Trauma | Medical Council of Canada
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Version: July 2017
Legacy ID: 109


Trauma is common. Physicians must be capable of assessing and treating patients with life-threatening traumatic injuries.

Causal Conditions

(list not exhaustive)

  1. Blunt trauma (e.g., blast injuries, deceleration injuries)
  2. Penetrating trauma (e.g., stabbing, shooting)

Key Objectives

Given a patient who has sustained trauma, the candidate will diagnose the cause, severity, and complications of the injury, and will initiate an appropriate management plan.

Enabling Objectives

Given a patient with trauma, the candidate will

  1. list and interpret critical clinical findings, including those derived from:
    1. an appropriate history taken from patient or collateral;
    2. an appropriate examination performed according to Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) guidelines, completing primary and secondary surveys in order to ensure that all external evidence of injury is assessed;
  2. construct an effective initial management plan:
    1. initiate resuscitation of the injured patient and assess the patient’s response to resuscitation;
    2. prevent secondary injury of the injured patient (e.g., hypoxia, hypovolemia, spinal injury);
    3. determine whether the patient needs to be referred for specialized care;
  3. list and interpret investigations useful in the management of the injury (e.g., imaging, electrocardiogram), keeping in mind that such tests should be deferred if the patient is unstable.