Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

War spawns new approaches for wounded service members' pain care

Date:
May 11, 2013
Source:
American Pain Society
Summary:
Better body armor and rapid aeromedical evacuations enable American service members to survive blasts that would have proved fatal in Vietnam or even the first Gulf War, but they pose new challenges to military medicine – how to deal with the excruciating pain of injuries, especially severe burns from IED blasts that body armor can’t protect.

Better body armor and rapid aeromedical evacuations enable American service members to survive blasts that would have proved fatal in Vietnam or even the first Gulf War, but they pose new challenges to military medicine -- how to deal with the excruciating pain of injuries, especially severe burns from IED blasts that body armor can't protect.

In fact, U.S. military doctors say the wars are inflicting injuries among the most painful known to medicine. Department of Defense scientists working at the U.S Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, spoke at the American Pain Society's annual scientific meeting and reported on progress in addressing pain management challenges for treating service members returning from the war front with severe burns.

"Soldiers with severe burns, such as those on 20 percent of their bodies or more, are often hospitalized for months and they endure agonizing pain every day -- not just from the first wound but also from repeated washings, dressing changes and multiple skin graft surgeries," said DOD Scientist Marcie Fowler, Ph.D. "Many also have polytraumatic injuries and have received several levels of treatment from the battlefield to the hospital, and brain trauma adds a cognitive impairment component to the rehabilitation of burns and polytraumatic injuries."

Opioids have been a mainstay for treating pain in badly burned warfighters, but extended use increases the risk for respiratory side effects and possible addiction. "There aren't many great alternatives to opioids but they do work and we have to deal with the side effects," said Fowler. "However, we are exploring several alternatives that might help reduce opioid use."

Dayna Loyd Averitt, Ph.D., a researcher at the USAISR, reported that the Army is conducting extensive research with novel therapeutic options for treating pain, such as using complementary drug therapy regimens, multidisciplinary pain

management strategies, and even virtual reality to help decrease pain during procedures. She reviewed current projects evaluating the potential benefits of the synthetic analgesic tramadol to treat pain with a reduced emphasis on opioids and in using an injectable agent, resiniferatoxin (RTX), to temporarily deactivate nerve endings. The RTX project is in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health.

"In our research with tramadol, we are evaluating the potential of using dual mechanism therapeutics that act on both opiate and neurotransmitter receptors," explained Averitt. "The drug's activity with neurotransmitters involved in pain modulation, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, could be helpful in treating pain while decreasing opioid use and lowering risk for addiction. The anti-depressive mode of action also can help treat burn patients who are dealing with PTSD and mood disorders.

Averitt said that preclinical studies with RTX show that treatment significantly reduced pain sensitivity from burns.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Pain Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Pain Society. "War spawns new approaches for wounded service members' pain care." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130511194835.htm>.
American Pain Society. (2013, May 11). War spawns new approaches for wounded service members' pain care. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130511194835.htm
American Pain Society. "War spawns new approaches for wounded service members' pain care." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130511194835.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) The World Health Organizations says TB numbers rose in 2013, but it's partly due to better detection and more survivors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins