The Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) Course arose from the zeal and passion of a small group of surgeons intent on improving patient care. In 1976, when orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Styner encountered a woefully inadequate response to the needs of his children injured in a light plane crash in rural Nebraska, he was compelled to take action. He spurred the development of an organized systematic approach to the evaluation and care of the injured patient. Recently retired Director of Member Services for the American College of Surgeons, Paul “Skip” Collicott MD, FACS, joined forces with his then-colleague Dr. Styner and the movement called “Advanced Trauma Life Sup- port” was born. In short order, it was adopted by the Committee on Trauma and since then, the course has been developed and refined year after year, decade after decade, in that same spirit of dedication kindled by its founders. Since its inception, ATLS has trained more than one million physicians in 63 countries and no doubt has saved countless lives. In recent years, several individuals central to the development and promulgation of ATLS have been lost. While we miss them, their spirit lives on as we celebrate the launch of the Ninth Edition of ATLS.
The Ninth Edition represents the latest in evidence-based care for the injured. The course materials were thoroughly vetted by a group of international experts and the content was vigorously debated for both its scientific merit and practical application. The result is a vibrant offering for health care providers across the world who seek an easily remembered framework to care for patients with complex injures. The new edition has many changes including the latest techniques in initial assessment, a balanced strategy for resuscitation, and an interactive approach to learning.
So then, on the occasion of this, the Ninth Edition of ATLS, we remember the spirit in which it was founded and we celebrate our work as we carry out the mission of the Committee on Trauma. We hope you will find the course stimulating and interesting. Above all, we hope it will help you save a life.