To help commemorate the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Centennial, the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons has been reprinting articles that exemplify how the organization has responded to the pressing issues in surgery over the last century. This month’s reprint from the October 1982 issue describes the purposes of the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS®) course.
This article explains why the ACS Committee on Trauma agreed to sponsor and contribute to the development of the course. The purposes of the course, the format of the program, and the national and international response to it also are described. For a more complete overview of the ATLS course, see the “Looking forward” column by ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS.