The experience of general and trauma surgeons in vascular trauma management has decreased with sub-specialization of surgery and working hours restrictions. We introduce a vascular trauma surgery skills course established to train German military surgeons prior to their deployment to conflict areas.
The intention and implementation of the vascular trauma course for non-vascular surgeons is described in detail.
In hands-on courses, participants learn and train basic vascular surgical techniques on more realistic extremity, neck, and abdominal models with pulsatile vessels. A fundamental and an advanced course each provide military as well as civilian surgeons from different non-vascular specialties with a surgical skill set including direct vessel sutures, patch angioplasty, anastomosis, thrombectomy, and resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) in order to render them capable of managing major vascular injuries.
The experiences of this vascular trauma surgical skills course, initially established for military surgeons, can also be of use to all civilian general, visceral, and trauma surgeons occasionally facing traumatic or iatrogenic vascular injuries. Thus, the introduced vascular trauma course is valuable for all surgeons working in trauma centers.