Improving Trauma Care Worldwide


New Release in Current Thinking – March 2020

The ITLS Editorial Board has just published a brief “Current Thinking” position paper on COVID-19 and trauma care.


“Current Thinking” topics include position papers and documents of use and interest to ITLS instructors, course coordinators, and students. All documents are authored and/or reviewed by members of the ITLS Editorial Board.

All previously published position papers can be found in the Archives below.

Current Thinking – Spanish Translation

Current Thinking – 2019-2020

Current Thinking Topic – September 2019

Current Thinking Topics – May 2019

Current Thinking Topics – December 2017

“Player Down” Instructional Video for Assessing Youth Sports Injury

Featuring ITLS Instructor Jeff W. Hinshaw, MS, PA-C, NREMT-P!

The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma presents “Player Down,” an instructional video describing techniques for assessing injuries and stabilizing injured youth athletes. Includes sports equipment removal, spineboarding and lift techniques. Should be accompanied with educational leadership and additional instruction in a class setting.

“Assessing the Gold Standard — Lessons from the History of RCTs”

Laura E. Bothwell, Ph.D., Jeremy A. Greene, M.D., Ph.D., Scott H. Podolsky, M.D., and David S. Jones, M.D., Ph.D. N Engl J Med 2016; 374:2175-2181 June 2, 2016

DOI: 10.1056/NEJMms1604593

Over the past 70 years, randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) have reshaped medical knowledge and practice. Popularized by mid-20th-century clinical researchers and statisticians aiming to reduce bias and enhance the accuracy of clinical experimentation, RCTs have often functioned well in that role. Yet the past seven decades also bear witness to many limitations of this new “gold standard.” The scientific and political history of RCTs offers lessons regarding the complexity of medicine and disease and the economic and political forces that shape the production and circulation of medical knowledge.

Link to Full NEJM Article

“Health and Medical Response to Active Shooter and Bombing Events” Discussion Paper

Co-authored by ITLS Editor Roy Alson, PhD, MD, FACEP

Terrorist attacks, including mass shootings and bombings, have dramatic physical and emotional impact on a community. Terrorists often use inexpensive but deadly bullets and bombs to maximize the number of casualties and the lethality of injuries compared to conventional blunt trauma. Significantly increased severity of injuries have been observed in terrorist bombing incidents compared to “conventional” casualty incidents. A recent analysis of mass shooting events noted a wounding pattern different from military experience with very few cases of life-threatening extremity hemorrhage; therefore, extrication and transfer to definitive care needs to be a priority in addition to any in-place care provided.

Preventing these types of events is the optimal goal, but when an event occurs a rapid and effective response coordinated between agencies is required to optimize patient outcomes. In this discussion paper, members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Disasters examine some of the issues and potential best practices during responses to terrorist incidents. This paper is designed to explore the key issues and is not intended as a comprehensive or expert review of each topic area. This paper should serve as a prompt for responders and planners to consider areas where their community could address potential gaps.

Download Discussion Paper

Topics of Interest for the General Public

Stop the Bleed

No matter how rapid the arrival of professional emergency responders, bystanders will always be first on the scene.  A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes, therefore it is important to quickly stop the blood loss.

“Stop the Bleed” is a nationwide campaign presented by the Department of Homeland Security to empower individuals to act quickly and save lives.

Find out more: Stop the Bleed website

Current Thinking

“Current Thinking” topics include position papers and documents of use and interest to ITLS instructors, course coordinators, and students. All documents are authored and/or reviewed by members of the ITLS Editorial Board.

Published November 2014:

Personal Protective Equipment and Infectious Disease

Published May 2014 – includes video introductions:

Long Backboard Use for Spinal Motion Restriction of the Trauma Patient

Role of TXA in Management of Traumatic Hemorrhage in the Field – UPDATED!

Needle Decompression for Tension Pneumothorax

Past Topics

Utilization of Traction Splints with Open Femur Fracture

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