The History of the Panamerican Trauma Society
by Paula Ferrada, M.D.
The Panamerican Trauma Society (PTS) was founded in 1987 with the objective of improving trauma care in North, Central, and South America. For the last 30 years, the PTS has strived to improve care by creating programs for education, increasing communication and collaboration via its annual Congress, improving the quality and quantity of publications from South American surgeons, and creating a trauma registry to collect data and aid in quality improvement efforts. A history of the PTS was published in this open-access article in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.
The PTS meets annually. The meetings feature original science, several named lectures, talks on a variety of controversial topics, and the North/South session where surgeons from North America debate their Latin American colleagues on management of complicated cases. The PTS has developed education programs that include surgical skills, disaster preparedness, nursing and EMS courses, ultrasound training, and trauma prevention. These are given in conjunction with the annual Congress as well as during the year in different Latin American countries.
There is a long history of collaboration between the PTS and the AAST. Past PTS presidents include Drs. David Feliciano and Raul Coimbra. Executive Directors have been Drs. Aurelio Rodriguez, Andrew Peitzman, Rao Ivatury, and currently, Thomas Scalea.
The PTS is undergoing radical change. It seeks to form much tighter relationships with the AAST and with EAST. This year’s meeting, which will be held in Cartagena, Colombia, will feature many more interactive sessions. The pre-meeting courses will be greatly expanded. There will be opportunities for increased discussion between North American trauma professionals and their Southern colleagues.
Participation in the PTS provides great opportunity for collaboration and exchange of ideas regarding surgical techniques, with different options for therapy in different resource settings. There are a number of opportunities to do collaborative research. The PTS seeks to engage young people who wish to change the face of the future of the care of critically injured patients at a global scale.