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INTRODUCTION - Traditional risk scoring prediction models for trauma use either anatomically based estimations of injury or presenting vital signs. Markers of organ dysfunction may provide additional prognostic capability to these models. The objective of this study was to evaluate if urinary biomarkers are associated with poor outcomes, including death and the need for renal replacement therapy.
METHODS - We conducted a prospective, observational study in United States Military personnel with traumatic injury admitted to the intensive care unit at a combat support hospital in Afghanistan.
RESULTS - Eighty nine patients with urine samples drawn at admission to the intensive care unit were studied. Twelve patients subsequently died or needed renal replacement therapy. Median admission levels of urinary cystatin C (CyC), interleukin 18 (IL-18), L-type fatty acid binding protein (LFABP) and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) were significantly higher in patients that developed the combined outcome of death or need for renal replacement therapy. Median admission levels of kidney injury molecule-1 were not associated with the combined outcome. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curves for the combined outcome were 0.815, 0.682, 0.842 and 0.820 for CyC, IL-18, LFABP and NGAL, respectively. Multivariable regression adjusted for injury severity score, revealed CyC (OR 1.97, 95 % confidence interval 1.26-3.10, p = 0.003), LFABP (OR 1.92, 95 % confidence interval 1.24-2.99, p = 0.004) and NGAL (OR 1.80, 95 % confidence interval 1.21-2.66, p = 0.004) to be significantly associated with the composite outcome.
CONCLUSIONS - Urinary biomarker levels at the time of admission are associated with death or need for renal replacement therapy. Larger multicenter studies will be required to determine how urinary biomarkers can best be used in future prediction models.
BACKGROUND - While acute kidney injury (AKI) has been well studied in a variety of patient settings, there is a paucity of data in patients injured in the course of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We sought to establish the rate of early AKI in this population and to define risk factors for its development.
METHODS - We combined the results of two studies performed at combat support hospitals in Afghanistan. Only US service members who required care in the intensive care unit were included for analysis. Data on age, race, sex, Injury Severity Score (ISS), first available lactate, and requirement for massive transfusion were collected. Univariate analyses were performed to identify factors associated with the subsequent development of early AKI. Multivariable Cox regression was used to adjust for potential confounders.
RESULTS - The two observational cohorts yielded 134 subjects for analysis. The studies had broadly similar populations but differed in terms of age and need for massive transfusion. The rate of early AKI in the combined cohort was 34.3%, with the majority (80.5%) occurring within the first two hospital days. Patients with AKI had higher unadjusted mortality rates than those without AKI (21.7% vs. 2.3%, p < 0.001). After adjustment, ISS (hazard ratio, 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-1.03; p = 0.046) and initial lactate (hazard ratio, 1.16; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-1.31; p = 0.015) were independently associated with the development of AKI.
CONCLUSION - AKI is common in combat casualties enrolled in two prospective intensive care unit studies, occurring in 34.3%, and is associated with crude mortality. ISS and initial lactate are independently associated with the subsequent development of early AKI.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE - Prognostic and epidemiologic study, level III.
Although an attentional bias for threat-relevant cues has been theorized in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to date empirical demonstration of this phenomenon has been at best inconsistent. Furthermore, the nature of this bias in PTSD has not been clearly delineated. In the present study, veterans with PTSD (n = 20), trauma-exposed veterans without PTSD (n = 16), and healthy nonveteran controls (n = 22) completed an emotional attentional blink task that measures the extent to which emotional stimuli capture and hold attention. Participants searched for a target embedded within a series of rapidly presented images. Critically, a combat-related, disgust, positive, or neutral distracter image appeared 200 ms, 400 ms, 600 ms, or 800 ms before the target. Impaired target detection was observed among veterans with PTSD relative to both veterans without PTSD and healthy nonveteran controls after only combat-related threat distracters when presented 200 ms, 400 ms, or 600 ms before the target, indicating increased attentional capture by cues of war and difficulty disengaging from such cues for an extended period. Veterans without PTSD and healthy nonveteran controls did not significantly differ from each other in target detection accuracy after combat-related threat distracters. These data support the presence of an attentional bias toward combat related stimuli in PTSD that should be a focus of treatment efforts.
© 2013 American Psychological Association
BACKGROUND - In this descriptive case series, 80 soldiers from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with inhalational exposures during service in Iraq and Afghanistan were evaluated for dyspnea on exertion that prevented them from meeting the U.S. Army's standards for physical fitness.
METHODS - The soldiers underwent extensive evaluation of their medical and exposure history, physical examination, pulmonary-function testing, and high-resolution computed tomography (CT). A total of 49 soldiers underwent thoracoscopic lung biopsy after noninvasive evaluation did not provide an explanation for their symptoms. Data on cardiopulmonary-exercise and pulmonary-function testing were compared with data obtained from historical military control subjects.
RESULTS - Among the soldiers who were referred for evaluation, a history of inhalational exposure to a 2003 sulfur-mine fire in Iraq was common but not universal. Of the 49 soldiers who underwent lung biopsy, all biopsy samples were abnormal, with 38 soldiers having changes that were diagnostic of constrictive bronchiolitis. In the remaining 11 soldiers, diagnoses other than constrictive bronchiolitis that could explain the presenting dyspnea were established. All soldiers with constrictive bronchiolitis had normal results on chest radiography, but about one quarter were found to have mosaic air trapping or centrilobular nodules on chest CT. The results of pulmonary-function and cardiopulmonary-exercise testing were generally within normal population limits but were inferior to those of the military control subjects.
