NSRI awarded contract from US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for UNMC-led endovascular training course

October 31, 2016

The National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska recently received a contract funding research for the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC).  The NSRI, a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) is one of 13 established UARC’s 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 the University of Nebraska Medical Center (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 intraabdominal bleeding can be temporarily controlled, maintaining blood flow to the heart and brain, until the patient can receive definitive repair of the injury. 

Jason MacTaggart, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Surgery at UNMC said “hemorrhage is a leading cause of potentially preventable death in civilian and military trauma victims.  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.” 

MacTaggart continued, “currently the endovascular skills to perform these hemorrhage control technique are possessed primarily by vascular surgeons, radiologists, and other cardiovascular interventionalists.  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 front line 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.”

About NSRI
Founded in 2012, the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska is the only University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) in the country dedicated to delivering solutions for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) to U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and across other federal agencies.  NSRI provides research and development for the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and other governmental agencies in multiple mission-critical competency areas — including development of medical countermeasures to WMD; nuclear detection and forensics; consequence management; chemical and biological weapons detection; and space, cyber, and telecom law.  Learn more at nsri.nebraska.edu

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