The NSRI, a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), is one of 13 established UARCs across the nation, delivering relevant and timely research solutions directly impacting Department of Defense (DoD) operations and national security.
The USAMRMC research contract requests a team from UNMC to further improve a DoD training course designed for medical professionals on an endovascular surgical procedure to control severe bleeding.
The procedure involves passing a balloon catheter from a peripheral artery in the thigh up into the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body deep in the chest and abdomen. Upon inflation of the balloon intra-abdominal bleeding can be temporarily controlled, maintaining blood flow to the heart and brain until the patient can receive definitive repair of the injury.
"Hemorrhage is a leading cause of potentially preventable death in civilian and military trauma victims," said Jason MacTaggart, M.D., associate professor, UNMC Department of Surgery. "Control of hemorrhage in the chest and abdomen has traditionally been done only through surgery, with large incisions, in hospital settings. Recently, significant experience has been gained with new, minimally invasive endovascular techniques that allow for rapid control of bleeding with far less physical insult to the patient than standard surgical methods. Most importantly, many of these endovascular techniques have the potential to be applied outside the hospital, in harsh environments such as battlefields, rural and wilderness settings.
"Currently the endovascular skills to perform these hemorrhage control techniques are possessed primarily by vascular surgeons, radiologists, and other cardiovascular interventionalists," he said. "However, these providers are not typically on the front lines caring for critically injured, unstable patients in hemorrhagic shock. The goals of the work under this contract are to help disseminate the knowledge and technical skills to perform aortic balloon occlusion to frontline trauma providers, and to study the optimal methods of teaching and practicing the technique.
"The curriculum we are developing at UNMC will help to better prepare trauma providers to save lives, whether on the battlefield or potentially in response to a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) event."
Congratulations Dr. MacTaggart on bringing this life-saving therapy to those in need!