MU Medical school leads research project for combat medic training

The $5.3 million will be used to conduct research on effective combat medicine techniques

The MU School of Medicine has received a $5.3 million federal grant from the United States Department of Defense to research the most effective methods of combat medic training, according to a news release.

To carry out the research, MU has created the MU Combat Casualty Training Consortium, which consists of 30 subject matter experts who will both participate in the research project and meet quarterly over the next 24 months to help provide insight, expertise and oversight to all areas of this project.

The research will be done on three sites across the country, including MU, the University of Alabama-Birmingham and the University of South Florida.

The team will analyze different ways to train combat medics. It will then present a standard curriculum for the training of combat medics to the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command, said Stephen Barnes, MU CCTC principal investigator and chief of division of acute care surgery at the MU School of Medicine.

“Once we have determined what the best way to train a combat medic in these life-saving skills and procedures (is), I anticipate that those training modalities will one day be utilized by medical schools across the country and probably first here at the University of Missouri,” he said.

Barnes said the grant will impact everyone who wears a uniform for the U.S. military. The grant will be used to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of different training modalities used in the training of first responders on the battlefield.

"On the battlefield, combat casualty care provides a challenging and fast-paced environment where diagnostic decisions need to be made quickly," Barnes said in a news release. "We're optimistic that findings from our studies will improve efforts to save lives and drive development of military medical training for the next decade."

The three critical areas in which the MU CCTC will perform research are hemorrhage control, airway management and emergency medical skills, Barnes said. According to a news release, simulation centers at college campuses will be used to simulate medical scenarios and treatment situations for these areas.

"This competitive grant award represents a significant new initiative for the Department of Defense in military medical training research," Col. Karl Friedl, Director of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, said in a news release. "The elements of this consortium bring together the best of medical training and modern technologies in a convergence science effort that will enable more effective, agile and affordable options to meet future training requirements."

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