Archive for the ‘Trauma Media Coverage’ Category

Advocacy Should Be Part of Every Surgeon’s Job

Monday, April 10th, 2017

In a letter published in Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open April 3rd, surgeons Lewis Kaplan, Erik Barquist, Donald Jenkins and Orlando Kirton argue that more surgeons should be advocating for the trauma profession and for the benefit of trauma patients. Members of national organizations. “…need to embrace advocacy with the same vigor and dedication as they do patient care, education, and scientific inquiry,” they say.

Decrying the limited participation in advocacy among the trauma society memberships, these surgeons believe that “advocacy efforts targeted at clearly defined aspects of care should be considered a professional activity, and given equal footing with administration, academic productivity and teaching.” They appeal to surgeons’ ethical imperative to do so, encourage surgical organizations to bring advocacy into the mainstream at national meetings and to provide training in advocacy, encourage professional journals to publish on advocacy efforts, and encourage academic medical centers to allocate time for this activity.

More surgeons will have to speak to their elected officials if the recent effort to build a national trauma care system and to achieve Zero Preventable Deaths (#TraumaZPD), per NASEM’s 2016 report, is to be successful, they argue.

USAISR Receives FDA Approval for Compensatory Reserve Indicator

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Collaborating with other scientists and engineers, the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research developed an algorithm that measures the body’s ability to compensate for blood loss, or the compensatory reserve. The compensatory reserve index (CRI) can predict when a patient is about to go into hemorrhagic shock. The device, which takes readings from a standard pulse oximeter, received FDA clearance in December 2016.

USAISR researchers believe that combat medics attending to battlefield wounded, as well as civilian EMTs, can employ the device to save lives, as it can continuously monitor patients and provide a guide for fluid resuscitation and other interventions.

Read the full story.

Senator-Elect Duckworth Calls for Better Integrated Trauma Care

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

In a Time magazine opinion piece, Illinois senator-elect Tammy Duckworth and Boston Marathon bombing victim Patrick Downes state their case for establishing a military-civilian trauma care partnership that can save lives.

As a U.S. House member, Duckworth introduced the National Trauma Care System Act this legislative session, which would enact many of the recommendations published in the June 2016 NASEM report, A National Trauma Care System: Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths After Injury.

Duckworth was traumatically injured when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the Black Hawk helicopter she was piloting over Iraq in 2004, and has championed trauma care and research throughout her tenure in Congress. Her commentary in Time magazine draws well-deserved public attention to this life or death issue.

Read the article.

Trial of Body Cooling Procedure Concludes–One Step Closer to Saving Lives

Monday, November 21st, 2016

The November 28, 2016 edition of The New Yorker reports that Baltimore’s Shock Trauma recently completed a trial of emergency preservation and resuscitation (EPR), a procedure that may be able to save patients who otherwise would die from exsanguination. It’s a procedure wherein the chest cavity of a bleeding patient is pumped full of ice-cold saline. The procedure drops the patient’s brain temperature into the lower fifties and puts the body into a state of suspended animation for up to an hour while surgeons can repair bullet holes and other injuries.

EPR “has long been proved successful in animal experiments, but overcoming the institutional, logistical, and ethical obstacles to performing it on a human being has taken more than a decade,” reports Nicola Twilley, author of The New Yorker article. Dr. Sam Tisherman directed the EPR trial–he began work related to the procedure while at the University of Pittsburgh. Continuing the work of Dr. Peter Safar, his mentor and one of the founding fathers of resuscitation science, Dr. Tisherman has been joined in his pursuit by many colleagues across the United States throughout the years.

“In the United States, between thirty and forty thousand people a year bleed to death from fixable injuries,” says Twilley. “Ultimately, if the technique does evolve as Tisherman envisages, it will simply become the next step for treatment after CPR has failed, used to buy time and prevent brain death.”

It will likely be two years before the results from the trial can be made public.

Read the full, amazing story about how the research unfolded over three decades to make this procedure possible.

Stop the Bleed Initiative Plugged by CBS’s “Code Black” Cast Members

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Stop the Bleed, a nationwide campaign to educate bystanders on how to control bleeding related to traumatic injuries, just released a video featuring actors from “Code Black” in an effort to raise awareness about the campaign. Launched by the White House a year ago, the initiative is similar to longstanding efforts to engage citizens in first aid like administering CPR and using AED machines in emergency situations. By following the protocol, bystanders can act to staunch bleeding while waiting for help to arrive.

“Uncontrolled bleeding injuries can result from natural and manmade disasters and from everyday accidents,” explained the White House when announcing the initiative in October, 2015. “If this bleeding is severe, it can kill within minutes, potentially before trained responders can arrive. Providing bystanders with basic tools and information on the simple steps they can take in an emergency situation to stop life threatening bleeding can save lives.” For more information, visit the Department of Homeland Security: HERE.

