The British ATACC concept – Anaesthesia Trauma And Critical Care – is as the name implies a course focusing on the anaesthestic (non-surgical) part of trauma and critical care treatment. The course was developed as a more advanced and up-to-date answer to the basic and slow-changing ATLS. The full ATACC manual is available free online . true #FOAM!
The online manual
The ATACC manual comes in three big volumes:
1. Introduction to trauma care and the prehospital management
2. Initial management and hospital trauma care
3. More specialised trauma considerations
ATACC vs ATLS
For hospital docs, volume 2 and parts of volume 3 will be the most important ones, but the three volumes are sprinkled with pearls. I also love this part from the introduction in vol 1, outlining ATACC vs ATSL:
“…To be fair ATLS aimed to do nothing more than provide a robust background of trauma skills for clinicians who may face major trauma on an infrequent basis and have to manage it in a systematic fashion as part of a trauma team. It was never designed to be the course for leading major trauma centres and as such ‘advanced’ may not be the best title, but as an initial introduction it was a good start. Sadly, as our approach to trauma has progressed, a number of methods and principles of ATLS have proved incorrect, but these were slow to be changed, resulting in many disillusioned candidates and Faculty members. As such ATACC offered a fresh alternative.”
A more advanced trauma manual
And ATACC seems to have accomplished what they set out to do. They mention and discuss things like the abdominal tourniquet (they’re not convinced), different types of hemostatic dressings, musings on RSI (incl. apneic oxygenation), discussing sux vs roc, and outlining damage control resuscitation. Much of the curriculum is presented for the reader to judge instead of trying to present absolute truths. And all the chapters contains lots of good article references. And the manual will be continuously updated, so if you download, please check back from time to time to get the most updated version.
We commend the ATACC faculty for putting the full manual out there for all to access, read and discuss! It’s a great addition to our trauma management library!