Critical Care Air Transport Team severe traumatic brain injury short-term outcomes during flight for Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom.

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2017-10

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Abstract

Our understanding of the expertise and equipment required to air transport injured soldiers with severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) continue to evolve.We conducted a retrospective chart review of characteristics, interventions required and short-term outcomes of patients with severe TBI managed by the US Air Force Critical Care Air Transport Teams (CCATTs) deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom between 1 June 2007 and 31 August 2010. Patients were cared for based on guidelines given by the Brain Trauma Foundation and the Joint Theater Trauma System by non-neurosurgeon physicians with dedicated neurocritical care training. We report basic characteristics, injuries, interventions required and complications during transport.Intracranial haemorrhage was the most common diagnosis in this cohort. Most injuries were weapon related. During this study, there were no reported in-flight deaths. The majority of patients were mechanically ventilated. There were 45 patients who required at least one vasopressor to maintain adequate tissue perfusion, including four patients who required three or more. Some patients required intracranial pressure (ICP) management, treatment of diabetes insipidus and/or seizure prophylaxis medications.Air transport personnel must be prepared to provide standard critical care but also care specific to TBIs, including ICP control and management of diabetes insipidus. Although these patients and their potential complications are traditionally managed by neurosurgeons, those providers without neurosurgical backgrounds can be provided this training to help fill a wartime need. This study provides data for the future development of air transport guidelines for validating and clearing flight surgeons.

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Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1136/jramc-2016-000743

Publication Info

Boyd, L Renee, J Borawski, J Lairet and AT Limkakeng (2017). Critical Care Air Transport Team severe traumatic brain injury short-term outcomes during flight for Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom. Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps, 163(5). 10.1136/jramc-2016-000743 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/16694.

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Scholars@Duke

Borawski

Joseph Brian Borawski

Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Limkakeng

Alexander Tan Limkakeng

Professor of Emergency Medicine

Dr. Alexander T. Limkakeng, Jr., MD, MHSc, FACEP is a Professor of Emergency Medicine, Vice Chair of Clinical Research, Director of the Acute Care Research Team, and Director of the Resident Research Fellowship for the Department of Emergency Medicine in the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Limkakeng has served as chair of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Research Committee, and been the Course Director of the ACEP Research Forum from 2016-2018, the largest emergency medical research platform in the nation. He is also the Assistant Director of ACEP’s Emergency Medicine Basic Research Skills course. He was elected to the Nominating Committee of the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine.

As a researcher, Dr. Limkakeng has led multiple clinical trials and interdepartmental sponsored projects and is author on over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts. These include studies in emergency conditions such as COVID-19, traumatic brain injury, hypertension, heart failure, thrombosis, stroke, envenomations, and septic shock. His research has been funded by grants and contracts totaling over $9 million dollars. He has lectured internationally on acute coronary syndrome, responsible conduct of research, design of clinical trials, and precision medicine in emergency care. He has led Duke’s involvement in NIH-funded research networks and in industry-funded work that led to FDA approval for multiple high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays and point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic tests. He has servesd as Co-PI for the Duke U24 Hub in the NIH Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network (EPPIC-Net) (1U24NS114416) and now serves as a co-PI on the Duke U24 Hub award (1U24NS129498) in the NIH Strategies to Innovate Emergency Care Clinical Trials (SIREN) Network and in the NIH NINDS Strokenet network (1U24NS135250)

His personal research interest is finding new ways to diagnose acute coronary syndrome. In particular, he is interested in novel biomarkers and precision medicine approaches to this problem. The common element throughout this work is a focus on time-sensitive health conditions.

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