It has been a busy year for the Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) program with the introduction of the 7th edition, new courses and resources, and additions to faculty in the U.S. and overseas. The existing PHTLS courses were extensively reworked and the PHTLS for first responders text and course was rolled out. Adding to that, online versions of PHTLS became available as an option for course sites to use, along with live training and as a stand-alone continuing education opportunity.
New Text and Course
Along with revised versions of the PHTLS military and civilian texts for the 7th edition, a totally new text, PHTLS Trauma First Response was released. This text was designed for trained emergency medical responders, police, firefighters and other first responders. It also has applications for factory workers, teachers and anyone who may be at the scene at the time of injury, and in a position to provide initial care while EMS personnel respond.The text and the companion course were designed to be applicable for anyone with minimal or even no previous training.The eight-hour Trauma First Response (TFR) course was field-tested on a variety of audiences, including high school students with no previous training. All of the test site participants reported an increased comfort level with facing injured patients and their ability to provide some assistance. PHTLS faculty have been provided TFR materials in their instructor kits and are qualified to provide the course. For those that are National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) emergency medical responders, the course qualifies for CE through the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS).
Tactical Combat Casualty Care
Our Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) course continues to grow rapidly, with over 70 participants in our course at EMS World Expo and instructor training ongoing all over the U.S. and overseas (see below). The Tactical Combat Casualty Care Committee continues to provide updated material to our faculty to ensure the program is up to date with the latest battlefield data. While this course is being used for military and civilian tactical providers, we are also developing a version that is specific to civilian environments and hope to have information available on progress soon.
To assist our course sites by providing options for potential students with time constraints, and to support our mission of making the PHTLS course content available to everyone who can benefit from it, PHTLS has released online courses.
The first option is specifically for course sites. In this model, the student registers for a course at one of our course sites and is directed to the online course for the didactic portion of the course and written evaluations. Then the student will complete skills and skill testing at the course site to receive full reverification and certificate. The second option is for students who don’t have access to a course and/ or just want to get eight hours of CE credit for doing the didactic part online. This will not get the student a PHTLS card; they would have to go through a course site and do the live training to achieve that. We are excited about the opportunity for e-learning to expand our abilities to get trauma training to more providers.
Growing PHTLS Family
PHTLS has trained over 600,000 providers in over 50 countries since the first courses were offered in the late 1970s and early ’80s. This year, Egypt and Serbia joined the international faculty and Paraguay will be restarting their program in November as a part of the Pan-American Congress. Initial training is also taking place to develop faculty in Singapore and Brunei. Jordan has also begun to work toward bringing PHTLS in.
PHTLS has also partnered with the United Nations mission in Nairobi, Kenya, and the mission in Haiti to establish training sites for health workers rotating through missions there.