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RCS launches updated Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLSĀ®) course

13 Sep 2018

The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has today launched the 10th edition of the prestigious Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course, which trains clinicians on the most effective ways to manage severely injured trauma patients. 

The RCS is the only organisation in the world to offer this new hybrid course of e-learning and practical face-to-face training.  It is highly interactive, with scenario-based skill stations, triages and realistic patient simulated scenarios.

Professor Derek Alderson, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said:

“We are thrilled that the RCS is the first organisation in the world to offer this new format of the internationally acclaimed ATLS course.

“It provides essential training for any doctor or surgeon planning to work in emergency medicine, or within a trauma setting.  Delivered by professionals who are renowned in their fields, the feedback we have received from the pilots has been extremely positive. This has been true about both the content of the course and the high quality of the teaching.”

The ATLS course originated in America after an orthopaedic surgeon named Mr James Styner was involved in a plane crash. He was seriously injured, while his wife was killed and three of their children were critically injured. Shocked at the emergency medical treatment his family received at a hospital in rural Nebraska, Mr Styner decided that a new approach was needed to treat seriously injured trauma patients. He and a group of physicians and surgeons, and the University of Nebraska, set up courses to teach advanced trauma life support skills.  

These courses became the basis for the national ATLS courses - which the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma ran.  In 1988, the RCS started teaching the ATLS course. Now in its 30th year, the RCS is the only provider of the ATLS course in the UK, and the biggest outside of North America. Its aim is to train clinicians how to safely manage the initial resuscitation of severely injured patients. The course is run in 100 UK RCS regional centres; in 2017 the RCS trained over 4,300 clinicians.

The ATLS course is beneficial for anyone wanting to work in emergency medicine (EM) or within a trauma setting.  The GMC mandates that trainees in some surgical specialties, anaesthetics and EM undertake a trauma management course. It is also a requirement for a certificate of completion of training (CCT) for some surgical specialties. It is taught by expert surgeons and physicians who practise in emergency medicine, anaesthetics and other specialties.

Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

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