CONCLUSIONS - In 49 previously healthy soldiers with unexplained exertional dyspnea and diminished exercise tolerance after deployment, an analysis of biopsy samples showed diffuse constrictive bronchiolitis, which was possibly associated with inhalational exposure, in 38 soldiers.
BACKGROUND - Civilian and military mass casualty incidents (MCI) are an unfortunate reality in the 21st century, but there are few situational training exercises (STX) to prepare for them. To fill this gap, we developed a MCI STX for U.S. Army Forward Surgical Teams (FST) in conjunction with the U.S. Army Trauma Training Center.
METHODS - After a standardized briefing, each FST has 60 minutes to unpack, setup, and organize a standard equipment cache into an emergency room, operating room, and intensive care unit. In an adjacent room, five anesthetized swine are prepared with standardized, combat-relevant injuries. The number and acuity of the total casualties are unknown to the FST and arrive in waves and without warning. A realistic combat environment is simulated by creating resource limitations, power outages, security breaches, and other stressors. The STX concludes when all casualties have died or are successfully treated. FSTs complete a teamwork self-assessment card, while staff and FST surgeons evaluate organization, resource allocation, communication, treatment, and overall performance. Feedback from each FST can be incorporated into an updated design for the next STX.
RESULTS - From 2003-2005, 16 FSTs have completed the STX. All FSTs have had collapses in situational triage, primary/ secondary surveys, and/or ATLS principles (basic ABCs), resulting in approximately 20% preventable deaths.
CONCLUSIONS - We concluded (1) a MCI can overwhelm even combat- experienced FSTs; (2) adherence to basic principles of emergency trauma care by all FST members is essential to effectively and efficiently respond to this MCI; (3) by prospectively identifying deficiencies, future military or civilian performance during an actual MCI may be improved; and (4) this MCI STX could provide a template for similar programs to develop, train, and evaluate civilian surgical disaster response teams.
To assess the association between paternal military service and risk for childhood leukemia, the authors analyzed data from three case-control studies conducted by the Children's Cancer Group from 1983 to 1993. A total of 605 acute myeloid leukemia (AML, age < or = 18 years) cases, 2,117 acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL, age < or = 14 years) cases, and 3,155 individually matched controls were included in these studies. Paternal military history and other exposure data were obtained in 2,343 matched case-control sets, including 1,805 ALL and 528 AML cases. Paternal general military service was not associated with the leukemia risk. A small, but significant, increase in the risk for AML was seen, however, among offspring of veterans who had served in Vietnam or Cambodia (odds ratio (OR) = 1.7; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0, 2.9), after adjustment for paternal education, race, income, smoking, X-ray exposure, and marijuana use. The risk was predominantly present in children diagnosed before the age of 2 (OR = 4.6; 95% CI: 1.3, 16.1), although there were inconsistencies in the risks associated with length of time served and interval between service and diagnosis of leukemia. Military service in Vietnam or Cambodia was unrelated to the risk for ALL. The etiologic importance, if any, of these observations has yet to be determined.
Periconceptual dietary folic acid supplementation reduces the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs). Their use has been advocated by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), the Consultant Advisor in Obstetrics & Gynaecology (O&G), the Senior Consultant in O&G British Forces in Germany (BFG) and by Medical Administration & Technical Instruction (MA&TI) in all NAAFI outlets. An audit of awareness of the recommendations and use of such supplements amongst pregnant women in BFG was performed over a 12 week period in BMH Rinteln. 16.6% (5/6) and 17.6% (34/193) of those with and without a history of a pregnancy affected by a NTD respectively had taken the correct dose before conception. Knowledge of and compliance with the recommendations is poor. An opportunity to positively influence health in a "captive" population is being lost.
OBJECTIVES - This study sought to examine risk factors associated with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) seroconversion among active-duty men in the US Army.
METHODS - One hundred twenty-eight men with documented HIV-1 seroconversion between 1988 and 1991 were matched to control subjects on demographic variables. Risk factor information was collected for the seroconversion period.
RESULTS - Forty-nine case subjects and no control subjects reported same-gender sex; this includes 34 case subjects who also reported sex with women. Seventy case and 118 control subjects reported no risk factors other than heterosexual intercourse. Among heterosexuals, excess risk was noted for men who had sex with women in risk categories defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (odds ratio = 10.0; 95% confidence interval = 1.3, 78.1). Significant trends of increasing risk for seroconversion were found with increasing numbers of female partners, nonsteady partners, and partners with whom sex occurred on the first day of acquaintance.
CONCLUSIONS - In this population, the major risk factor for HIV-1 seroconversion was same-gender sex. Among heterosexuals, sex with anonymous or causal partners increased this risk. Intervention programs should emphasize the risk of indiscriminate partner selection in addition to "safe sex" practices.
Smallpox was officially declared eradicated from the world in 1980. Earlier, in 1972, over 50 nations signed the Biological Weapons Convention renouncing this entire category of weapons. Despite this international agreement, both the United States and the Soviet Union continue to vaccinate their military troops against smallpox, thus implying that each fears the other might still use it in biological warfare. Vaccination is not a harmless procedure, and vaccinia infections continue to be reported in troops and their contacts. Negotiating an end to the vaccination of troops would be a final step in ending the fear of smallpox.