Teaching Trauma Care in India: An Educational Pilot Study From Bangalore

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Trauma has become a major cause of death and disability in developing countries. In India, most trauma patients receive initial care at general practitioner-staffed hospitals. We hypothesize that general practitioners (GPs) could improve their knowledge of trauma care after attending an educational course.


A 2-day trauma course was conducted at a teaching hospital (170 bed) in Bangalore, India. Referral GPs, local surgeons and residents in training attended. A pre-course test was given to assess baseline trauma knowledge. The core didactic sessions included: resuscitation/recognition of shock states, airway prioritization, and evaluation/initial management of head, cardiothoracic, abdominal, pelvic/genitourinary, and thermal injuries. A post-course test was used to assess trauma knowledge obtained from the course. Paired t tests were performed on the test scores and demographic data were stratified by specialty and training status.


Of the 44 participants, 32 (72%) met study inclusion criteria: MBBS degree and course completion. The study population was 62.5% male with 47% surgeons and 53% GPs. Residents were 71.8% of the entire group. Overall, the pre- and post- course scores improved from 70.7% ±11.2 to 87.5% ±8.9, P = 0.000 (95%CI 12.1, 21.2). There was an increase of mean scores: 21.4% (SD ±13.7) for GPs and 11.3% (SD ±8.5) for surgeons (P = 0.02).


Although GPs had significantly lower pre-course scores than surgeons, at the end of the course, GPs performed as well as surgeons. These findings suggest allocation of limited educational resources for trauma care in India may be best used by GPs.


This paper was presented at the 1st Annual Academic Surgical Congress (Association for Academic Surgery), San Diego, CA, February 7–11, 2006.



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