Archive for April, 2011

Acute Traumatic Brain Injury Study to Involve 17 Hospitals

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Public meetings and community outreach efforts precede an upcoming National Institutes of Health Phase III clinical trial, called ProTECT III, that will be conducted at 17 institutions across the United States. Because the study will take place in emergency settings where informed consent will not be in effect, institutions must inform the public that participants may be enrolled in the study without their consent or that of a family member, a provision allowed under federal regulations that permits qualified clinical research in emergency situations.

The study will examine whether progesterone treatment in the first four days following a traumatic brain injury (TBI) improves patient outcomes. Progesterone may act to reduce brain swelling and damage.

Top Military Trauma Surgeon Moves to C-STARS

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Director of Trauma at Landstuhl for the past seven years, Air Force Lt. Col. (Dr.) Raymond Fang, will now serve as director of the Air Force’s Center for the Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills program (C-STARS), which is affiliated with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Medical Center in Baltimore.

Through C-STARS, Air Force trauma teams work side by side with civilian medical staff to provide hands-on trauma patient care under the supervision of military and civilian staff. The expertise of military trauma physicians and technicians, who have had vast experience treating severely wounded combat troops, is thus shared with their civilian counterparts.

Read more.

Quick Infusion of Nutrition Important for Brain Injury Recovery

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

An Institute of Medicine (IOM) study commissioned by the U.S. military found evidence that a rapid infusion of calories, proteins and vitamins following a traumatic brain injury reduces inflammation in the brain and helps in recovery. If administered within the first 24 hours, nutrients such as choline, creatine, n-3 fatty acids and zinc are especially effective.

With service members suffering more than 200,000 cases of traumatic brain injury–nearly 2,130 cases severe–since 2000, the U.S. military is particularly concerned about finding the best ways to immediately treat such injuries. The finding translates to civilian medicine and has implications for treatment of brain trauma resulting from car collisions and athletic injuries, among others.

Read more.

UC San Diego Uses the Web to Speed Treatment of Trauma Patients

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

UC San Diego Health System trauma patients are benefiting from technicians’ use of cloud computing to share radiology files between hospitals. Previously, images were either burned to a CD and then transported in the ambulance along with a patient being transferred to another hospital in the system or shared via a virtual private network. Web-based cloud computing overcomes problems with incompatible or lost files that sometimes resulted in patients being re-imaged at the receiving hospital.

Read More.

Orthopedic Surgeons Campaign to Stop Distracted Driving

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Yesterday the two largest organizations of orthopedic surgeons — the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) — launched a national campaign to encourage Americans to drive safely. As the healthcare professionals who are often called on to address the traumatic injuries caused by distracted drivers, orthopedics have seen the problem escalate.

With Harris Interactive, the AAOS conducted a survey of 1,500 drivers and discovered that a large percentage of people claim to drive safely, yet they believe that only 10 percent of “other” drivers do. The results of the survey confirm that most people believe distracted driving is a problem; yet, people continue to engage in risky driving behaviors like making phone calls or eating even after they’ve had a near-accident experience.

“Drivers need to think about their own choices behind the wheel because the injuries we see and treat are life-changing. Our goal is to get all drivers who are used to ‘getting away with it’ to learn now – not later the hard way – that it isn’t worth it,” said Andrew N. Pollak, M.D, president of the OTA, and a NTI board member.

The organizations have developed a website,, where drivers can learn more about the problem and how to solve it. Read the press release.

More Insight on Study that Finds Higher Quality Relates to Lower Costs

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

We reported on this study on this blog earlier in the year, but here’s a new story about the study led by Laurent G. Glance, MD, professor of Anesthesiology and Community and Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center that provides additional commentary from Dr. Glance. The study of analyzed data on more than 65,000 patients admitted to 73 U.S. trauma centers and found that higher quality hospitals have lower costs.