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Advanced trauma life support (ATLS) guidelines provide a systematic approach to the initial management of the trauma patient. Teams that follow the systematic ATLS approach have less errors and better patient outcomes.1 Non-adherence to the guidelines, however, is common and can lead to medical errors and delays in diagnosis.2 3 In our academic centres, we have observed emergency medicine (EM) interns struggling to maintain the discipline to complete the primary survey before beginning the secondary survey, despite ATLS certification. In order to force the team leader to systematically approach trauma resuscitations and use closed loop communication, a blindfold is placed on the team leader. Team members are only permitted to perform orders that are explicitly directed to them by the leader. The leader only knows the ordered tasks are completed by asking the trauma team members to repeat back all completed tasks. This blindfolded training method has demonstrated strong potential to improve the way residents learn to lead trauma resuscitations.
What problem was addressed?
Despite initial certification in ATLS, EM interns in the simulation lab struggled to demonstrate the discipline of remaining focused on the primary survey and not moving …
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