ATLS: a foundation for trauma training

Ann Emerg Med. 1999 Aug;34(2):233-7. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(99)70238-6.


The Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course is sponsored by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. This course was developed to provide a consistent method of care for the resuscitation and evaluation of the injured patient. The ATLS course provides an easily remembered method for evaluating and treating the victim of a traumatic event. It also provides a scaffold for evaluation, treatment, education, and quality improvement of our ability to provide quality medical care to our patients. This article chronicles the past, present, and future of ATLS. The process of revising the ATLS course is reviewed. The changes recently introduced in the sixth edition of the ATLS course are highlighted. The worldwide growth of ATLS is acknowledged. The strength of this educational course remains the commitment to our primary goal of optimal care for the injured patient.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Humans
  • Resuscitation*
  • Traumatology / education*
  • United States