The first Moldova Burn Seminar was conducted August 24-26, 2010, in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, and was facilitated by three officers from the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) Burn Center at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Col. Evan M. Renz, MD, director of Clinical Division; Maj. Mario A. Rivera, critical care Army nurse and former chief flight nurse of the Special Medical Augmentation Response Team-Burn (SMART-B); and Maj. Mark E. Lester, chief of the Rehabilitation Department, were invited by the Republic of Moldova to present topics like fluid resuscitation and principles of burn wound management.
"The Moldova Burn Seminar provided a unique opportunity to exchange concepts on the clinical management of burned patients while fostering new professional relationships with Eastern European counterparts," said Renz.
The seminar identified a number of similarities in the management of burned patients in both the United States and Moldova, such as the importance of a multidisciplinary approach.
"To provide optimal burn wound care, burn surgeons, medical intensivists, burn nurses and physiotherapists must coordinate their individual patient care efforts toward one common goal, closing the wound as soon as possible," said Dr. Octavian Cirimpei, medical director of the Adult Thermal Trauma Section at the Republican Trauma and Orthopedic Hospital in Chisinau.
At the same time, several differences were recognized. Specialized medical personnel and equipment, such as the SMART-B, have allowed the rapid aeromedical evacuation and surgical management of critically ill burned casualties in the United States. In contrast, Moldova's socioeconomical circumstances will not permit the initial mobilization of severely burned patients. These patients must be stabilized for several days in smaller medical treatment facilities prior to transport.
The seminar offered an exceptional opportunity for healthcare care providers from the Republic of Moldova and the United States to discuss the significance of early rehabilitation to maximize the burned patient's potential for returning to a productive life. Although differences in clinical practices were acknowledged, a strong foundation for future collaborations through the U.S. European Command was established.