Extremity War Injuries: Collaborative Efforts in Research, Host Nation Care, and Disaster Preparedness


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Abstract

The fourth annual Extremity War Injuries (EWI) Symposium addressed ongoing challenges and opportunities in the management of combat-related musculoskeletal injury. The symposium, which also examined host-nation care and disaster preparedness and response, defined opportunities for synergy between several organizations with similar missions and goals. Within the Department of Defense, the Orthopaedic Extremity Trauma Research Program (OETRP) has funded basic research related to a series of protocols first identified and validated at prior EWI symposia. A well-funded clinical research arm of OETRP has been developed to help translate and validate research advances from each of the protocols. The Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a consortium of academic research institutions, employs a tissue-engineering approach to EWI challenges, particularly with regard to tissue loss. Programs within the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and throughout the National Institutes of Health have also expanded tissue-engineering efforts by emphasizing robust mechanistic basic science programs. Much of the clinical care delivered by US military medical personnel and nongovernmental agencies has been to host-nation populations; coordinating delivery to maximize the number of injured who receive care requires understanding of the breadth and scope of resources available within the war zone. Similarly, providing the most comprehensive care to the greatest number of injured in the context of domestic mass casualty requires discussion and planning by all groups involved.

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