Improving Trauma Care Worldwide

Interim Guidance from ITLS During COVID-19 Outbreak

With precautionary measures that include travel restrictions and group gathering limitations being imposed worldwide to help control the spread of COVID-19, International Trauma Life Support offers the following interim guidance on conducting ITLS courses and certification expiration date issues that may arise during this period of global uncertainty:

Download PDF – Interim Guidance from ITLS During COVID-19 Outbreak

(Full text of the Guidelines follows here:)

Conducting ITLS Courses:

Chapter and Training Centres should consult with their local, regional and national authorities for the latest guidance and restrictions on in-person gatherings. If in-person courses will be held, a limit to the number of students may need to be enforced. Courses may need to be postponed or rescheduled for a future date to comply with local mandates (Chapter Coordinators have the ability to revise all course dates in CMS for their course coordinators).

Chapters and Training Centres should consider the use of ITLS eTrauma (8th edition) for the didactic portion of the ITLS Provider course, to minimize the in-person requirements for ITLS certification. More details about ITLS eTrauma are available at There is not yet a planned release date for the 9th edition ITLS eTrauma course, but Chapters and Training Centres may continue to use 8th edition eTrauma and 8th edition instructor materials until the 9th edition eTrauma course becomes available.

ITLS Card Expiration Dates:

In this pandemic crisis, it is our ITLS providers and instructors who are at the frontlines, providing care to patients as well as education to the public. We are mindful that many individuals require a current, valid ITLS card/certification in order to maintain their employment. For this reason, ITLS recommends that all Chapters and Training Centres extend card expiration dates at the request of the provider, for a period no less than 3 months, or until the pandemic situation stabilizes. Chapters and Training Centres may choose a different expiration extension period as desired and agreed upon according to the procedures outlined in their Policy & Procedure Manual. Management of all extensions, and associated record-keeping, is the responsibility of the Chapter/Training Centre.

ITLS Educational Materials and Online Resources:

Due to concerns with regard to COVID-19, ITLS staff is working remotely at this time and the ITLS Bookstore is being monitored on a part-time basis.  We have suspended the sales of non-essential items (i.e., patches, pins and some apparel) but will do our best to fulfill orders for manuals and guidebooks. Orders for 8th and 9th edition textbooks should continue to be placed through the ITLS website but will be fulfilled by Pearson at this time; we will update you if any of these services become unavailable.

There are a number of materials available to students and instructors to support online or hybrid learning.

As noted above, ITLS eTrauma (8th edition) is an 8-hour reinterpretation of the ITLS Provider didactic instruction (lectures) in a self-paced, online format.  Students follow the ITLS eTrauma program with a 1-day, in-person Completer Course to achieve their ITLS Provider certification (Advanced or Basic).

The 9th Edition Instructor Update has been released and is available for all instructors to complete online to become updated to the changes in the 9th edition manual and be eligible to teach from this textbook. The Update program can be completed entirely online, and instructors will be eligible for an Instructor Card renewal if they have met their Chapter/Training Centre’s teaching requirements.

The ITLS Instructor curriculum is also a blended-learning process that includes completion of the ITLS Instructor Course Online Component as part of the requirements. Read the full process of becoming an ITLS Instructor to determine if you are eligible.

The ITLS for Emergency Care Providers 9th edition manual is available in a digital format through VitalSource. There are two options, PDF and EPUB format, and the textbook is available for rent for 180 days. Costs of the 180-day rental period vary depending on options and location.

Links to both ebook options have been added to the ITLS Bookstore for convenience.

The VitalSource Bookshelf offers instant access to eTextbooks and study tools on any device, available both online and offline.

Just announced is the VitalSource Helps program, which supports students at semester-calendar schools who may have lost access to educational materials due to a campus moving online to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Students and instructors at impacted 2 and 4-year non-profit institutions in the U.S. can now access an expansive catalog of etexts through May 25, 2020, at no charge. This program is made possible by the support of leading publishers, campus retailers, and independent bookstores in higher education.

Students log into the VitalSource Bookshelf app using their school email address and can then find and view materials from participating publishers via VitalSource’s Explore capabilities within Bookshelf.


As a reminder, ITLS advises all Chapters, Training Centres, course coordinators and instructors to follow the existing recommendations outlined on the World Health Organization (WHO) website, and in the U.S., refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, as well as the guidance of national, state, and local public health authorities, which will have the most up-to-date facts and will provide information on basic protective measures against COVID-19.

We will continue to update you from an ITLS global perspective as the situation evolves. Thank you for all that you do for ITLS worldwide, now and going forward.

Chapters and Training Centres are also asked to share this Interim Guidance with their course coordinators, affiliate faculty, Boards, and/or Advisory Committees.