The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and its Committee on Trauma (COT) have developed the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) program for doctors. This program provides systemic and concise training for the early care of trauma patients. The ATLS program provides participants with a safe, reliable method for immediate management of the injured patient and the basic knowledge necessary to:
- Assess the patient’s condition rapidly and accurately.
- Resuscitate and stabilize the patient according to priority.
- Determine if the patient’s needs exceed a facility’s capacity.
- Arrange appropriately for the patient’s inter-hospital transfer (who, what, when, and how).
- Assure that optimum care is provided and that the level of care does not deteriorate at any point during the evaluation, resuscitation, or transfer process.
For doctors who infrequently treat trauma, the ATLS course provides an easy to remember method for evaluating and treating the victim of a traumatic event. For doctors who treat traumatic disease on a frequent basis, the ATLS course provides a scaffold for evaluation, treatment, education, and quality assurance. In short, ATLS is a measurable, reproducible, and comprehensive system of trauma care.