SCOPUS. The sample consisted of 23 studies whose information was extracted using a validated tool. Among the selected studies, 2 come from CINAHL, 2 from LISA, 4 from PubMed, 1 from ISTA, and 14 from SCOPUS, which were published between 2006 and 2016 in 17 different journals with varying types of scopes and originated from 13 countries on 3 distinct continents. The articles were nonexperimental and indicated the broad use of software constructed to support the telephone triage. The prehospital emergency telephone triages are frequently performed to identify the event, deduct the need for support, and prioritize those calls that require a rescue team. They should take place with the support of institutional protocols and technological support to guarantee dynamic data and constant training of the ambulance dispatchers.

WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Research Development, University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.

Correspondence: Simone de Godoy, PhD, RN, WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Research Development, University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, Av. Bandeirantes, 3900 Campus Universitário, Bairro Monte Alegre, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil CEP: 14040-902 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2019 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.