With operations in Iraq now in the 6th year and Afghanistan operations in their 8th year, doctors at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) see some of the most severely injured soldiers with multiple wound injuries caused by improvised explosive devices and intense firefights. According to Army Colonel Alexander Stojadinovic, M.D., a Surgeon at WRAMC, there is a need to have an inter-service partnership as well as a private-public partnership to provide not only advanced complex wound care but also complex wound translational research medicine.
Researchers and staff from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) are working with WRAMC to support research on wound control. This has resulted in a partnership between the Combat Wound Initiative program (CWIP) and the AFIP’s Complex Wound Biospecimen Network Program.
The biorepository for the program will be maintained by AFIP’s Division of Wound Biology and Translational Research. This division has newly renovated laboratories, administrative space, and state-of-the-art equipment and is able to provide wound analysis and molecular diagnostics and therapeutics using cutting edge instrumentation and techniques.
The division is establishing a “Combat Wound Microbial Culture Collection” and a “Combat Wound Genomic Repository.” Researchers will be able to study combat related infections and genetic characterization of microbial agents isolated from the wounds.
Also, extracted metal fragments, foreign bodies, and biospecimens are being submitted to AFIP’s Division of Biophysical Toxicology for biotoxicity studies. Metal fragments, tissues and related wound biospecimens are analyzed and go into the “Depleted Uranium and Embedded Metal Fragments Registries”.