The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) was awarded the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC) Award for Excellence at the CoTCCC’s 10th Anniversary Dinner on November 15 in Washington, DC.
Guests at the dinner included Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Jonathan Woodson; Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Peach Taylor and Mr. Al Middleton; Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker and his wife Audrey; Air Force Deputy Surgeon General, Maj. Gen. Tom Travis; Joint Staff Surgeon, Maj. Gen. Doug Robb; Defense Health Board President, Dr. Nancy Dickey; former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Gen. Richard Myers; Association of Military Surgeons of the United States head, retired Maj. Gen. George Anderson; former Commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, retired Rear Adm. Tom Richards; and the Chairman of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, Dr. Mike Rotondo.
The ISR award is for the institute’s support and contributions to combat casualty care for the past decade. “This award is for the entire ISR staff: past and present,” said Col. (Dr.) Lorne H. Blackbourne, Commander, USAISR. “Everyone at the ISR has made significant contributions and this award is just a small token of our commitment and dedication to optimizing combat casualty care.”
The CoTCCC was established in 2001 to ensure that the lessons learned from the modern day battlefield were analyzed and that updated best practice guidelines for battlefield trauma care are incorporated into the TCCC guidelines as needed.
TCCC is now used by all U.S. military services and by many coalition partner nations; it has been identified as one of the major reasons that U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have experienced the highest casualty survival rates in history.
Members of the CoTCCC represent all services and the civilian sector to include Navy corpsmen, Army medics, Air Force pararescuemen, trauma surgeons, emergency medicine and critical care physicians, medical researchers, and medical educators.
The CoTCCC is a working group of the Trauma and Injury Subcommittee of the Defense Health Board and meets quarterly to discuss topics in casualty care, including techniques, procedures, equipment, and drugs/agents.
The Chairman of the CoTCCC, retired Navy Capt. and former United States Special Operations Command, Command Surgeon, Dr. Frank Butler, said that the CoTCCC has had a number of strategic alliances over the years, but that the ISR stands out from the group.
“It’s almost easier to list the things in TCCC that ISR has not been involved with,” said Butler. “The importance of their contribution to TCCC can’t be overstated.”
According to Butler, “Without ISR, we wouldn’t have the ‘Causes of Death’ analysis in the papers by Drs. John Holcomb and Joe Kelly that have been so helpful in improving trauma care.
Without ISR and the 2005 tourniquet report by Holcomb, Walters and Dom Greydanus, U.S. medics might still be making tourniquets out of belts and screwdrivers like they did in Mogadishu and at the start of the current conflicts. Without ISR and the TCCC Transition Initiative carried out by Holcomb and Greydanus, we would not have been able to develop expedited ways to field and train TCCC equipment in Special Operations Forces units deploying in support of combat operations.
Without ISR and Dr. John Kragh’s landmark tourniquet studies, we would still be arguing about whether or not tourniquets really save lives. Without ISR and the work done by Dr. Bijan Kheirabadi and his colleagues, we might not have lifesaving hemostatic agents on the battlefield.
Without ISR, we probably would not have a Joint Trauma System. Without ISR, we would not have the remarkable work that Lt. Col. Bob Mabry has done on Tactical Evacuation Care. Without ISR and the MATTERS study performed by Col. Todd Rasmussen and his colleagues, we might not have been able to add Tranexamic acid to our medical provider’s tool kit as a way to stop life-threatening torso hemorrhage in combat casualties.
Finally, without Holcomb and Blackbourne and their strong support for the CoTCCC beginning in the period that it was transitioning from Navy Medicine to the Defense Health Board and continuing through today, we would never have been able to accomplish the smooth and successful transition that has occurred. ”
“Everything that the ISR does is for our combat wounded,” said Blackbourne. “We should all be proud of this award and our commitment in caring for the world’s finest warriors.”BACK TO USAISR NEWS