Most injured children in the United States with significant injury receive care from general or adult trauma surgeons. The goal of the pediatric trauma committee to keep up with the advances in the care of injured children and make sure children receive the best care possible, regardless of the training background of the treating physician or type of facility. In the last decade, advances in the care of children have taken shape in the form of fewer operations, shorter hospital stays for abdominal trauma, advanced neuro-monitoring for traumatic brain injury, increased understanding of pediatric concussion, and full-pendulum swings with regards to imaging. The prior pediatric trauma pre-session was well-attended and feedback was positive.
The pediatric trauma committee has taken on pediatric trauma education as a major initiative. Future plans are for a full pediatric trauma update, but the timing will not work out for the Hawaii meeting. The structure of the course will be a head-to-toe, fast-paced update of pediatric trauma geared towards practicing trauma surgeons who care for children, or are will be caring for children after time in an adult-only environment.
Additionally, pediatric surgeons need to learn from our colleagues in adult trauma care, and to advocate for the inclusion of children within trauma system and acute care surgery planning and preparation. To this end, and with the support of the AAST leadership, the AAST is committed to providing updates in adult trauma care at the Pediatric Trauma Society (PTS) on a yearly basis. Many advances in trauma are developed in the adult environment, and only later become integrated into pediatric trauma. The goal will be to focus on the advances that have the greatest potential impact on children in the coming years.
In a related topic, the committee forwarded concerns about the changes in CME requirements for ACS- verified centers caring for children. In the pediatric centers, there is no longer any requirement for trauma-specific CME, and at adult centers caring for children there is no longer any requirement for pediatric-specific trauma CME. While the prior guidelines requiring all specialists to meet these requirements may have been onerous, the omission of continued pediatric trauma learning requirements for core surgeons will potentially undermine any future progress.