It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Trauma Anesthesiology Society (TAS), ASA’s newest component society! The past few years have presented enormous challenges as we all have collectively faced heretofore unimaginable struggles. Layered upon that have been our personal health concerns as well as significant illness and loss of loved ones. Nonetheless, from the local to the international, many among our TAS have led and continue to lead efforts to combat COVID-19. While COVID will long be with us, it appears that the previously unthinkable levels of morbidity and mortality from COVID may be behind us. As such, we must prepare as our well-known nemeses, trauma, and accidental death, reemerge as the leading causes of death and disability from early childhood through early middle age, devastating many with pain and suffering, while costing our country more than $4.2 trillion annually. Trauma and accidental injury result in more than 30% of all life years lost, with nearly 23 million emergency department visits, 3 million hospital admissions, and 280,000 deaths per year (Weekly 2021;70:1655-9;; In that light, the TAS finds a reinvigorated purpose to add value for our current members and demonstrate value to potential members and our global anesthesiology community.

The initial and most obvious concerns of the trauma anesthesiologist are necessarily the Primary Survey (Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability, and Exposure) and Secondary Survey with attendant immediate interventions such as initial airway management and/or subsequent intraoperative care of those most seriously injured from blunt force or penetrating wounds within large academic centers. However, trauma anesthesiology encompasses the spectrum of anesthesiology care in a team-oriented environment, from the relatively minor injury to the patient on death’s doorstep, from the prehospital setting though the ORs and acute pain management to critical care, long-term chronic pain therapy, rehabilitation, and occasionally palliative care. Trauma anesthesiologists play an integral role in multidisciplinary trauma care with surgery, critical care, emergency medicine, orthopedics, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, urology, obstetrics and gynecology, radiology, and blood banking.

The TAS aims to assist all anesthesiologists, from those only infrequently providing such care to those in level 1 trauma centers, as a resource in the care of their injured patients. While we count among our membership some of the most well-known leaders in trauma care, mass casualty and emergency preparedness, and airway management, the core of our society are the frontline anesthesiologists providing trauma care in an assortment of settings. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) verifies trauma centers from level 1-5. While demonstrable benefits have been shown when severely injured patients receive care in level 1 trauma centers, approximately 15% of the U.S. population lives farther than one hour from either a level 1 or 2 center. As such, in addition to the patients with relatively minor traumatic injuries for which most anesthesiologists expect to provide care, many may find themselves caring for significantly more seriously injured patients, even if only in a triage and resuscitation fashion.

Perhaps surprising to some, even level 1 centers have a paucity of trained trauma anesthesiologists. Despite the complexity of trauma patient management, with its unique demands and skill requirements, severely injured patients are often cared for by “on call” anesthesiologists of any background or interest, yet are expected to participate as part of a multidisciplinary trauma team in designated trauma centers around the country. Trauma anesthesiology, as an emerging subspecialty, is critical to the care of injured patients. As such, TAS is working to foster the ongoing development of trauma anesthesiology fellowship training and applauds the trauma anesthesiology fellowship programs. Should anyone desire to pursue a trauma anesthesiology fellowship, or perhaps look to hire a fellowship-trained trauma anesthesiologist, please contact the current fellowships at University of California, San Francisco, University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center, and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Our TAS is a young society, with the mission to advance the art and science of trauma anesthesiology and all related fields through education and research. Please join us. We have much left to accomplish as we pursue our near- and long-term initiatives and goals:

  • Focus upon adding value to members
    • Survey membership annually to determine how TAS is or is not meeting their needs
    • Survey lapsed members annually to determine how TAS is or is not meeting their needs
    • Survey faculty at level 1 and 2 trauma centers to determine how TAS is or is not meeting their needs, and if not a member, what is holding them back from membership
  • Increase direct society communications and educational opportunities to membership
    • Monthly communication from the leadership with societal updates, announcements, etc.
    • Monthly “Journal Club,” with article of the month and an invited “editorial”
    • Increase CME opportunities
      • ASA now accredits TAS CME
    • Annual mid-winter membership virtual business meeting
      • Mid-year update to all membership
      • Video available on website
  • Increase frequency of communications among executive leadership
  • Increase social media presence
    • DocMatter
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • YouTube
  • Create a TAS-branded indexed Medical Reference Guide, akin to Stat Pearls or UpToDate®.
  • Create a TAS trauma handbook
    • Create a companion app for mobile devices
  • Create TAS cognitive aids
  • Enhance TAS research
    • Ensure ongoing commitment to annual trauma-focused edition of Anesthesia & Analgesia (journal of TAS)
    • Annual meeting at ASA, bringing industry and TAS members with research interests together to increase bilateral research opportunities and funding
    • Enhance efforts to obtain unrestricted grants, funding, and donations to provide research seed grants
    • Increase research component of annual meeting
      • Added poster presentations and awards at TASCON 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana
    • Notify membership when TAS member has trauma-related publications
  • Develop TAS Trauma Adjusted ASA Physical Status Classification System
  • Guide development and consensus agreement of standards for Trauma Anesthesiology Fellowship
  • Enhance external relationships
    • Partner with ACS to provide TAS credentialed anesthesiology site reviewers for trauma accreditation
  • Formalize partnerships with ASA affiliate member societies with significant involvement in trauma care such as SNACC, SOCCA, ASRA, SPA, and Uniformed Services
  • Enhance membership value for international members and build relationships with international trauma-related societies