October 25, 2017

International Trauma Life Support (ITLS) Program Aims to Improve Trauma Care, Training Worldwide

ITLS is a global training program dedicated to preventing death and injury from traumatic injuries through education and trauma care. While many of you might be familiar with ITLS, you may not be aware of its history or connection with ACEP. 

Founded in 1985 as Basic Trauma Life Support, it was funded from an ACEP Chapter Grant to the Alabama Chapter. The course was originally developed by John Campbell, MD, FACEP who was given the first ACEP Outstanding Contribution in EMS Award in 1989. The course has been endorsed by ACEP since 1986.

ITLS is now an independent not-for-profit organization. Since 1994 it has been managed by the Illinois College of Emergency Physicians. Many ACEP Chapters sponsor and manage ITLS Chapters for their state as well, including Ohio, Florida, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, California, Illinois, Alabama,  Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, and Missouri

ITLS has grown to be an international standard with 95 chapters and training centers in 36 countries. Chapters and training centers are located on all continents except Antarctica. To date, ITLS has trained more than 600,000 trauma care professionals in 70 countries worldwide. 

ITLS courses combine classroom instruction with hands-on skill training and scenario assessment stations to challenge the students to expand their knowledge and skills in trauma care. ITLS has become accepted internationally as the standard for training prehospital professionals in trauma care. It is taught both as a continuing education course but also as part of many initial EMT and paramedic training programs. ITLS also offers eTrauma which is an online educational program that provides the didactic portion of the ITLS Provider course. It can be taken for CEU credit only or followed by an ITLS Completer course for skills and testing for ITLS certification. 

ITLS can be taught at two levels: Basic and Advanced. ITLS Basic provides the core knowledge and skills for all levels beginning at the EMT-Basic and first responder levels. ITLS Advanced builds on this knowledge and skills to address advanced procedures for paramedics, trauma nurses, and physicians. Other related ITLS courses include ITLS Access, ITLS Pediatric and ITLS Military. ITLS Access trains EMS crews with the skills they need to access, stabilize, and extricate trapped patients. ITLS Pediatric continues the training of the Basic and Advanced courses with an emphasis on trauma in children. And ITLS Military is a custom edition of a stand-alone military edition designed for military personnel.

To learn more information about ITLS, to arrange for a class, or set up a training center, visit www.itrauma.org. Also plan to attend the next ITLS International Trauma Conference November 3 – 5, 2017 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

Rick Murray, EMT/P
ACEP, EMS and Disaster Department Director

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