BMC’s Critical Care Chief Receives Grant for Lung Injury Study

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Suresh Agarwal, MD, Boston Medical Center’s chief of surgical critical care, and associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, has received a $295,172 grant from the National Trauma Institute (NTI) to identify optimal treatment methods for acute lung injury (ALI). BMC will lead the multi-institutional trial, which involves seven Level I trauma centers and includes one military hospital.

Agarwal’s study is one of nine grants awarded this year by NTI, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding trauma research in the United States in an effort to reduce death and disability, and the associated costs, related to trauma injury.

Agarwal will study two therapies that may influence ALI, a significant healthcare burden for both military and civilian populations that accounts for more than 75,000 deaths annually. Mechanical ventilation (respirator) techniques remain the only accepted treatment therapy for patients with severe injuries, but these are also associated with segmental lung collapse, increased time on a ventilator and increased incidence of pneumonia. Agarwal’s team will compare a novel therapy, airway pressure release ventilation (APRV), with ARDSNet (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome), the traditional modality for management of ALI.

“Our long-term goal is to improve the health outcomes of patients with ALI and ARDS and gain a better understanding of its pathogenesis, prevention and treatment,” said Agarwal.

NTI is committed to facilitating translational research, which is research whose results may affect the practice of medicine and patient outcomes in the near-term. Agarwal’s study and the other eight funded by NTI in this cycle will get under way this year and may be completed within one year. Preliminary results from the principal investigators may be presented at the NTI’s Annual Trauma Symposium in 2012.

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