The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research is one of six research laboratories within the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command of the U.S. Army Medicine Command. The Institute is the Army's lead research laboratory for improving the care of combat casualties. The mission of the Institute is to "Optimize Combat Casualty Care".
The USAISR does this through three unique missions:
- (1) To provide requirements driven innovations in combat casualty care to advance medical care for injured service members.
- (2) As the only Burn Center in the DoD provide state of the art burn, trauma and critical care to injured war fighters and DoD beneficiaries around the world.
- (3) Through the Joint Trauma System provide a performance improvement system dedicated to ensuring that medical care is organized according to the needs of the patient.
The three primary missions of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research work synergistically to improve care for combat wounded. The Joint Trauma System evaluates the current delivery of care in the deployed combat environment ensuring opportunities to improve care are recognized and acted upon. The information generated by the Joint Trauma System provides a picture of relevant battlefield medical problems. These problems in turn generate data driven questions. The questions feed into requirements driven combat casualty care research, developing products to improve care across the entire spectrum from self- and buddy-aid through definitive care. Finally, innovations in combat casualty care research are returned to the battlefield. These innovations return either through the Joint Trauma System or through theBurn Center. This approach enables the USAISR to; keep a finger on the pulse of current combat medical problems; develop solutions to these through research; and return solutions to benefit the warfighter.
The USAISR has a long history of burn care and burn research from WWII to the present day. Recently the Institute has led innovations in combat casualty care in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among the many areas the Institute has contributed are; hemostatic dressings; tourniquets; damage control resuscitation; 1:1 blood product use; extracorporeal organ support; pre-hospital lifesaving interventions; decision support technology to ensure expert medical decisions; and burn resuscitation and burn prevention.
The Institute has grown from a 12 person staff in 1943 to more than 700 military and civilian personnel focused on “Optimizing Combat Casualty Care”.