Video assessment of trauma response: adherence to ATLS protocols

Am J Emerg Med. 1996 Oct;14(6):564-9. doi: 10.1016/S0735-6757(96)90100-X.


A novel strategy using videotape recordings of initial trauma resuscitations was incorporated into the quality assurance program at a level 1 trauma center. Described are the process of taping the resuscitations, the multidisciplinary nature of the resuscitation team, the security measures taken to assure patient confidentiality, and the review process involved. The videotape review process was incorporated into a multidisciplinary educational trauma conference. The videotapes were used to evaluate the adherence to Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) resuscitation protocols. Resident performance in six aspects of the ATLS resuscitation process were specifically highlighted on each videotape and graded for adherence to preestablished standards. The videotape process allowed an unblased, indisputable accurate documentation of the sequential application of the protocols of evaluation and resuscitation espoused in the ATLS course. We found 23% overall deviation from ATLS resuscitation principles, with at least one aspect of the resuscitation deviating from expected ATLS performance in 64% of the patients. In addition to documenting adherence to ATLS principles, this study illustrated the impact of the videotape review process on the education of eight senior residents in surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Emergency Medicine / education*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Resuscitation*
  • Videotape Recording*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*