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ATS Position Statements

As an advocate for trauma systems and the care of the trauma patient, the ATS participates actively in shaping sound public policy in healthcare and the trauma industry.

The position statements below are an explanation, a justification or a recommendation for a course of action that reflects ATS’s stance regarding the concern. The development process for position statements initially involves a consensus-building approach and internal deliberation by the Legislative and Policy Committee. A draft of the proposed position statement is then posted on ATS’s website, for public comment. Following public comment the statement is revised if necessary and reviewed by the ATS Board of Directors for their approval. This process allows each and every member to voice their views and opinions on the various dimensions of the issue at hand.  Position statements expire or are retired by the organization when appropriate.

The links below lead to summaries of each position statement; in all cases, the full text is available for downloading.


2019-01 Injury Prevention

Injury and violence have a significant impact on the health and well-being of the U.S. population and are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44. In 2017 169,936 people were killed by unintentional injuries, 47,173 by suicide and 20,126 by homicide in the United States. Non-fatal injuries affect millions more Americans who are left with life-changing mental, physical and financial challenges. The cost of injuries and violence in the U.S. is staggering, with the total lifetime medical and work loss cost exceeding $672 billion in 2013.These substantial costs, both human and financial, dramatically underscores the importance of trauma prevention programs as a cost-effective measure to reduce injury.

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2018-01 Firearm Violence

Firearm violence is a major national emergency and a public health crisis. The American Trauma Society (ATS) believes it is time for all, including our legislators, to get involved, advocate for new research into this problem, and work towards a shared resolution of this national issue. Expressing our grief and outrage alone has not been an effective tactic for change. We must be proactive instead of reactive, avoid assigning blame, and join together to meet this challenge. Our response must be consistent and continuous until we see an end to the violence...

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2017-01 Comprehensive Trauma Survivor Support

Each year trauma accounts for 41 million emergency department visits and 2.3 million hospital admissions across the nation; approximately 20-40 percent of these survivors experience high levels of post traumatic stress disorder and/or depressive symptoms. The American Trauma Society believes that comprehensive patient centered trauma care includes a commitment to systematically addressing trauma survivors’ psychosocial needs both in the hospital and during recovery, and the implementation of peer support programs connecting patients and families to each other...(click here to see more)


2016-2 Injury Prevention 

Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 1 and 44. (1) Each year, millions of Americans are injured and survive. Many are left with life-changing mental, physical and financial challenges. There are over 40 million Emergency Department visits and over 2 million hospital admissions due to injury. (2) Injuries account for approximately $671 billion in medical and work-loss costs. (3) This substantial cost drastically underscores the importance of trauma prevention programs as a cost-effective measure to reduce injury.....(click here to see more)


2016-1 Trauma Registry 

Trauma Registrars/Data Analysts have traditionally been the data backbone of any successful trauma program. Trauma Registrars provide the trauma data necessary to support daily functions of the trauma program, accreditation/verification, performance improvement and research activities......(click here to see more) 


2015-1 Trauma Research 

Traumatic injury affects over 37 million people every year in the United States. In addition, it remains the leading cause of death and disability for Americans age one through forty four, creating a dramatic economic burden. Trauma is a disease, just like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes—there is a physiology, treatment algorithm, rehabilitation, and prevention strategy. As with other diseases, research funding is critical to decrease morbidity and mortality associated with traumatic injury.....(click here to see more) 


2013-3 Trauma Systems

Trauma continues to be a leading cause of death for all age groups.  Receiving care for a severe injury at a designated/verified trauma center can lower risk of death by 25 percent, yet almost 45 million Americans do not have access to a trauma center within one hour of becoming injured (CDC). The lack of adequate health care infrastructure to serve trauma patients leads to preventable deaths and calls for an expanded, more accessible, trauma system in many areas of the country.....(click here to see more) 

2013-2 Firearm Violence

Fatal and nonfatal injuries from firearms constitute a major health problem in the United States.  Firearm-related suicides and homicides were the fourth and fifth leading causes of injury death in the United States during 2006-2007, together accounted for approximately 30,000 fatalities each year.  Nationally, the firearm homicide rate among youths aged 10-19 years slightly exceeded the rate for persons of all ages.  While motor-vehicle deaths dropped 22 percent from 2005 to 2010, gun fatalities are rising again after a low point in 2000.  Based on these trends, gun-related fatalities are on pace to surpass deaths from automobile collisions by 2015.....(click here to see more)


2013-1 Optimal Care of Trauma Patients

The American public is largely unaware that most hospitals/health systems are not trauma centers.  The assumption is frequently made that every hospital with a designated emergency department is equipped to optimally manage a trauma patient.  Currently, the resources to inform the American public on the numerous hospital resources needed to care optimally for the trauma patient are limited.....(click here to see more) 

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