American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

ACS in the News 2018

December 2018

Patients need practical surgical recovery advice
Reuters, December 26, 2018

"Patients undergoing surgery don’t often receive practical advice about what to do and what to expect during the recovery process, says a surgeon who has been on the giving and receiving end of post-op instructions.

These directions need a more commonsense approach to rest, diet and pain, Dr. J. David Richardson of the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky writes in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

Surgeon who performed Ruth Bader Ginsburg's lung surgery is 'a total powerhouse'
Yahoo!, December 21, 2018

"Much like Ginsberg, Rusch has an extensive list of accolades. The New York native is the chair of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, a regent of the American College of Surgeons, and chair of the Lung and Esophagus Task Force of the American Joint Committee on Cancer. And after her 25 years in the field, the American College of Surgeons awarded her with the 2018 Distinguished Service Award, the college’s highest honor."

How Sandy Hook changed the response to mass shootings
CNN, December 14, 2018

"On the medical front, and in direct response to the shooting in Newtown, a national campaign called 'Stop the Bleed' began. Through lectures and hands-on training, instructors teach adults and students how to apply tourniquets, pack wounds and keep the situation stable until first responders can arrive.

The campaign is an initiative of the American College of Surgeons and the Hartford Consensus, a set of recommendations on active shooter and other mass casualty events."

Getting the word out: Effective communication to ensuring informed choices
Healio, December 10, 2018

"This is especially true now that there are hard data to show that declining or delaying standard therapy for various cancers is associated with inferior survival. A large study by Johnson and colleagues — which included almost 2 million patients from the National Cancer Database — has clearly shown this.

For whatever reason, a significant fraction of the population is either unaware of the risks associated with the choice of alternative over standard therapy or chooses to take that risk."

How Long Can You Wait to Have Treatment for Breast Cancer?
VeryWell, December 3, 2018

"A 2016 study published in JAMA Oncology looked at data from over 115,000 people (between 2003 and 2005) via the National Cancer Database (NCDB). This study included people age 18 and older who were cared for at Commission on Cancer-accredited cancer centers across the United States."

November 2018

Inside one of Texas' largest mass casualty drills where first responders practice for 'when the real deal happens'
ABC, November 26, 2018

"Two weeks ago, the American College of Surgeons Committee, which both Eastridge and Stewart belong to, published a paper proposing new gun safety measures, hoping to bridge the political divide. Eighteen of the paper’s 22 authors own firearms."

Have you scheduled surgery? Then you’d better start training.
Washington Post, November 20, 2018

"These days, Americans train to get in shape for marathons, weddings and backpacking trips. So why not for surgery? Tens of millions of surgeries are scheduled each year in the United States, and each can result in complications such as shock, infection or pulmonary issues: A 2012 study citing hospital data from the American College of Surgeons on 551,510 general surgery patients found a complication rate of almost 17 percent."

UAB’s chief trauma surgeon has a message for the NRA, November 15, 2018

"Kerby shares the sentiments of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma Firearm Strategy Team when it comes to gun violence: the gun violence epidemic is a public health problem that needs to be researched. 'We’re not anti gun,' Kerby said. 'We know that the 2nd Amendment is very important, especially to our population in Alabama, and across the country. We want to come to the table with all the parties, the NRA, trauma surgeons, public health experts, to try to come up with a solution to the gun violence problem.'"

Surgeons — many of them gun owners — recommend new gun-safety approaches
Washington Post, November 14, 2018

"Now, a work group from the American College of Surgeons has chimed in with the release Wednesday of a new set of gun-safety recommendations that aims to bridge the political divide. The recommendations, which include robust background checks, enhanced gun-safety training, mandatory reporting requirements for people considered a threat to themselves or others, and the use of innovative technologies to prevent accidental firearms discharge, are striking not so much for their content as their authorship."

Local trauma surgeons working to stop gun violence across US
KSAT, November 14, 2018

"Dr. Donald Jenkins, professor of surgery at UT Health San Antonio and trauma center surgeon at University Hospital, is one of three local surgeons who helped co-author a safety manuscript published Wednesday in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. He’s a veteran and an NRA life member."

