Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Apr 15;(2):CD004173. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004173.pub3.

Advanced trauma life support training for hospital staff.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, S-321, 513 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

Update in



Injury is responsible for an increasing global burden of death and disability. As a result, new models of trauma care have been developed. Many of these, though initially developed in high-income countries (HICs), are now being adopted in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). One such trauma care model is advanced trauma life support (ATLS) training in hospitals, which is being promoted in LMICs as a strategy for improving outcomes for victims of trauma. The impact of this health service intervention, however, has not been rigorously tested by means of a systematic review in either HIC or LMIC settings.


To quantify the impact of ATLS training for hospital staff on injury mortality and morbidity in hospitals with and without such a training program.


We searched the CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PUBMED, CINAHL and ZETOC databases and the Cochrane Injuries Group's Specialised Register. For this update, the search strategy was expanded to include more parameters on research methodology and was run for all years to September 2008.


Randomised controlled trials, controlled trials and controlled before-and-after studies comparing the impact of ATLS-trained hospital staff versus non-ATLS trained hospital staff on injury mortality and morbidity.


One author applied the eligibility criteria to trial reports for inclusion, and extracted data.


There is a limited amount of literature about this topic. None of the studies identified by the search met the inclusion criteria for this review.


There is no clear evidence that ATLS or similar programs impact the outcome for victims of injury, although there is some evidence that educational initiatives improve knowledge of hospital staff of available emergency interventions. Furthermore, there is no evidence that trauma management systems that incorporate ATLS training impact positively on outcome. Future research should concentrate on the evaluation of trauma systems incorporating ATLS, both within hospitals and at the health system level, by using more rigorous research designs.

Update of

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk