Objective: To determine the level of training of General Surgeons in the UK in the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course and their involvement with hospital trauma teams.
Methods: Postal questionnaire sent to General Surgical Consultants and Higher Surgical Trainees (HSTs).
Results: 58% of General Surgeons who responded had attended ATLS, but only 30% of those who had been Consultants for more than 10 years. Eighty-seven percent considered the course 'essential' or 'some value'. Sixty-one percent of hospitals represented had a trauma team. A Consultant General Surgeon was a member of the team in 50% and the General Surgical HST in 82%.
Conclusion: ATLS has been widely accepted by General Surgical Trainees and recently appointed Consultants. The trauma team approach to resuscitation has yet to become fully established in the UK and there is limited input from Consultant General Surgeons.