Care in the Shock Room: MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE Offers Internationally-Recognized Course Concept

Again this year, the MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE offers doctors in clinics and practices, scientists and engineers from medical technology an interdisciplinary advanced training course based on the motto “Science Meets Medical Technology”. Due to high demand last year, the program designers expanded the international offering at the conference. This is also reflected in the courses: one of the many options for doctors from all disciplines is the opportunity to acquire the internationally-recognized Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS®) certificate.

According to an analysis of the TraumaRegisters of the German Society for Trauma Surgery (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Unfallchirurgie - DGU), doctors treat 18,200 to 18,400 severely injured patients in Germany every year. These patients have suffered a polytrauma, which means several injuries to various parts of the body at the same time. At least one of these injuries or their combination is life-threatening. These patients are admitted to clinics via a shock room, where an interdisciplinary team of doctors must decide on the necessary acute treatments under enormous time pressure: treat first what kills first – what must be treated first? How can possible consequential damages be avoided? The Advanced Trauma Life Support concept (ATLS®) suggests standardized procedures for such situations.

The Advanced Trauma Life Support concept (ATLS®) is a training concept for shock room management developed in the 1970s at the American College of Surgeons, Chicago, and is now updated every four years by an international team. It is taught in courses around the world in more than 50 countries and it is a mandatory part of medical training in the US, Great Britain, Switzerland and other countries.

“The ATLS® course program provides systematic knowledge, skills and rules of conduct for the first hours of acute clinical diagnostics and care of severely traumatized patients,” explains Dr. Frithjof Wagner, national course director for ATLS® courses in Germany and head of the course at the MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE. “It is aimed at doctors of all disciplines working together in the shock room; this includes general and trauma surgeons, anesthetists, neurosurgeons, internists and radiologists.” Objectives include fast and precise assessment of the condition of the trauma patient, priority-oriented treatment and a decision whether local resources are sufficient for the treatment of the patient or if transport of the patient must be considered.

The ATLS® course consists of overview lectures, case presentations and practical exercises in small groups, in which participants acquire skills for lifesaving measures. It takes place at the MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE from November 14 to 16. In addition to airway management and ventilation, the analysis of X-rays of chest and spinal injuries and the procedure in the event of head or neck injuries are provided as examples. Lifesaving interventions such as cricothyrotomy, pericardiocentesis or safe and rapid insertion a thoracic drainage is trained in surgical mock-ups using a dummy. The treatment of traumas in children, pregnant women and elderly people is also presented. The program includes an introductory and final test with a concluding review of the entire course content. In order to ensure individual support, the number of participants is limited to 16 doctors. One tutor continuously supervises four participants. Case exercises and practical examinations are carried out as full-size simulations with realistically made up actor patients. The special feature of the course at the MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE in Düsseldorf is its duration of two and a half instead of two days – making time for additional exercises.

“We are very pleased that we can offer the ATLS® course to the participants of the MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE,” says conference president Professor Dr. Stefan Frantz. It is at the right place at the conference, since an interdisciplinary approach and medical technology are key factors in emergency care: “Patients benefit from the interdisciplinary cooperation among doctors as well as from the high level of medical technology, for example the imaging techniques used in the shock room.” The course is thus a model for what the MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE stands for. In addition to the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS®) course, the MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE also offers the opportunity to attend the internationally-certified Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS®) course, a 3-nation basic training course based on the Curriculum Emergency Sonography of the German Society for Ultrasound in Medicine (DEGUM), a sonography refresher course as well as a hands-on seminar in tropical medicine laboratory diagnostics. The number of participants in the courses with international certification is limited. A fee is charged to participants and separate registration is required. Tickets are available in advance at, starting August 1. The other two courses are included in the price of the day tickets for the conference.

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Florian Debus, Dr. med. et al.: Numbers of Severely Injured Patients in Germany. A Retrospective Analysis from the DGU (German Society for Trauma Surgery) Trauma Registry, Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2015 Dec; 112(49): 823–829

Düsseldorf, July 2016

The MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE is an interdisciplinary advanced training course of the German Association for Internal Medicine (DGIM) and the Messe Düsseldorf according to the motto “Science Meets Medical Technology” which takes place from November 14 to 17, 2016 in Düsseldorf. It takes place concurrently with the world trade fair for medical technology MEDICA on Monday and Thursday between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm. Due to the clear scheduling structure, visitors have flexibility in choosing between the different topics and sessions. Three events (sessions) and various courses on a focus topic are offered in parallel each day. A CME certification has already been requested for the sessions; the courses are partially internationally certified. Following the conference at 3:30 pm, the participants have the opportunity to visit the MEDICA trade fair until 6:30 pm. The world`s largest trade fair offers the perfect addition to the conference with its innovative technological worlds. For further information on the conference program see

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