Scientists pinpointed factors that put a community at risk of a mass shooting — and found 2 gun laws that could make a difference
Business Insider, November 10, 2018

"Because these deadly events have become so common in the US, a team of researchers from the University of Toledo in Ohio set out to look for patterns or similarities among communities that have dealt with a mass shooting.

They looked at 155 mass shootings in the US (defined as an event with four or more fatalities, excluding the shooter). Their research, which was presented at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress last month, found several factors that are clearly associated with a higher risk of a mass shooting."

Learning how to "Stop the Bleed"
60 Minutes, November 4, 2018

"'We have to have the general public understand that they are the first line of defense,' Antevy says. 'And every city, every community in this country needs to roll out those bleeding kits, or these active killer kits… And every child has to learn how to do it.'

The 'Stop the Bleed' campaign is an initiative of the American College of Surgeons, the Committee on Trauma, and the Hartford Consensus. You can learn more about it and purchase a bleeding control kit at"

October 2018

How You Can Train to Save a Life
U.S. News & World Report, October 22, 2018

"You don't need any previous medical training to learn how to provide emergency first aid, says Michelle Rud, trauma educator/outreach and injury prevention coordinator at Osceola Regional Medical Center in Kissimmee, Florida. Since August 2017, Rud has helped train 5,000 people to help people who are bleeding. Her efforts are part of the 'Stop the Bleed' campaign, a national education effort launched in 2015 by the Obama White House in collaboration with several federal agencies and organizations like the American College of Surgeons. Officials launched the initiative in response to a series of reports, published by the American College of Surgeons, recommending various responses following the attack in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman fatally shot 20 schoolkids and six adults staff members. The reports were published between 2013 and 2016."

Doctors move away from using live animals for trauma surgery training
Reuters, October 11, 2018

"As the American College of Surgeons’ Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) training program reaches its 40th anniversary, more than 99 percent of its sites in the U.S. and Canada have already ended animal use, the study team writes."

Trauma Training Initiative Teaches Rural Laypeople how to “Stop the Bleed”
RHIhub, October 3, 2018

"Since victims had bled to death before EMS personnel could tend to them, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Board of Regents called on Jacobs and others to form a committee and figure out a way to increase survival from mass casualty events."

September 2018

Fewer people are dying from gunshots in Chicago: Stroger hospital is a big reason why
Becker's Hospital Review, September 24, 2018

"The Illinois Department of Public Health appoints four hospitals — including Stroger — to provide trauma oversight for emergency medical services. Emergency medicine physicians from these hospitals serve as medical directors and establish field triage protocols for all regional EMS providers. The protocols are adapted from national standards developed by the CDC, American College of Surgeons and National Association of EMS Physicians."

Which Are Best in Appendicitis: Extended- or Narrow-Spectrum Antibiotics?
Medscape, September 19, 2018

"In a paper published in Annals of Surgery , the authors used the American College of Surgeons Pediatric National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP-Pediatric) Appendectomy Pilot database along with a separate pediatric information database, which contained detailed information on antibiotic use.[1] They compared results in 908 children after either extended-spectrum (piperacillin/tazobactam) or narrow-spectrum (cefoxitin or ceftriaxone with metronidazole) antibiotic use in patients with similar baseline characteristics."

How The ‘Golden Hour’ Created A Crisis In Care For The Deployed Warfighter
Task & Purpose, September 17, 2018

"In short, surgeons with increasingly limited operative and trauma experience are expected to care for patients with potentially the most horrendous injuries, with minimal access to technology, equipment, and personnel to assist them.

What are the solutions?

First, the Mission Zero Act (H.R. 880) which will fund the embedding of military trauma teams into civilian trauma centers awaits passage through Congress. Also, expand the Military Health System Strategic Partnership American College of Surgeons (MHSSPACS) program, allowing increased civilian-military partnerships that support combat readiness."

