U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Public Affairs Office
3400 Rawley E. Chambers Avenue
Fort Sam Houston, TX
Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
For Immediate Release – Jan 20, 2010
(Fort Sam Houston, TX.) – The U.S. Military has achieved unprecedented levels of battlefield survival through innumerable advances in medical care and personal protection. Those who are injured on the battlefield have an overwhelming chance of surviving due to advances in care. In order to build on this success, the USAISR is relentlessly seeking further improvements in care. As part of this effort, the USAISR conducts research to deliver improved fluids to administer to patients who have suffered blood loss. This effort is especially crucial for combat casualties who may experience prolonged evacuation time due to continued fighting or extreme distance to a military hospital. Though battlefield injuries are uniquely military, civilian facilities can also experience penetrating trauma similar to those seen in combat, and as such have significant experience in treating trauma patients.
It has been 9 years since the Army held a formal meeting to review the science of fluid resuscitation for military casualties. So recently, the Army held a two day meeting that included leaders from the American College of Surgeons, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST), and Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST), experts from civilian trauma centers, special operations medical personnel and military medical leaders, to review the state of the science of fluid resuscitation and evaluate research priorities for the future.
In reviewing the results of several large, multi-center clinical trials that have been conducted in the past ten years that studied the selection of pre-hospital and in-hospital resuscitation fluids, the consensus of the experts at the meeting was that there is no data to recommend anything other than the military's current practice. This practice includes the use of FDA approved fluids and blood products including red blood cells that have been previously frozen and stockpiled.
In order to further refine the use of these Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved fluids and blood products, the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command conducts clinical trials in collaboration with leading civilian trauma centers. These trials will ensure that the Army continues to be the leader in resuscitation research and practice.
Participants at the meeting also reviewed the products under development and identified dried plasma as the top research priority for improving pre-hospital fluid resuscitation. In addition, the group noted that there is a need for multisite clinical trials on the use of frozen blood before it can be considered for more robust use.
Ideally, in the future, the USAISR and civilian trauma centers, will conduct multiple multicenter fluid resuscitation trials that will generate evidenced based data ultimately leading to improved pre-hospital care.
For more information about the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, visit http://www.usaisr.amedd.army.mil.
The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) is part of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and is collocated with Brooke Army Medical Center. The USAISR is dedicated to both laboratory and clinical trauma research. Its mission is to provide requirements-driven combat casualty care medical solutions and products for injured soldiers, from self-aid through definitive care across the full spectrum of military operations; provide state-of-the-art trauma, burn, and critical care to Department of Defense beneficiaries around the world and civilians in our trauma region; and provide Burn Special Medical Augmentation Response Teams.