The South African Triage Scale (SATS)

In 2004, the South African Triage Group (SATG) (formerly known as the Cape Triage Group) was convened under the auspices of the joint Division of Emergency Medicine at the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch.

The aim of the SATG was to produce a triage scale for use throughout South Africa. The group was multi-disciplinary and comprised doctors, nurses and paramedics. The result of the SATG’s activities is the South African Triage Scale (SATS), a physiology and symptom based scale which prioritises into one of four colours and can be used in hospital Emergency Centres as well as in the pre-hospital setting. The SATS has been validated in the public, private health care setting as well as pre-hospital.

Why consider implementing the SATS?

The SATS:

The benefits of the SATS:

  1. To expedite the delivery of time-critical treatment for patients with life-threatening conditions
  2. To ensure that all people requiring emergency care are appropriately categorized according to their clinical condition
  3. To improve patient flow
  4. To improve patient satisfaction
  5. To decrease the patient’s overall length of stay
  6. To facilitate streaming of less urgent patients
  7. To be user-friendly for all levels of health care professionals.

Resource for download

SATS video manual

Chapter 1: Triage Introduction

Chapter 2: Step by Step Approach

Chapter 3: Paediatric Clinical Signs

3.1: Emergency Signs

3.2: Very Urgent Signs

3.3: Urgent Signs

Chapter 4: Adult Clinical Signs

Chapter 5: The Triage Early Warning Score (TEWS)

Chapter 6: Additional Investigations

Chapter 7: Additional Tasks

Chapter 8: Audio-Visual Examples

The Triage Tool

Two versions of the SATS

There are two versions of the SATS, depending on whether the patient is an adult or not. Adults have their own version and this is the one used for examples throughout this training manual. However, children have different values of heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure. There are two versions of the triage early warning score (TEWS) chart on the paediatric SATS poster: one for younger children (50cm to 95cm – one week to almost 3 years), and one for older children (96cm to 150cm – 3 years to around 12 years).

Three parts to the tool

The SATS consists of 3 parts: the clinical discriminator list (part 1), the Triage Early Warning Score (TEWS) (part 2) and the additional investigations (part 3).  The clinical discriminator list is used together with the TEWS and the additional investigations.  The provider needs to calculate the TEWS and check additional investigations once emergency clinical discriminators have been cleared.

For further information on:

Contact us:

michele@emssa.org.za

Permission to use resources & content:

The South African Triage Scale (SATS) and all SATS resources are licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

For a summary on what this license entails please see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Example of attributing the original work:

“Adult SATS chart”, © 2012 by the South African Triage Group under the auspices of the Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Example of attributing your derivative of the work:

This is an Arabic translation of “The South African Triage Scale training manual” © 2012 by the South African Triage Group under the auspices of the Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/. This Arabic translation is licensed under the same Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/.