"Optimizing Combat Casualty Care"

Michael Dubick, Ph.D., Col. (Dr.) Lance Cordoni and Dr. John Kragh hold a SAM Junctional Tourniquet that was selected as the 2015 Major General Harold “Harry” J. Greene Award for Innovation (Group Category) by the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

USAISR researchers win Army’s innovation award

Story and photo by Steven Galvan, DBA
USAISR Public Affairs Officer

U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
06 AUG 2016

Researchers at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, were among the team named winners of the 2015 Major General Harold “Harry” J. Greene Award for Innovation.

Dr. John F. Kragh, an orthopedic surgeon and researcher, and Michael Dubick, Ph.D., Damage Control Resuscitation task area manager at the USAISR, were among the team receiving the award that included members from the medical community, academia and industry. The team developed, tested and fielded the SAM Junctional Tourniquet that was selected as the winner in the group category of the innovation award.

The SAM Junctional Tourniquet is designed to stop bleeding in junctional areas of the torso where limb tourniquets cannot be used like in the pelvic area or armpits. The SAM Junctional Tourniquet is FDA cleared and is an adjustable belt with two configurable and inflatable bulbs that can to be applied directly to a hemorrhage area to control bleeding. The junctional tourniquet weighs less than a pound and designed to be applied in less than a minute.

“This is just another example as to how team efforts can work to deliver potentially lifesaving interventions to the battlefield,” said Dubick. “As task area manager, it's my job to facilitate the research we do and to help primary investigators set up needed collaborative efforts with academia and industry.”

“For me, this is professionally a real joy to have worked so well with such a comprehensive team of committed experts representing several stakeholders,” Kragh said. “Even more moving for me is that those we knew and lost, like Corporal Jaimie Smith at Black Hawk Down in Somalia, are now able to be saved, like the Afghan policeman who had a virtually identical wound as Jaimie. How good is that! This is as good as it gets.”

Other members of the innovation award winning team include: Col. (Dr.) Lorne Blackbourne, former USAISR commander and trauma surgeon at the San Antonio Military Medical Center; Col. (Dr.) Lance Cordoni, Chief of Medical Consultants Division, Capability Development and Integration Directorate at the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School; James Johnson, Ph.D., Director, Center for Applied Learning, Wake Forest University School of Medicine; and Lance Hopman, Head of Research and Development at SAM Medical.

“It's very satisfying to know that the Army saw the innovation to fill a capability gap to help prevent service members from dying from junctional wounds where standard limb tourniquets could not be applied, and so recognized us and the SAM Junctional Tourniquet for this Innovation Award,” added Dubick. “As this is the fourth Army Greatest Invention or Innovation Award for our group, all being team efforts, further reflects how relevant ISR is to the Army and Warfighter with respect to 'Optimizing Combat Casualty Care.'”

“I'm happy to be a member of the award winning team as it will shine more light on this lifesaving device,” said Cordoni. “Hopefully we will get the SAM Junctional tourniquet into all Army training programs and medical kits, so that our medics will have these when they need them.”

The award presented by the U.S. Army Materiel Command is a combination of the Army’s Greatest Invention Award and the Soldier’s Greatest Invention Award. The Greene award was named after Maj. Gen. Greene who was an innovator at USAMC. Greene was killed by gunfire while conducting an inspection of an Afghan military academy in 2014. The gunman was wearing an Afghan army uniform and the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.