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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. 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:
from the past week

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