Watch the PSA on Youtube: HERE


NTI Past Chair Jenkins and Colleague Grabo Share Lessons from War

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

In a Scranton Journal story about how military surgeons rediscover and refine treatments from the past while saving lives on the battlefield, Donald Jenkins, MD, and Daniel Grabo, MD, talk about the concept of “damage-control surgery” conducted in austere environments.

While deployed in Oman and treating severely injured soldiers who needed blood transfusions, Dr. Jenkins had to tap the only immediate source–fresh whole blood from other soldiers–instead of stored blood components, as has been used for decades. “Trauma victims given two units of whole blood, as opposed to the typical 12 of processed blood, gained their health back more quickly,” he discovered. When Jenkins returned to practice in civilian trauma centers, he brought this lesson home to share with his fellow surgeons.

The resurgent use of whole blood and tourniquets are examples of how wartime necessities bring past wisdom to light. Thanks to Jenkins’ work, the younger Grabo and his colleagues reach for these treatments as standard protocols.

Jenkins and Grabo are both alumni of the University of Scranton and both are recipients of medical service awards: Jenkins received the American Legion’s Distinguished Service Medal and Grabo received the Romanian Medal of Honor for his efforts to save the lives of Romanian soldiers injured in Afghanistan.

Read the full story.

New Jersey Trauma Surgeon Provides a Dose of Reality in Star-Ledger Op-Ed

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Dr. Terrence Curran, a trauma and critical care surgeon at Morristown Memorial Hospital, wrote an op-ed for the New Jersey Star-Ledger in support of introduced legislation to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. He suggests that widespread public education campaigns are needed to change behaviors and lower the toll of traumatic injury on our highways.

“The word ‘accident’ is not part of the vocabulary because trauma is a very preventable disease,” Curran says. He shares some of the realities of traumatic injury that he sees on a daily basis–for those lucky enough to live–damaged bodies, agonizing months in rehabilitation, permanent disabilities and suffering.

“I applaud Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson) and Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) for introducing legislation to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving,” Curran says, “but we should not wait for that bill to pass to increase the fight against dangerous driving behaviors.”

“While both the National Institute of Health and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program of the Department of Defense fund trauma research, the level of spending does not equal the magnitude of the problem,” he adds.

Read the full op-ed.


FDA Clears Military Traumatic Wound Dressing for Civilian Use

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

XSTAT 30 is an expandable, multi-sponge dressing that has been used on the battlefield to control severe, life-threatening bleeding that is non-compressible (in locations like the torso, groin or armpit where a tourniquet cannot be placed). The FDA’s clearance yesterday expands the device’s indication from use in military settings only to use in adults and adolescents in civilian settings.

“When a product is developed for use in the battlefield, it is generally intended to work in a worst-case scenario where advanced care might not be immediately available,” said William Maisel, M.D., M.P.H., in the FDA’s press release on the clearance. Maisel is acting director of the Office of Device Evaluation in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

XSTAT 30 may now be used in patients at high risk for severe hemorrhagic shock and non-compressible wounds when definitive care at an emergency care facility cannot be achieved within minutes.

Read More.

Female Sex Hormone May Increase Survival Time Following Massive Blood Loss

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

After years of research showing promise that a female sex hormone may prolong survival despite massive loss of blood, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers received funding from the Combat Casualty Care Research Program, US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, to conduct human trials.

Irshad Chaudry, Ph.D, and colleagues at UAB discovered, after accidentally receiving female rats for study, that “a dose of the estrogen 17β-estradiol (E2) could protect males and females against septicemia…The estrogen affects the immune system and cardiovascular responses, which typically are profoundly depressed after trauma.”

In follow-on studies, Chaudry and his colleagues found that E2 could allow survival for three hours without any fluid resuscitation, and long-term survival if fluid resuscitation was provided after three hours.

Chaudry’s 19-year study of the effect of estrogen began at the Shock and Trauma laboratories, Michigan State University, and at the Center for Surgical Research at Brown University School of Medicine. Chaudry moved to UAB in 2000.

Read More


Trauma Research Lacks NIH Investment

Friday, January 30th, 2015

“The diseases that affect the most Americans don’t always attract more research funding from the government,” declares a January 15, 2015 article on Vox. Indeed, the chart provided by Dot Data Blog illustrating the difference between the percent of total NIH funding and the percent of total burden of disease for 27 disease categories shows conditions like asthma, stroke and–notably–trauma (injuries) receiving a disproportionately small investment in research.

“This articulates loudly – and puts data behind – the fact that when viewed in the context of burden (morbidity and mortality) to society, trauma and injury is at the bottom of the scale,” noted Sharon Smith, NTI’s executive director.  ”If the scale were to include a Quality Adjusted Life Year analysis, the disproportion would be even more apparent.”

The article highlights a disparity that is decades in the making and leaves many essential research questions unanswered. Click here to read snippets from national reports since 1966 that call for more funding that has never been granted.

NTI and the other national organizations who are part of the Coalition for National Trauma Research (CNTR) head to Capitol Hill next month to advocate for increased funding.