Archive for June, 2014

Suspended Animation Buys Time for Trauma Surgeons

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Dr. Samuel Tisherman, a trauma surgeon at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, and colleagues are testing a way to potentially save the lives of patients who have bled so much that their hearts stop.

Officially called “induced hypothermia” or “emergency preservation and resuscitation,” the process involves the insertion of a tube into the aorta and pumping in a large amount of ice-cold saline solution to cool the  body as quickly as possible to about 50 degrees.

Induced hypothermia shuts down the patient’s cell activity and places the person in a sort of temporary limbo — not dead, but not fully alive, either — and buys surgeons up to 45 minutes to get patients into an operating room and begin to repair injuries.

The process has proven successful in animal studies, and clinical trials begin soon at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Patients to be enrolled in the study will have suffered cardiac arrest after a traumatic injury and have little chance of survival under normal circumstances.

Watch a CNN clip of this story.

Parents Get Help Identifying Traumatic Brain Injury

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control today released an app called Heads Up (available on iTunes) that provides information about sports-related concussions, helps people identify the signs and symptoms of a concussion or other serious brain injury and explains what to do if they suspect a child has suffered a concussion.

The app also provides information on selecting protective helmets for different activities.

What a fantastic resource and a great way to raise awareness! We hope every parent whose children are active in sports downloads this app!

Vehicle Crashes Alone Account for Nearly Three-Fourths of the Economic Burden of Trauma

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

A recent Associated Press article reports on the results of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study that found “the economic and societal harm from motor vehicles crashes amounted to a whopping $871 billion in a single year.”

Of that nearly $9 billion, $277 billion was attributed to the economic costs of lost productivity, property damage, cost of treatment, legal fees, emergency services and costs to employers. According to the National Trauma Institute, the total economic cost of all traumatic injury is just over $400 billion, making vehicle crashes the single highest contributor to economic harm.

The NHTSA points to the report’s findings as evidence of the importance of its efforts to improve auto safety and reduce the number of accidents related to drunk and distracted driving and seat-belt non-use. To be sure, all measures should be employed to prevent crashes in the first place. And once an accident does occur, NTI is working to improve traumatic injury treatments that reduce societal and economic impact further.