Panamerican Journal of Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Surgery
Volume 9 | Issue 1 | Year 2020

The Panamerican Trauma Society and the Global Response to COVID-19

Antonio Marttos

Department of Surgery, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA

Corresponding Author: Antonio Marttos, Department of Surgery, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA, Phone: +1 305-585-1178, e-mail: amarttos@med.miami.edu

How to cite this article Marttos A. The Panamerican Trauma Society and the Global Response to COVID-19. Panam J Trauma Crit Care Emerg Surg 2020;9(1):1–2.

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: None

Over the past months, the medical field has been abruptly challenged in a way that we would have never expected in the 21st century. A new disease that overwhelmed the healthcare systems of many countries, and the entire medical community took action in collaboration to find a better way to face COVID-19.

A global collaboration started with discussions about the course of disease in each country, how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and treatment options.

As COVID-19 was found to be a highly contagious disease with severe complications, we have been witnessing a massive worldwide work to find ways to support the critical patients and try to save lives.

For the past 10 years, the Panamerican Trauma Society (PTS) has conducted the weekly videoconference International Trauma Tele-Grand Rounds. Trauma surgeons, physicians, students, hospitals, and universities from around the world, including outside of the Americas, connect to review a real-life trauma case and learn from each other. Participants discuss many resuscitation and management options, using the tools available in their hospitals and countries. Of the 40-plus conferences that happened every year, the entire group learned from each other the multiple different ways to treat patients and achieve the same goals: share expertise; teach residents, fellows, and medical students; and advance the science of trauma.

When COVID-19 became a pandemic and the whole world went home in a mass social isolation experiment, the PTS decided it could help by building on the same concept. The PTS started a second weekly videoconference focused on the pandemic. Health-care professionals from around the world are invited to share their experiences, preparation, lessons learned, treatments proposed, and advices for all health professionals dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every week the PTS Global Response to COVID-19 invite alternate professionals from different countries that have been affected by COVID-19 to share their experiences by videoconference. The presentation is followed by a group of panelists that discuss the main topic, while presenters and panelists answer the questions from the webinar attendees from around the world.

The global response to COVID-19 has been joined by our associated societies, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma–International Relations Committee (AAST-IRC) and the World Coalition for Trauma Care (WCTC). Panamerican Trauma Society, AAST, and WCTC together with all their affiliated societies worldwide have been discussing hospital, regional and country system preparation, treatments, critical care, use of extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), new therapies, and new strategies.

Initial data showed that more than 600 physicians/institutions worldwide have been participating in these teleconferences/webinars. These conferences have been impacting the preparations and management of COVID-19 patients worldwide, showing the importance and the power of the collaboration between the medical societies, universities, hospitals, and healthcare professionals.

COVID-19 has changed the world dramatically and impacted the way people live their lives. Countries closed their borders, people are not able to go to work or to school, walk on the streets, or even meet their friends and family members. Many people, including healthcare professionals, have lost their lives. But one thing that became clear to us during the Global Response videoconferences is that, together, we will be better able to understand COVID-19 and learn how to manage it. The strong collaboration between the PTS and all other societies and healthcare professionals around the world will remain key in the management of COVID-19 and any other diseases we might face in the future.

Dr Antonio Marttos is the President-Elect of the PTS, member of the editorial board of the Panamerican Journal of Trauma, and Associate Professor of Surgery, Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Faculty at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital/Ryder Trauma Center. He is also the Director of Global E-Health at the University of Miami William Lehman Injury Research Center.

Dr Marttos is universally known for his tremendous contributions in education (creator of the Critical Decisions in Trauma course) and many E-Health innovations.

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