atls by medical specialty

Do You Know Your ABCs by Subspecialty?

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CHICAGO, IL – The American College of Surgeons (ACS) released new subspecialty-focused primary survey guidelines for Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) this week after a panel review at the recent national meeting.

atls by medical specialty“With no major updates to the ATLS primary survey guidelines since the 1980s, we view this as a progressive and modern approach,” said Dr. Joyce Seldinger, MD, current ACS president.

“We have found that subspecialty residents and attendings, moonlighters, and emergency department physicians have difficulty remembering the basic ABCs because they are inclined to jump straight to evaluation within their fields of expertise.  However, the increasing multidisciplinary involvement in trauma evaluations at major trauma centers provides an unprecedented opportunity for comprehensive and expert patient care.”

Based on the traditional “ABCs” format for easy recall, here is a summary of the recent guidelines, listed by subspecialty:

Anesthesia
ASA Class/Analgesia
Breakfast
Coffee

Cardiology
Auscultation
Beta blocker/Blood pressure
Compressions/Catheterization

Dermatology
Asymmetry
Botox
Collagen
Dermabrasion

Emergency Medicine
Attending name
Bed board
CT without contrast/CT with contrast/Consult
Documentation

ENT
Afrin
Breathing
Cranial nerves

Family Medicine
Ask open-ended questions
Believe patient
Call 911

General Surgery
Abdomen
Book OR
Central line
DPL
Ex-lap/EUA

GI
Auscultate abdomen
Bristol stool chart/Bowel regimen
Colonoscopy

ICU
Albumin/Adrenaline
Blood gas
Cordis
Dialysis

Infectious Disease
Antibiotics
Blood cultures
Contact precautions

Medicine
Admit/Assess tomorrow
Break
Chart review
Deliberate
Evidence-based medicine

Neurology
Asymmetry
Brain exam
CT head

OB/GYN
Accels and decels
Braxton-Hicks
C-section

Ophthalmology
A
B
C
D
E

Orthopedics
Ancef/Admit to medicine
Bones
Cement/Cast/Cut
Discharge

Pathology
Atypia
Biopsy
Cryosection/Cytology
Defer to outside slide review

Pediatrics
APGAR/Admit
Band-Aid
Child life specialist/Candy

Plastic Surgery
Asymmetry
Breasts
Cosmesis

Psychiatry
Appearance/Affect
Behavior
CBT

Radiology
Accession number
Barium
Clinical correlation

Urology
Airway
Balls
Catheter/Coude
Digital rectal

Vascular Surgery
Access/Angiogram
Balloon
Check pulses
Doppler Q2

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