As deaths in SC climb, weight loss surgeons cut opioid prescriptions to almost 0
Post and Courier, September 7, 2018

"One study released this year by the American College of Surgeons showed bariatric surgery patients are prescribed a high rate of opioids compared to other common types of surgery.

The same study showed any patient who is assigned an opioid prescription after an operation is at an increased risk of becoming a chronic user at a 3- to 7-percent rate." 

August 2018

Training to Stop Bleeding to Take Place at Maryland School
U.S. News & World Report, August 27, 2018

"The 'Stop the Bleed' training is being conducted by medical staff of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center on Monday at Southern High School in Harwood, Maryland.

It's part of a national initiative of the American College of Surgeons that teaches anyone how to stop life-threatening bleeding until medical help arrives."

Students learn lifesaving techniques once reserved for military
CNN, August 21, 2018

"The campaign -- an initiative of the American College of Surgeons and the Hartford Consensus, a set of recommendations on active shooter and other mass casualty events by one of the association's committees -- aims to provide training and credible information on bleeding control."

Johns Hopkins panel creates guidelines for prescribing opioids after common surgeries
Baltimore Sun, August 14, 2018

"Hopkins doctors hope the guidelines, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, spurs more action by surgical associations and hospitals across the country to reduce the prescribing of opioids."

The Government Wants to Teach Students How to Treat Gunshot Wounds. That Could Save Lives, Experts Say
TIME, August 14, 2018

"'This is something that everyone should know how to do — not just because of a mass shooting event,' said Dr. Eileen Bulger, chair of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma."

ACS briefing discusses use of lessons from combat care
Medical Xpress, August 13, 2018

"The American College of Surgeons (ACS) hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss the successes and challenges of combat casualty care in Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. military, and how an integrated military-civilian trauma system can help save the lives of both soldiers and civilians."

Lymph Node Removal Ups Survival in Right-Sided Colon Cancer
Medscape, August 9, 2018

"In this study, Lee and colleagues sought to determine the effect of tumor location and lymph node yield on overall survival among patients with stage I to III colon adenocarcinoma.

They used the 2004-2014 National Cancer Database to identify colectomies for nonmetastatic colon adenocarcinoma, excluding transverse colon and rectal cancer, and then categorized patients on the basis of tumor location. The primary outcome of the study was 5-year overall survival."

Can we nudge our way to responsible opioid prescribing?: COLUMN
ABC News, August 2, 2018

"Another study, published recently in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, shows the spillover effect of making a change. When doctors changed their post-operative prescribing for one procedure to follow new guidelines, those habits trickled down into their prescribing behavior for other, unrelated procedures. Once doctors changed their practices to safer ones, the path of least resistance became to keep going with the new, safer approaches. They’re now familiar, and they realized the impact of their actions. The main hurdle to overcome was the initial change, which required a nudge."

July 2018

Doctors tell lawmakers: Don’t scrap MIPS
FierceHealthcare, July 26, 2018

"Create better measures that are relevant to patient care. 'It’s time we measure what matters,' said Frank Opelka, M.D., medical director of quality and health policy at the American College of Surgeons. For instance, most MIPS measures do not measure surgical care, he said. It makes no sense for a breast cancer surgeon to report on the rates of patients’ tobacco cessation."

Complementary medicine for cancer can decrease survival
YaleNews, July 19, 2018

"To investigate complementary medicine use and its impact on survival and treatment adherence, the researchers studied 1,290 patients with breast, prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer in the National Cancer Database (NCDB) — a joint project of the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society. The NCDB represents approximately 70% of newly diagnosed cancers nationwide. Researchers compared 258 patients who used complementary medicine to 1,032 who did not."

There's More Good News About Immune Therapies for Cancer
TIME, July 12, 2018

"The study, published in Cancer Immunology Research, included more than 2,700 cases of stage 4 melanoma that were recorded in the National Cancer Database, a national repository of newly diagnosed cancer cases in the U.S. Of these, about 40% involved metastasis of the melanoma to the brain (the remainder had metastases to the brain as well as other parts of the body). Immunotherapies have been approved since 2011 to treat advanced melanoma and have dramatically improved overall survival; the immune-based treatment is so effective that chemotherapy is no longer used as first-line treatments for these patients."

