The Advanced Trauma Life Support® (ATLS®) program teaches a systematic, concise process for the care of a trauma patient. The ATLS program was developed in 1978 as a new provision of care for individuals suffering life-threatening injury. In 1980, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) introduced the program in the U.S. and abroad. Approaching its 40-year anniversary in Spring 2018, the ATLS course has achieved a world-renowned reputation for teaching safe and reliable methods of immediate management of the injured patient.
ATLS also has made a significant impact on how care of the trauma patient is approached in limited resource areas, both domestic and international. The knowledge and techniques taught during the course have proven to be adaptable across the world. There are about 70,000 courses across all ATLS course sites per year, which account for more than 1 million providers trained since the program’s inception. The course is offered in more than 75 countries, with recent promulgations in Ghana, Haiti, Moldova, and Mongolia.
“Thanks to the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, Haiti is finally on the list of countries offering lifesaving trauma education. The ATLS program is certainly a glimpse of hope for all those Haitian surgeons and physicians who give their best every day to injured patients throughout Haiti, despite the absence of organized trauma care,” said Dany Westerband, MD, FACS, medical director of trauma services, Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, MD.
The program is preparing for the release of its 10th Edition course in 2018. This notable edition will encompass the most significant changes that the program has implemented in its 40-year history. Major changes that are anticipated to enhance student learning include interactive discussions and structural changes to the skills stations to include unfolding case scenarios of the ABCDEs of trauma care.
Additionally, newly implemented technology will enhance the overall learning experience by offering students access to interactive course modules and voice-of-experience videos from senior trauma surgeons. The online resources provided to students will be accessible for the duration of the edition, allowing them to revisit modules, content, videos, and algorithms after their course ends.
“The 10th Edition revision represents the culmination of years of effort by an exceptionally dedicated group of people that include educators, coordinators, and physicians, including COT members and consultants,” said Sharon M. Henry, MD, FACS, ATLS Committee Chair. “We anticipate the 10th Edition of ATLS to be an improvement on an already excellent training course for the initial management of the injured patient.”
The ATLS program office looks forward to the global dissemination of the updated content and newly designed educational format. We encourage you to visit the Trauma Programs exhibit in the “My Specialty & Quality Programs” area in ACS Central, San Diego Convention Center, Exhibit Hall.