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Advanced Trauma Life Support ®


  • National Chairman: Prof. John Lownie
  • Immediate Past Chairman: Dr Jacques Goosen
  • National Educator: Mr Gerhard Du Plessis
  • National Administrator: Mrs Diane Leverone

Trauma strikes down its many victims swiftly and indiscriminately. In that first critical hour after someone has been severely injured it is vital that doctors, nurses and paramedics act with speed, knowledge and skill to provide appropriate Advanced Life Support to the patient.

The ATLS Program is designed for medical staff who may not have immediate access to sophisticated emergency facilities and those working in emergency or surgical departments who have to treat victims of major trauma. The program emphasises the first hour of initial assessment and primary management of the injured patient, starting at the point of injury and continuing through initial assessment, life saving intervention, re-evaluation, stabilisation, and when needed, transfer to a facility in which the patient can receive specialised care.

Based on well established principals and objectives of trauma management, the course is intended to provided doctors, nurses and paramedics wit one acceptable method for safe management and the basic knowledge necessary to:

  • Assess the patient s condition rapidly and accurately
  • Resuscitate and stabilise the patient on a priority basis
  • Determine if the patient s needs will likely exceed a facility s capabilities
  • Arrange for the patients inter-hospital transfer
  • Assure that the optimal care is provided each step of the way

The two and a half day student course consists of core content lectures, case presentations, discussions, development of life saving skills, practical laboratory experience and a final performance proficiency evaluation. For the doctors this process also includes pre and post course tests. Upon completion students and auditors should feel confident in implementing the trauma skills taught in the course.

The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma developed the current ATLS Course in accordance with the college s long-standing dedication to improvement of care for the surgical patient. The Trauma Society of South Africa respects these principles and has undertaken to promulgate this course according to the American College of Surgeons doctrine and to the benefit of the victims of trauma in South Africa.

Please note that the closing date for applications is presently four weeks prior to the commencement of a course. Each course is limited to 20 Doctors, 10 Registered Nurses or C.C.A. Paramedic participants. The courses are heavily oversubscribed and currently there is a waiting list of approximately four months. It would also help us, therefore, if you could indicate on the form your involvement in trauma care.

The Trauma Unit is the co-ordinating point for the ATLS course in the Witwatersrand area, and courses take place in the Department of Surgery.

ATLS certification lasts for 4 years, and is intended for licensed medical practitioners. Update can be via a Refresher Course, which is a one day course, and can be taken 3 months before to 6 months after the date of expiry.

Course Details 2006

  • 2 day student course: R 2500.00 (Medical Practitioners)
  • 1 day refresher course: R 1500.00
  • Cost for auditors: R 1200.00 (Nurses and Paramedics)

This fee covers all aspects of the course, including the course manual, all course materials, meals, etc. Course fees are payable to ATLS,either directly at the ATLS Office or into our Bank Account.

Banking Details

Standard Bank of South Africa
Account type: Current Account
Account No: 200447858
Branch: Parktown
Branch No: 000-355


Johannesburg Hospital
Trauma Unit
ATLS Office
Area 378
Orange Block
Level Seven

Course Dates 2005

  • Johannesburg
    • 8-10 June 2006
    • 2-4 August 2006
    • 14-16 September 2006
    • 18-20 October 2006
    • 8-10 November 2006
    • Refresher - 31 August 2006
  • Polokwane
    • 20-22 June 2006
    • 3-5 October 2006
    • 28-30 November 2006
  • Klerksdorp
    • 20-22 July 2006

Refresher Courses

  • 9 June
  • 3 November

Course Contacts

Wits Chairman: Mr. F. Plani
Wits Co-ordinator: Ms. S. Marx

Address: ATLS Witwatersrand
Postnet Suite 235
Private Bag X 2600
South Africa
Tel: 27-11-488-3373
Fax: 27-11-488-4322

South Africa

Other Course Centres are:

  1. Bloemfontein
  2. Cape Town
  3. Durban
  4. East London
  5. Pretoria

Further details of the above centres can be reached via the National Office or via the ATLS home page:
Address: ATLS South Africa
PO Box 16050
Brighton Beach
South Africa
Tel: 27-31-302-9726
Fax: 27-31-305-4060