Changes in OR Attire Policies: Any Decrease in SSIs?
Medscape, July 6, 2018

"Have the recent modifications of operating room dress code policies changed surgery infection rates? The aim of a study, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons was to determine whether the 2015 changes in operating room attire, which included complete coverage of all facial hair, resulted in any decrease in surgical wound infection rates."

June 2018

Comprehensive Rural Population Health: Where is the General Surgeon?
RHIhub, June 27, 2018

"Dr. Patrick Bailey, with the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, emphasized where general surgery fits in an overall rural population health management strategy.

'We think it’s important in rural areas to look at the entirety of the care spectrum needed for our country’s rural population,' Bailey said. 'The ACS believes that general surgery is an integral part of the community health system alongside primary care, mental health, dental, and maternity services.'" 

Young surgeons face high debt, financial instability
Reuters, June 11, 2018

"Overall, the authors reported in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 82 percent of respondents had moderate- or high-risk debt-to-asset ratios.

The type of residency program, year, gender and perception of financial knowledge didn’t correlate with a high-risk debt-to-asset ratio.

Harms and others want to develop a web-based course that would teach medical students about finances.”

Is Surgery Right for Your Older Loved One?
U.S. News & World Report, June 6, 2018

"A movement is underway to improve and establish standards for preoperative assessments of older patients. The Coalition for Quality in Geriatric Surgery Project, spearheaded by the American College of Surgeons, offers best practice guidelines for health care providers on evaluating older surgical patients throughout the operative process."

Improving Communication Among Surgeons
MSU Today, June 1, 2018

"In a new study, Anderson, director of quality improvement and surgical education in the College of Human Medicine, shows that formative feedback and the communication between teacher and student improved under a more-structured process using proven educational models. Formative feedback is input that helps students identify strengths and weaknesses, as well as focus on areas that need work.

The study is now published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

May 2018

Stop the Bleed could provide ‘herd immunity’ against exsanguination: Interview with Dr. Lenworth Jacobs
Trauma System News, May 30, 2018

"According to Lenworth Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS, chairman of the Hartford Consensus and leader of the ACS Stop the Bleed Program, more than half a million people have received hemorrhage control training in the last two years. And while the percentage of Americans who know how to use a tourniquet is still small, there is good reason to believe their training provides a protective effect at the population level against the risk of bleeding out."

How to help someone after a gunshot wound, according to doctors, experts
WGN, May 24, 2018

"Mount Sinai trauma surgeon Dr. Grace Chang, along with the American College of Surgeons, wants everyone to learn bleeding control techniques. Shortly after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, trauma experts wondered how can more lives be saved in an active shooter or mass casualty event? The answer: The survivors—compelling uninjured and minimally injured victims to act before EMS arrives. In other words, teaching ordinary citizens to stop the bleed."

How can trauma surgeons approach urgent decisions responsibly?
AMA Wire, May 17, 2018

"In the journal’s May podcast, experts David Hoyt, MD, executive director of the American College of Surgeons, and Karen Brasel, MD, professor of surgery at Oregon Health and Science University, discuss how the specialty has evolved over the years and how trauma surgeons can address the needs of changing communities."

Panel: Should we measure how well surgeons perform?
ABC Radio National, May 14, 2018

"There's a push worldwide for surgeons to have their performance tracked — that is, following up with the people surgeons operate on to see whether they experience complications.

The idea is that measuring these outcomes can help us see the strengths and weaknesses between hospitals, and improve in areas where we aren't up to scratch."

Tales of hope and resilience in the aftermath of the Yonge Street van attack
Toronto Life, May 8, 2018

"I also work at the American College of Surgeons in Chicago, where I’m the medical director of the trauma quality programs. Because of all of the gun violence south of the border, there’s a lot of focus on disaster preparedness. I’ve listened to presentations from the doctors who responded to the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando and from the San Antonio team. Clearly, their drills have paid off and made a difference in their ability to respond."

