Trauma Research to Prevent Injury and Improve Care
Trauma Center investigators have been involved in dozens of studies during the past few years. Research projects include:
CIREN (Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network)
The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Neurosurgery is involved in extensive research into vehicle crashworthiness. Real-world crashes are investigated to gather a variety of data, with a goal of reducing the number of deaths and the severity of injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes. This study is in collaboration with the CIREN, a program of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Froedtert & the Medical College are equipped with a full-scale crash laboratory. The Froedtert & the Medical College CIREN Center is the first to focus its activities on brain and spinal cord injuries in motor vehicle crashes, concentrating on injuries in the very young and the elderly.
When an injured person is in shock, his or her blood vessels do not react normally to drugs. This research, which is looking at the reaction of blood vessels during injury, could point the way to better drug therapies for trauma patients.
Extending Research into the Field
In cooperation with paramedics, researchers are investigating two alternatives to standard resuscitation fluids. Part of the National Institutes of Health’s Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, this investigation could help reduce the risk of organ failure and brain injury in trauma patients.
Looking at Quality of Life
Even after trauma patients have regained most of their abilities, they often have a hard time returning to their pre-injury quality of life. Trauma Center researchers have found it has a lot to do with post-traumatic stress and depression. Recognizing the symptoms of these conditions early can help patients achieve better overall outcomes.
National Study on Costs and Outcomes of Trauma Care (NSCOT)
Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin worked with Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and the University of Washington School of Medicine on a nationwide research study involving thousands of people who were injured. The goal of the research was to determine how well people do after an injury and to find better ways to ensure they receive the treatment they need.
Froedtert nursing staff participate in studies and nursing research in areas impacted by the nursing profession.
Injury Research Center
Medical College of Wisconsin physicians are leaders in the field of injury prevention and control. Their clinical experiences generate questions about how injuries can be prevented and better treated, allowing for maximum recovery. These leaders also address education and policy issues relevant to the field.
In 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded the Injury Research Center (IRC) to address the burden of injury in the Great Lakes region of the Midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio). The IRC is a collaboration of the departments of Emergency Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, Neurosurgery, Surgery, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Plastic Surgery and Population Health.
The work of the IRC balances scientific research, reflecting areas of expertise of Medical College faculty and staff, with important core programs to support educational, public policy, prevention and community service goals of the center.