Archive for May, 2010

On Memorial Day, NTI Recognizes our Fallen Troops and Their Families

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Today, the National Trauma Institute would like to recognize the sacrifices made by American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world–those who have given their lives and those permanently scarred, as well as their families who have suffered tremendous loss.

We pledge to work tirelessly to support trauma doctors in their efforts to reduce fatalities and disabilities related to war-time trauma. To join NTI’s efforts, please consider contributing to our Stop the Bleeding campaign–an effort to fund research related to hemorrhage, which is responsible for the majority of preventable deaths of our soldiers in the current conflicts.

San Diego Trauma Doc Says Trauma is a Disease

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

In an interview on San Diego television station KUSI, Dr. Raul Coimbra of the San Diego Health System spelled out how the coming summer months pose an increased risk of trauma. Coimbra, recognizing that May is National Trauma Awareness Month, talked about the injuries he most often sees in the emergency department: victims of skateboarding and biking accidents, car crashes, and violence related to late-night partying.

The trauma doctor makes a strong case for viewing trauma as a disease–a preventable and treatable disease that too often cuts young lives short. He urges everyone to take extra precautions over the summer months. For additional trauma prevention tips, visit NTI’s National Trauma Awareness Month web page.

Wounded Warriors Compete in Olympic-Style Games

Monday, May 17th, 2010

The U.S. Military’s first Warrior Games got under way this past weekend in Colorado Springs, and nearly 190 wounded servicemen and women are getting the chance to prove to themselves that their injuries will not hold them back from fully living their lives.

With coaching from military trainers and the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Paralympics division, the wounded servicepeople participating in the games say that the competition has restored their sense of purpose and belonging. Seeing other veterans achieving things they never thought possible often lifts the depression and feelings of hopelessness that some feel after sustaining life-altering injuries in combat. And simply engaging in strenuous exercise again relieves the emotional strain and anger that often become life-long afflictions for those wounded in war.

NTI applauds the men and women competing in the games!!

Marines Launch Mobile Trauma Bays to Reach Injured Troops Quicker

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

In encouraging news from the armed forces, the Marines recently announced a new resource for their Shock Trauma Platoons: Mobile Trauma Bays. These are armored containers outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, a doctor, a nurse and three corpsmen. The Mobile Trauma Bay (MTB) will be flexible and mobile and enable rapid treatment of critically injured service members within the “golden hour” to increase the chances of survival.

Amazing UK Video Encourages Seat Belt Usage

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Vehicle crashes account for almost 44,000 deaths a year in the United States and make up a signficant percentage of all trauma-related deaths. Increased usage of seat belts–in part due to new state laws requiring their use–has been a factor in a slowly declining death rate due to vehicle crashes, but there are still many people who avoid using them.

A new public awareness video, called Embrace Life, created by a man in the United Kingdom has been receiving widespread attention, and we thought it worthwhile to show HERE. It’s a powerful message and a reminder to us all about what we stand to lose if we choose not to wear a seatbelt.

NTI Awards $1.4 Million in Trauma Research Grants

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

In its first disbursement of grant funds, NTI awarded funding–ranging from $125,000 to $225,000–to seven trauma studies to be conducted over the next year at institutions across the country.

From a strong pool of 85 proposals garnered during its first RFP process, NTI’s Science Committee conducted a rigorous peer review to arrive at the seven most scientifically promising and clinically relevant studies to receive funding. To learn more about the principal investigators and their study topics, read our press release.

NTI expects to award grants annually and is preparing the next Request for Proposals, to be made public later this month. Sign-up to receive an announcement when the RFP is released!

Retiring Commander of Fort Sam Houston Discusses Treatment Advances in the Field that Have Saved Lives

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Maj. Gen. Russell Czerw, commander of Ft. Sam Hood and the U.S. Army Medical Department and School in San Antonio, retired Sunday. In a San Antonio Express-News story, Czerw talked about the training of medics and the development of a new aid field kit in 2007 that has saved untold numbers of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

With the IED attacks that commonly occur in the Middle Eastern conflicts, soldiers have only a short window to receive treatment before death becomes certain, he said. “[We] refer to it as the platinum five minutes because if you don’t get an amputation within five minutes, that person’s going to bleed to death.” Taking data from combat deaths since the conflict began, the Army Institute of Surgical Research developed the combat application tourniquet (CAT) specifically to address injuries caused by IEDs.

Czerw integrated use of the CAT into medic training and the aid field kits, and is proud of the results. To the National Trauma Institute, development of the CAT represents the promise of sharply focused research efforts to change clinical practice and save lives.

May is National Trauma Awareness Month

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Since it was first declared by President Reagan in 1988, National Trauma Awareness Month is a time to focus on accident prevention and safety, to make people aware of the location of their nearest trauma center and to support local and national organizations dedicated to caring for trauma victims.

You can find great resources on the NTI website to use in your own Trauma Month activities, including injury prevention tips, maps to trauma centers and recognition activities for legislators who have supported the National Trauma Institute.

Please consider a contribution to our Stop the Bleeding campaign, thorugh which NTI will fund hemorrhage-related studies that show promise for new treatments that will save lifes and reduce disabilities related to massive bleeding.

Oprah Works to Eliminate Texting & Talking While Driving–NTI Signs On to Initiative

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

On Friday, the highly influential Oprah Winfrey launched an initiative to reduce traffic fatalities caused by distracted drivers. Calling for a “No Phone Zone Day,” on Friday, billboards in major cities flashed messages asking people to put down the phone and drive. She devoted her show to raising awareness about this widespread problem that kills 6,000 people a year and injures 500,000.

People may also sign an online pledge to avoid using cell phones while driving. Studies show that drivers who talk or text have slower reaction times than those with a blood-alcohol level of 0.06.

Supporting Oprah in the effort are the U.S. Department of Transportation, Students Against Destructive Decisions and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. All of the employees at the National Trauma Institute have also just taken the pledge and we sent in a company pledge to the No Phone Zone.

NTI urges all trauma surgeons, nurses, EMTs and other health care professionals involved in trauma care to sign the pledge today. You all know first-hand the horror that can be caused by distracted drivers–no message or phone call can possibly be worth that.

Vascular Stents Successful in Repairing Aortas Torn by Trauma

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Researchers from the University of California-Davis presented evidence at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery Aortic Symposium last week indicating that stents are effective, compared to traditional open-chest surgery, in treating torn aortas. Especially in cases of trauma, where a patient has multiple life-threatening injuries, reducing the impact of surgical treatment is paramount.

A stent is a small, mesh-encased fabric sleeve that a surgeon inserts into a blood vessel through a small incision and guides to the injury site, where it expands against the blood vessel walls and and patches the injury. Open chest surgery, on the other hand, involves lengthy incisions of the chest and spreading of the rib cage, or worse, removal of some ribs.

The stent procedure is associated with fewer complications and a quicker recovery. While the stents are FDA approved for repairing aneurysms, their application in trauma repair is currently off-label usage. The UC-Davis researchers are preparing to participate in a multi-institution clinical trial to confirm stent efficacy in trauma situations, the results of which will be used to seek broader FDA approval.