CDC Eyes Review of Gynecological Cancer Screens
Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2018

"Making a diagnosis 'really does affect your approach' to surgery, including whether it should be done, said David P. Winchester, the medical director of cancer programs at the American College of Surgeons, a scientific and educational association.

April 2018

Preparation helped Sunnybrook cope with its biggest-ever Code Orange
Toronto Star, April 24, 2018

"'We have joined the club unfortunately, but we were ready,' continued Nathens, who also serves as medical director of trauma quality programs of the American College of Surgeons. He was referring to recent mass casualty events in the United States, including last year’s shooting in Las Vegas and the 2016 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla."

A University Hospital surgeon hopes to unite people for a gun violence discussion
San Antonio Express-News, April 20, 2018

"A group of trauma surgeons — including a prominent one in San Antonio who helped treat victims of the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs — released a set of strategies Thursday that aim to reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths in the U.S.

The group hopes its new strategies, which will be published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons in the coming months, will foster dialogue among the public and policymakers on both sides of the debate." 

In Rural Areas, Recruiting and Retaining Doctors Are No Easy Tasks
American Association for Physician Leadership, April 12, 2018

"While some health care organizations entice newly minted physicians with loan payoffs, this recruitment strategy doesn’t necessarily result in retention beyond the obligation period.

Other factors, such as adequate call coverage and autonomy over one’s practice, tend to have a greater influence on loyalty, says Tyler Hughes, MD, FACS, founding chair of  the American College of Surgeons’ Advisory Council for Rural Surgery."

No Benefit From Adjuvant Therapy for Ampullary Tumors
Medscape, April 3, 2018

"In this study, Dhar and colleagues sought to better define the role of adjuvant therapy in the treatment of patients with resected ampullary tumors. Using the American College of Surgeons National Cancer Database, they identified 5298 patients with ampullary tumors, stage I through III, that had been surgically removed between 1998 and 2006."

March 2018

Trump wants to reduce opioid prescriptions by one-third. We can start now
STAT, March 30, 2018

"Research we conducted and published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows how surgeons can determine an appropriate prescription. We found that many patients use less than one-third of the opioids prescribed to them, allowing unused medications to sit in a bathroom cabinet or be diverted or stolen for illicit use."

Burn Deaths Down From 1989 to 2017 in the United States
Doctors Lounge, March 15, 2018

"Burn injury survival has dramatically increased over the past 30 years, according to a study published online March 9 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

Everyone can learn hemorrhage control on ‘National Stop the Bleed Day’
Washington Post, March 7, 2018

"Surgeons developed a training course for people with no medical background, and the course was offered by volunteer instructors. The American College of Surgeons estimates that about 120,000 people have taken a Stop the Bleed course, but one group of veterans thought more people should be exposed to the life-saving training."

February 2018

PA Leads National Stop the Bleed Day
AAPA, February 28, 2018

"Along with making recommendations that the police help stop bleeding if necessary and that EMS teams arrive on the scene sooner to provide care, it was found that the public can become actively involved with preventing death from uncontrollable bleeding. 'The reality is that for the first five or 10 minutes [after a trauma injury], the person who is going to save you is the person right beside you,' Jacobs says."

Americans should have access to bleed control training
The Hill, February 13, 2018

"In October 2015, the White House and the American College of Surgeons launched Stop the Bleed®, a program that provides individuals with the education and training they need to stop blood loss and save lives. The program was developed by the Hartford Consensus to Enhance Survival in Intentional Mass Casualty Events in April 2013, just a few months after the active shooter tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Just like CPR classes teach bystanders to assist people in cardiac arrest, a brief 20-30 minute Stop the Bleed® class can teach anyone how to stop excessive bleeding. After calling 911, a person losing blood is still in grave danger. Stop the Bleed® classes help bystanders act decisively and safely to save lives."

