Need for Research in Leading Cause of Preventable Death for Soldiers

SAN ANTONIO, June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Speaking on behalf of the National Trauma Institute (NTI), Donald H. Jenkins, M.D., FACS, Chief of Trauma for the Mayo Clinic and Chairman-Elect of NTI, testified today before the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense to advocate for acceleration of research into non-compressible hemorrhage, the primary condition that kills soldiers.

Dr. Jenkins testified that while the primary cause of death from combat wounds is hemorrhage, there is no active intervention available to military medics for non-compressible hemorrhage—heavy bleeding in regions of the body such as the neck, chest, abdomen, groin and back that cannot be treated with a tourniquet or compression. Hemorrhage is also responsible for 30 to 40 percent of all deaths following a traumatic injury to civilians.

“There is a clear need for advances in treatment for non-compressible hemorrhage, and such advances could save lives,” said Dr. Jenkins. “According to evidence presented in a 2008 Journal of Trauma article, about 600 warriors wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan might have survived if better treatment for hemorrhage were available.”

However, as Dr. Jenkins testified, the majority of the funding added by Congress in FY11 to military medical research did not go to trauma-related research. The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program funding that was made available for trauma went to “research into areas that cause a high degree of disability in wounded warriors returning home, but NTI urges the subcommittee to equally fund research into this major cause of preventable death of our service people.”

Dr. Jenkins is a former Air Force officer and served as Director of the Joint Theater Trauma System and Chair of General Surgery and Chief of Trauma Services at Wilford Hall Medical Center on Lackland Air Force Base. He is currently vice chair of the NTI board of directors. His full testimony is available at the NTI website at www.nationaltraumainstitute.org.

About NTI
The National Trauma Institute (NTI) assembles public and private resources to support trauma research across the country, sets a national trauma research agenda, and supports military and civilian innovation and collaboration in trauma care and research. Since 2008, the organization has awarded $4 million to 16 studies now taking place in 20 states. Learn more about NTI at www.nationaltraumainstitute.org.

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SOURCE National Trauma Institute

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