Public Release: 

Boston Medical Center critical care chief receives grant for lung injury study

Boston University Medical Center

(Boston) - Suresh Agarwal, MD, the chief of surgical critical care at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and an associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), 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 one trauma centers and includes one military hospital.

Agarwal's study is one of nine grants awarded this year by NTI, a non-profit 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--that 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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About the National Trauma Institute

The National Trauma Institute (NTI) is a non-profit organization that assembles public and private resources to support trauma research across the country, sets a national trauma research agenda, and supports military and civilian innovation and collaboration in trauma care and research. This year, NTI will distribute $2.46 million in grants to nine important studies. Since 2008, the organization has awarded $4 million to 16 studies taking place in 20 states. Learn more about NTI at www.nationaltraumainstitute.org.

About Boston Medical Center

Boston Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit, 639-licensed bed, academic medical center that is the primary teaching affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine. Committed to providing high-quality health care to all, the hospital offers a full spectrum of pediatric and adult care services including primary and family medicine and advanced specialty care with an emphasis on community-based care. Boston Medical Center offers specialized care for complex health problems and is a leading research institution. Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine are partners in the Boston HealthNet--15 community health centers focused on providing exceptional health care to residents of Boston. For more information, please visit www.bmc.org

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