Triage in Intensive Care
From A History of the American Civil War, volume 2, by Karl Mendax.
On Civil War battlefields, field surgeons would group the wounded in threes. Because there weren't enough supplies to go around, they would pick the one soldier most likely to survive. This is why this medical selection is called triage. Tri- means three.
The lucky soldier would be carried into the medical field tent for treatment, while the unlucky two would be humanely placed under a shade tree and left to die. Over the years, this "in tents" care degenerated into “intensive care.”
Posted April 1, 2011