Older patients recover from surgery faster if they 'train' for it
CNBC, February 11, 2018

"'Prep is as important if not more important than the surgery itself,' said Dr. Ronnie Rosenthal, chair of the American College of Surgeons Geriatric Surgery Task Force."

'Striking' survival benefit with surgery for esophageal cancer
M.D./alert, February 1, 2018

"Using the National Cancer Database, the Weill Cornell team identified 12,298 patients with esophageal cancer including 708 (6%) patients who were advised to have surgery but declined, opting instead for definitive chemoradiation (41%), sequential chemotherapy/radiation (36%), radiation and/or chemotherapy alone (8%), or to forgo any treatment (15%)."

January 2018

Health Tip: Select the Right Cancer Team
U.S. News & World Report, January 31, 2018

"Consult online resources, such as the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer, the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the Children's Oncology Group."

Airmen learn how to ‘stop the bleed, save a life’
Edwards Air Force Base, January 30, 2018

"Mostly non-clinical 412th MDG staff learned how to take action and stop a victim’s bleeding by listening during a short class and then practicing how to apply tourniquets and gauze to dummies and mock wounds. Simple techniques such as applying pressure, stuffing clean cloths into wounds and applying tourniquets could mean the difference between life and death according to the instructors.

Motivated by the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut and multiple tragedies that occurred in the ensuing years, the American College of Surgeons convened the Hartford Consensus to bring together leaders from law enforcement, the federal government and the medical community to improve survivability from manmade or natural mass casualty events. Stop the Bleed, Save a Life came about to educate the public about the importance of bleeding control."

A Push To Get Older Adults In Better Shape For Surgery
Kaiser Health News, January 25, 2018

"In that vein, next year the American College of Surgeons (ACS) plans to launch a national effort to improve surgical care for seniors, after defining a broad array of standards that hospitals should meet. The goal is to promote and recognize 'centers of excellence in geriatric surgery' across the U.S., said Dr. Ronnie Rosenthal, chair of ACS’ geriatric surgery task force."

Smartphone app allows doctors, nurses to remotely monitor wound healing
United Press International, January 22, 2018

"The healing of postoperative surgical wounds can be effectively monitored with a new smartphone app, new research indicates.

The app, called WoundCheck, can be used to send digital images of a post-surgical wound with a short patient-administered questionnaire to monitoring nurses and could help reduce the need for post-surgical patient readmission, researchers report in a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

'Stop the Bleed' classes come in response to mass shootings
The Free Lance-Star, January 18, 2018

"King, along with Amy Gulick, trauma program manager, and Dr. Corey Wright, trauma surgeon, on Tuesday sponsored the first class in the region on 'Stop the Bleed.' The nationwide initiative is led by the American College of Surgeons and stresses that first-responders and police officers, government workers and citizens alike, should be trained on how to handle massive bleeding—whether it’s from a shooting, act of terrorism, farming accident or household injury."

Interview with Eileen Bulger, MD, new chair of the ACS Committee on Trauma
Trauma System News, January 11, 2018

"Dr. Bulger is the chief of trauma at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she directs both the adult and pediatric trauma programs. As the 20th chair of the COT, she brings a diverse background in patient care, injury research and trauma system leadership.

Trauma System News recently talked to Dr. Bulger about the future directions of the COT and what she hopes to accomplish during her term."

Many women uninformed about breast cancer surgery options
Business Insider, January 10, 2018

"Women with breast cancer often feel rushed to make a decision about surgery, and some of them might benefit from more time and better educational materials to inform their treatment choices, two recent studies suggest."

Minimizing OR Noise and Distractions
OR Today, January 1, 2018

"A study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons in 2013 was the first to demonstrate the patient and surgical safety risks posed by ambient background noise in the OR.

'The operating room is a very fast-paced, high-demand, all senses running on all cylinders type of environment,' stated study coauthor Matthew Bush, MD, assistant professor of surgery at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, upon the study’s publication."