Monday, April 7, 2008

DOD Trauma System Discussed

Colonel Brian J. Eastridge, MC, Chief of Trauma, US Army Institute of Surgical Research, and Brooke Army Medical Center, speaking at the Battlefield Healthcare Conference at Georgetown University on April 1, 2008, discussed the effectiveness of the Joint Theater Trauma System. The system provides for an organized approach to providing improved trauma care across the continuum of care.

According to Colonel Eastridge, the Joint Theater Trauma Registry (JTTR) is the data repository collecting all of the DOD trauma related data. The system contains records on both pre-hospital care and subsequent care in CONUS along with the most comprehensive and historical picture of war wounds ever assembled. The vision is to improve the delivery of care, improve communications for clinicians in the evaluation chain, ensure the continuity of care, and provide improved access to data.

The registry has data on injury prevention, trauma care, hospital care, acute care, rehabilitation and where injuries are located on the soldier. The information helps researchers develop and make improvements in both soldier personal protective equipment and vehicle design.

There are 14,000 patients with injuries listed in the database with data on level two, level three, and level four patients. Presently the system is adding level five data. The database can be separated with Iraq injuries versus injuries endured in Afghanistan.

The soldiers in this highly injured population in the war zone may sustain wounds requiring massive transfusions. The system is able to track massive transfusions and provide data to prevent deaths and complications. Today, the survival rate for these soldiers is high at 80% to 90%. The system also provides data on casualty trends and provides pre deployment education.

The system provides information that helps researchers deal with hypothermia on the battlefield. With the data provided, the Army is looking at ways to prevent hypothermia such as using body bags and temperature monitors. Researchers are studying how to best do burn resuscitation and now they are developing standard burn flow sheets to track input and output after incidents of over or under hydration.