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Surgeons Develop Innovative Life-Saving Treatments to Correct Massive Bleeding in Trauma Patients
Date:10/9/2007

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Surgeons are testing new ways of treating the number-one cause of death from trauma in this country -- massive bleeding. Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, are deeply cooling the entire body to prolong the time surgeons have to correct bleeding problems before the brain dies. In their most recent study, the surgical researchers found that profound hypothermia effectively treated shock that could not be reversed by standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation, thus saving lives that otherwise would be lost. Findings from this study were reported at the 2007 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.

"We're using this strategy in a situation where the alternative is almost certain death. We're not talking about a scenario where you might decrease the mortality from 10 percent down to 5 percent. We're talking about a highly lethal model, so we need to do something that is fairly dramatic and outside the box," according to Hasan B. Alam, MD, FACS, associate professor

of surgery at Harvard Medical School and a trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Another study presented at the Clinical Congress highlighted the work of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, who are aggressively treating hemorrhage with a predefined cocktail of blood products to replenish not only the volume of fluid but also the specific blood components trauma patients lose in the early period after injury. According to findings from this study of massive hemorrhage, the trauma exsanguination protocol (TEP) reduced the odds of mortality by over 70 percent, saving the lives of patients who were not expected to live, and reducing the number of patients who were expected to die.

In reporting on the Massachusetts General Hospital study, Dr. Alam explained that more patients under the age of 34 die of traumatic injuries than of all other diseases combined, and the number one reason why th
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SOURCE American College of Surgeons
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