OU Health Sciences Center Joins Wounded Soldier Research

Thursday, October 7th 2010, 1:19 pm
By: News 9


OKLAHOMA CITY -- The OU Health Sciences Center has joined a consortium of hospitals recruited to treat and rehabilitate members of the military injured during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium (METRC) is made up of two dozen major trauma centers. A medical research program within the U.S. Department of Defense recently awarded METRC $38.6 million to expand its multi-center studies on the treatment and outcomes of major orthopedic injuries sustained on the battlefield.

The consortium's ultimate goal was to help establish treatment guidelines for the optimal care of wounded servicemen and women. METRC also wanted to improve quality of life for both service members and civilians who sustained severe extremity trauma. OU Medical Center's Trauma I Center would be part of a network of core civilian trauma centers that will participate in the research.

"We are thrilled to have the University of Oklahoma as our partner in this effort to improve the standard of care for the wounded warrior and civilian trauma patient," Ellen MacKenzie, Ph.D., said. She was the director of the Consortium's Coordinating Center.

"Without a large multi-center effort such as this, we would be unable to effectively study many of the issues that are critical to ensuring the best outcomes following a severe injury."

Nearly 41,000 servicemen and women have been wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. David Teague with the orthopedic group at OU Medicine said the consortium's research would help doctors around the world better understand what does and does not work when treating injuries sustained on the battlefield.

"Together we will address the most pressing issues in orthopedic trauma care," Teague said. "The results of our studies will change practices, resulting in better care for all who are injured."