Triage, Surgery & Battlefields

Battlefield triage Battlefield triage is the process of sorting and assigning priority based on social rank and wounds sustained. An unconscious patient naturally has priority over a conscious one, as they are closer to death. Part of this process is acknowledging the patients for who you can do nothing and moving on to those you can aid. Get used to recognizing what type of wounds bleed, and a quick glance at the patient will be all you need.

Battlefield Triage Procedures

  • Control life-threatening bleeding
  • Head: bleeding can interfere with vision
  • Waist/Chest: vital organs
  • Shoulder and arm: Used in combat movement–aggravates bleeding
  • Disarm casualties as required(prisoners)
  • Establish airways (unconscious or respiratory distress)
  • Treat shock
  • Pain control
  • Clean wounds

(Certain places are more prone to sustaining bleeding wounds. The order listed here tends to be the most common of bleeding locations: hands, arms, shoulders; chest, waist; face, neck, head; thigh, shins, feet; back) Additionally, on occasions, one’s social rank determines priority. Generally, the order is as follows: political figure, military officer, foot soldiers, citizens, non-essential personnel. This order is given, should patients have similar priority based on wounds. The only exception to this is the healer, for if the healer is unconscious, no one else will be aided.

Battle tactics and procedures
Battles are a highly fluid situation and things happen fast. It is imperative that one is prepared for this. The patient must be moved away from danger; if they are unconscious and you are able, try to guard them. Ensure you are in the spot that everyone is expecting you to be. Attempt to avoid yelling since it can give away your position to the enemy, and make sure you have sufficient supplies for the worst-case scenario. Always have these supplies on you; you do not want to run out of bandages or thread in the middle of healing someone.

In larger battles, it is sometimes preferential that a temporary healing station is set up. When setting the station make sure it meets the four requirements: it is close enough that you can retrieve patients, the other soldiers know where you are set up to receive them, it provides a reprieve from battle for them, and finally, the ability to retreat if necessary. During large scale battles, there should be at the minimum three fallback positions prearranged and prepared. If the patients are required to wait for you to tend to them, it is important to try to get them to lie down and avoid movement. This will prevent further damage and should slow bleeding.

Unconscious patients should have their wounds stitched as possible; should they be required to be moved, this is the safest way as bandages may be ripped off during movement. Remain lightly encumbered, remain mobile and try to have situation awareness – know where you are, where the patients are, and how to best receive them. And always know where the enemy is.

Basic Station Setup

The basic station system consists of three stations (forward, aid and recovery). Each station has different characteristics and personnel present.

Forward Station
This station is directly adjacent to the battle itself. The medics present will receive any walk-in cases. They should be able to stitch proficiently and splint. They must be able to work fast, to ensure that any soldier whom is being tended can return to the battle within moments of coming in. These medics must be ready for enemy engagement, as they are near the battlefield. They should be in full armor and able to defend themselves, and be prepared to to quickly.

Aid Station
Setup directly behind the forward station, this station is meant to receive unconscious patients or those who need stay out of the fighting for a bit. They provide extra supplies to the forward station if it is required. Remaining in communication with the forward station via a runner, they’ll be moving unconscious patients from the forward station to theirs. After the unconscious patients are tended, they are sent tothe third station. Extra supplies are dropped here, for retrieval or delivery to the forward station.

Recovery Station
This station is the furthest from the battle and is setup to receive and allow unconscious or very wounded soldiers to recover. Due to the distance from battle and relatively low danger, very few medics are required to be present here. The majority of personnel here would be present to guard the wounded from any hostile incursion or otherwise unwanted elements.

Should the enemy infiltrate the forward station, it would immediately fall back into the second station, the second to third, and the third would then move to the first prearranged fall back position (which should not be very far from the battle). This would continue until the enemy has been either eliminated, blocked from entering the stations, or a full retreat order is issued. Fallback positions should be staggered equally throughout the area, and be relatively easy to get to. The average distance between points should be 3-5 paces. These positions will not be used unless it is required that the forces pull back a fair distance from the battle.