Jun 5, 2006    #100
Contact: Noemi Rojas, public relations
(816) 235-1520

UMKC gets $1.8 million to translate shock-trauma science into clinical practice

The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded $1,763,000 to the Shock/Trauma Research Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). The money will be used to develop, test and implement life-saving treatments based on new scientific discoveries made by biomedical scientists, such as those working in the Shock/Trauma Research Center.

Shock is defined as a condition of abnormally low blood pressure that can result when there is physical damage to blood vessels (hemorrhage) or when the blood vessels become leaky (sepsis). More than 200,000 people in the U.S. die from septic shock and hemorrhagic shock each year. Trauma injury resulting from automobile accidents, bullet or knife wounds and falls is the primary reason for development of hemorrhagic shock, and is the leading cause of death for individuals under the age of 45 in the U.S. today.

"The treatment of hemorrhagic shock is a key part of treating injured patients, and it is clearly important to the Department of Defense, which is responsible for military medical care,” said Charles Van Way, M.D., lead investigator of the $1.8 million project. He is also chief of surgery at UMKC and Truman Medical Center. “With this support, we hope to develop new methods of treatment to improve the care of soldiers wounded on the battlefield and civilians injured in our cities and on our highways.”

While other areas of medicine have seen advances, treatment for hemorrhagic shock has changed little over the past 30-40 years. That means bleeding patients are treated largely as they would have been treated in 1970.

The Shock/Trauma Research Center is one of few such centers in the Midwest, and the only such program in Missouri. Its scientists have developed a number of potentially life-saving treatments through their studies of hemorrhagic shock and sepsis, as well as bone studies. In the treatment of hemorrhagic shock, scientists at the Shock/Trauma Research Center are exploring several new drugs that may improve the chances of survival.

“The work of the Center is a prime example of the value of translational research, wherein the knowledge obtained through basic and clinical research are ‘translated’ into practical applications in health care,” said John R. Baumann, vice provost for research at UMKC.

The Shock/Trauma Research Center is located in the UMKC School of Medicine, which is located adjacent to Truman Medical Center, the largest trauma center in western Missouri. The center is also allied with Saint Luke’s Hospital, Research Medical Center, and Children’s Mercy Hospital.

UMKC is committed to becoming nationally recognized for its research. The university continues to construct new research laboratories, hire top quality faculty, identify, promote, and establish disease-defined centers of excellence, and enlarge its research infrastructure.

UMKC is one of four University of Missouri campuses. It is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health and life sciences, and urban affairs.

This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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