Archive for June, 2010

Researchers in the UK Find TXA Effectively Stops Bleeding in Trauma Patients

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

A cheap and effective drug used in elective surgeries to hinder bleeding can be safely and effectively used in trauma victims as well, says a team of British scientists in the Online First edition of The Lancet. The drug, tranexamic acid, or TXA, inhibits an enzyme that breaks down blood clots.

In a study that included 20,000 patients in 40 countries, the researchers found that use of TXA cut death rates by 15%. An off-patent medication that has many generic manufacturers, the potential applications for the drug, particularly in developing countries, are tremendous. Replication of the study would be required before any major practice changes are made. Read more about the study in this CTV News story and also on MedPage Today.

NTI Seeks Trauma Studies for $2.8 Million in Funding

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

In its second national request for proposals, the National Trauma Institute seeks to fund rigorous clinical studies, especially those that address hemorrhage, intensive care, trauma systems or pre-hospital care.

Half of the available $2.8 million in funding is designated specifically for studies related to non-compressible hemorrhage. Bleeding from extremity wounds stops with applied pressure, and tourniquets and advanced bandages have significantly reduced combat deaths, but 15 percent of battle injuries in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters are to the torso, where applying pressure is not an option. We must develop simple, field-expedient techniques for non-surgeons to use in emergency situations.

Other priorities include effective resuscitation strategies, new treatments for shock, better understanding of the coagulapathy of trauma, the elimination of hospital acquired infections, airway and ventilation management strategies for the injured, and topics related to battlefield and pre-hospital care and communication.

Pre-proposals must be submitted by July 23, 2010 and may outline clinical or translational research involving either single or multiple centers. For complete submission guidelines, visit the NTI website.

NYT Article Illustrates Medics’ Work and Anguish in Afghanistan

Monday, June 14th, 2010

In an article originally published in the New York Times, journalist C.J. Chivers reports from the front lines in Afghanistan about the daily work of military flight medics. It’s a well-written and heart-wrenching story that illuminates the dangers faced by those called upon to save the lives of our soldiers.

Chivers provides a sobering reminder that the draw-down of our troops in Iraq only means that the location of the fighting, the deaths and the devastating injuries is moving to Afghanistan–and along with it, the military trauma system. The pilots, flight medics, nurses, surgeons and others who constitute the military trauma system confront enormous challenges, face death daily, and save lives under extreme conditions. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.

Advanced Airway Workshop to be Offered at Symposium

Monday, June 7th, 2010

The Advanced Airway Workshop is a three-hour course that will include live demonstrations on manikins and other adjunct materials. Offered as part of the National Trauma Institute’s 16th Annual Trauma Symposium, the workshop will be conducted by Drs Steven Venticinque and Antonio Hernandez—board certified anesthesiologists with board certification in critical care medicine

Workshop participants will rotate through 13 learning stations where they can utilize various fiber optic intubating devices, practice surgical airway approaches and use video laryngoscopes and supraglottic airway devices, among others.

The Advanced Airway Workshop costs $50 in addition to Symposium registration. Space is limited to 150 participants. To learn more about the workshop, click here.

Trauma Doctors Point to Innovations Arising from War

Monday, June 7th, 2010

At the Trauma and Critical Care Conference held in Austin on Friday, Texas trauma surgeons Carlos Brown and John Holcomb discussed clinical practices making their way into civilian emergency departments via battlefield trials. The conference was covered on KXAN, and you can see the story on the KXAN website.

Dr. Brown, trauma medical director at University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin, talked about how tourniquet usage in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has led to a new, very effective tourniquet now being introduced in pre-hospital settings. Dr. Holcomb, with the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and an NTI board member, discussed an updated blood transfusion procedure. Surgeons in military trauma hospitals have discovered that bleeding stops more quickly when platelets and plasma are added to blood cells during a transfusion.

The conference was hosted by the Seton Family of Hospitals.