Archive for November, 2011

YouTube Video Draws Attention to Blood Clotting Treatment

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Dr. Ian Roberts, a trauma surgeon at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, conducted a trial last year involving 20,000 trauma patients in 40 countries that showed tranexamic acid, injected promptly after injury, reduced hemorrhage deaths by 30 percent. Tranexamic acid is a cheap generic drug that helps blood clot and would be a viable treatment especially in poor countries where 90 percent of the world’s trauma deaths occur.

In an unusual move to draw attention to the drug, Dr. Roberts and his 22-year-old nephew posted a video on YouTube featuring an animated figure bleeding to death. He plans to translate the video into several different languages in hopes of reaching doctors in different countries.

Pediatric Trauma Centers Make a Difference

Friday, November 18th, 2011

A study that mined data from the National Pediatric Data Registry found that children with head injuries treated at a standard trauma center were three times more likely to die than those taken directly to a Level 1 pediatric children’s hospital.

The specialists at pediatric trauma centers have received training in residencies and fellowships specific to children. “Through a better understanding of the differences between a child and adult, in addition to improved survival, pediatric specialists will manage your child with fewer X-rays, transfusions and earlier return to function,” observes nurse Diana Krauss and Dr. Martin Keller of St. Louis Children’s Hospital, in an article posted at STL Health and Fitness.

The age-appropriate treatment that children receive in pediatric trauma centers can also mean the difference between a quick recovery and months of rehabilitation.

Best Chance for Trauma Patients May be Deep Freeze

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Dr. Samuel Tisherman, a critical care specialist at the University of Pittsburgh, is leading a study that will begin enrolling trauma patients next year. Tisherman believes that cooling the body temperature to as low as 50 degrees could slow blood loss and critical functions and buy surgeons time to repair wounds.

The study, funded by the Department of Defense, will determine if Dr. Tisherman’s so called “emergency preservation and resuscitation” increases the survival rate for such critically injured patients. Currently, only about 7 percent of severely hemorrhaging patients survive.

The approach has had positive results in animal studies. Read More.

Salute to Troops and Advances in Trauma Care

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Glenn D. Braunstein, MD, offers a brief history of wartime medical advances and thanks service members and trauma personnel for their sacrifices and contributions to our medical body of knowledge in an article published on the Huffington Post yesterday. He details improvements in communication and speed of care delivery, hemorrhage control, prosthetics, brain surgery and mental health care that have all been made over the last decade.

A fitting tribute this Veteran’s Day week, Dr. Braunstein notes that while fewer than 10 percent of those wounded on the battlefield today die of their injuries (compared to 24 percent during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts and 42 percent during the Revolutionary War), the price for such medical advances has been high.

“Because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 4,400 Americans have died. Some 66,000 military personnel have post traumatic stress disorder; about 175,000 have suffered traumatic brain injuries, with more than 5,000 of those brain injuries severe of prenetrating; more than 1,000 people have had a limb amputated…”

Dr. Braunstein reminds us of the sober and life-long consequences of putting our military personnel in harm’s way.

Good News in the Hospital-Acquired Infection Battle

Monday, November 7th, 2011

A 10-year study conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University finds that antibiotic protocols undertaken by health care teams in Vanderbilt’s Trauma Intensive Care Unit and Surgical Intensive Care Unit drastically reduced the occurrence of drug-resistant pathogens.

By adhering to protocols including strict indications for antibiotic use, limited treatment courses and antibiotic rotation, researchers saw a greater than 75% decrease in multi-drug resistant pathogens. Read More.

The study is published in Surgical Infections.