Triage Quick Reference Guide

Assessment of pain

Page last updated: 21 January 2013

Validated Methods for quantitative assessment of pain

Visual analogue scale: 100mm line
(Nelson, Cohen, Lander, et al, 2004)
Use a 100mm line as shown below.

The line represents severity of pain on the scale from zero to ten.

Ask the patient to mark their level of pain on the 100mm line above.
(The left end of the 100mm line represents zero and indicates a level of no pain. The right end of the line represents 10 and indicates a level of severe pain.)

Application of a triage category

Descriptive terms to guide acuity for the ATS and validated methods for quantitative assessment of pain.

Descriptor ATS category
Very severe
Moderately severe

Reference: Australian College of Emergency Medicine.