Military medical brea­kthroughs unveiled at Fort Sam

Military branches show off new medical research technology


The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research at Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, along with the Navy Medical Research Unit and Air Force Dental Evaluation and Consultation Service, opened their doors to about 80 civilian researchers and community leaders to unveil numerous technology innovations in trauma medicine.

Innovation Day is the first time the worlds of academia, commercial biotechnology and civilian leaders have been invited to view the results of the combat casualty care research programs.

It is hoped that by opening the doors, these innovations will make their way into real world use outside of combat.

Dr. Jose Salinas, Task Area Manager for the U.S. Army Inst. of Surgical Research said, "We work in a bubble. We develop technologies to take care of our common casualties. However, the same technologies can be applicable to taking care of civilian casualties."

Dr. Ron Grisell showed off a new ultrasound that will be able to report blood in the lungs of a patient while on the scene of an accident or while being transported.

It’s a matter of size of the equipment, detail it provides and quickness in delivering information to the medical provider that makes it special.

"I think it will help in the field. I think it'll save about ... 30 minutes when the guy is hurt, the gal, actually civilians in auto accidents," said Grisell, who is excited that this technology will be small enough to be used with a computer tablet.

Another exhibit showed off a massive example of multiple medical breakthroughs for burn trauma patients in transport, some of which have won awards already as well as saved the lives of many troops already.

Biotechnology experts and educators were among those invited to view the technologies.

Dr. Brent Nowak, who works on similar research at UTSA’s College of Engineering was looking forward to the chance to get a look at the work underway.

Nowak said, “The type of work they do obviously, seems like it would apply to any civilian situation where there's a trauma or emergency whether it's an accident or a natural disaster of some sort, so I think it's a great opportunity."

It’s hoped that Innovation Day will provide a spring board to future events so that the sharing of ideas can continue.


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