Two federal grants will be awarded tonight to researchers in Texas and Rhode Island studying trauma to soldiers’ limbs.
Pittsburgh’s Airlift Research Foundation will award the grants. President Susan Pressly Lephart says although advanced body armor protects soldiers’ torsos admirably, their extremities are left relatively unprotected.
Lephart says both research teams will focus on injury to the long bones of limbs, which can be particularly traumatic.
“You’ll find that the bone itself may be somewhat intact, but there’s a huge defect or a huge chunk that’s taken out of it, and it’s very challenging,” says Lephart.
“There’s not been a lot of research to show the most effective way to deal with that, to try to make that a functional limb in the outcome.”
Lephart says about 82 percent of soldiers in current American conflicts experience extremity trauma.
The Department of Defense money goes to Dr. Christopher Born of the Rhode Island Trauma Hospital and Dr. Yunzhi Peter Yang of the University of Texas.
Each team will receive $200,000 over two years.