I am very excited about the 6th Edition of Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) book and course materials from the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), made available at the end of September.
Before going into the details of the newest edition, I must tell you that I am involved with PHTLS and have been the NAEMT’s program committee chairman since 1996. I must also tell you I receive no royalties for the books and materials and neither do any executive council members nor editors and contributors.
PHTLS has trained nearly half a million providers in 38 countries since its inception 25 years ago. With the 6th edition text and course, the organization has incorporated the latest research with the intent of improving trauma patient outcomes.
If you can’t get to a course, get a copy of the book. You won’t be disappointed. The latest version of PHTLS is more comprehensive and fully referenced so that if the book make a statement it’s backed up by references to the science that dictate the standards.
The 6th edition text is fully revised and includes five new chapters to cover a wider gamut of trauma in the new world in which we find ourselves working.
The book starts out with the Advanced Trauma Life Support course from the American College of Surgeons. This course teaches trauma care to physicians in 40 countries. That’s the course’s core and it goes on from there to be designed specifically for prehospital care.
The latest edition is divided into five divisions. The first section is on energy and injury, which includes an introduction and chapters on injury prevention and kinematics.
The second division is patient assessment and management. It include chapters on scene safety, the patient, airway and ventilation and shock.
The next section is dedicated to specific injuries and includes chapters on trauma to the head, spine, thorax, abdomen, musculoskeletal system, pediatric, geriatric and environmental and burn trauma.
In the fourth section, core content systems and summaries are given as well as descriptions of modern emergency medical services and trauma systems.
The new edition’s fifth and final section contains chapters on disaster management, weapons of mass destruction, civilian tactical EMS and wilderness trauma.
In conjunction with the 6th edition release, PHTLS will publish the second military version of PHTLS in October. This is a significant revision of the first PHTLS military edition. Significant content additions that will not be found in the civilian text are here and are specific to trauma in military applications.
Things To Know
Here are some things you should know about PHTLS. It’s very different from any other EMS text prehospital care providers typically review.
First of all, PHTLS is different than any other EMS text you might look at. As I mentioned, none of the authors or editors receive a dime for their work writing, editing and developing the courses that go along with the text. Even the executive council of PHTLS works without pay, working purely out of the commitment that education has improved patient outcomes, a fact backed up by studies by Dr. Jameel Ali, who studied cases where providers were trained in PHTLS.
All of the revenue generated by the PHTLS text and the courses is used by the NAEMT to support EMS providers everywhere. Specifically, PHTLS is reinvesting in our providers by conducting symposia to educate them on research shaping the future of our practice. It also sponsors research to determine the appropriateness of current practices and the potential for future practices.
PHTLS courses are available all over the U.S. and in 37 other countries. The text has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Norwegian, Danish, Greek, Dutch, Korean and Italian.
Information about PHTLS courses, the research, symposia, and how you can find course or become PHTLS faculty can be found at the website www.phtls.org .