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Definitive Surgical Trauma Skills (DSTS)

Taught over two days by skilled and knowledgeable faculty, you will learn how to make life-saving surgical decisions and perform damage control under pressure in a trauma and emergency environment. 

Through practical workshops on unembalmed cadavers, you will learn surgical procedures to manage a broad range of trauma situations, as well as covering decision-making, epidemiology and emerging technologies.

RCS membership entitles you to a 10% discount on this course at partner centres. Find out if you're eligible to join or transfer

  • £1,399.00
  • 2 days
  • 12.00 CPD Points
2 days
12.00 CPD Points


This course is suitable for: ST5-8, consultants and SAS grades.

Participants should have a good understanding of ATLS and critical care principles and experience of managing trauma both frequently and infrequently.

Learning Outcomes

Following the course, you will be able to:

  • organise and plan how to manage life-saving decisions in a trauma and emergency environment;
  • describe the philosophy of damage control and apply it to a variety of scenarios, in particular exsanguinating haemorrhage;
  • discuss the epidemiology and physics of wound ballistics and blast injury;
  • recognise and appropriately manage the exsanguinating patient;
  • recognise the patient in need of immediate surgery for haemorrhage control. 

You will undertake operative damage control procedures, in cadaveric simulation, relating to:

  • thoracic trauma  (antero-lateral and clamshell thoracotomies, cardiac injuries, lung injuries [hilar and peripheral]);
  • vascular trauma;  
  • penetrating neck injuries;  
  • thoracic outlet and upper limb trauma; 
  • lower limb trauma; 
  • pelvic trauma (including extraperitoneal pelvic paking);
  • abdominal trauma (spleen, liver, pancreatico-duodenal, renal, retroperitoneal (IVC and aortic);     
  • bowel.


DSTS is a highly practical course that teaches procedures and surgical techniques required to manage exsanguinating polytrauma. The majority of the course is spent in the skills lab, working in small groups on unembalmed (fresh frozen) cadavers. Alongside this, there are lectures, case studies and on-going opportunities to discuss trauma management with expert faculty. You will also be given access to videos and accompanying procedural steps on our virtual learning environment that demonstrate many of the procedures taught on the course.

Additional Information

Course content

You will cover a variety of topics during this course, including:

  • closure and drains;
  • pulmonary injuries;
  • renal injury;
  • subclavian injuries and axillary injuries;
  • the damage control philosophy;
  • trauma laparotomy;
  • vascular didactic.

Take a look at a sample Definitive Surgical Trauma Skills (DSTS) programme.


10% discount on this course for RCS members

Members, Fellows and Associates benefit from a 10% discount on this course when held at our Partner Centres in London and Manchester.

Your discount will be applied automatically when booking. 

Find out more about joining today.

Booking Options

Partner Centres

BRIGHTON, United Kingdom

14 Dec 2020
15 Dec 2020

Here is an overview of the programme

DSTS Programme.pdf


Pricing notes:

Full price: £1399.00
RCS England Members/Fellows: £1259.10

Course Fees:

Please note, for courses held at the College, we require full payment upon booking. Take a look at our cancellation policy first.

For regional and international course payments and terms & conditions, please contact the relevant centre.

BRIGHTON, United Kingdom


Brighton & Sussex Medical School
University of Sussex
United Kingdom
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