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ACHRI Receives $400,000 from NIH to Study Critical Care Methods During Air Transport

LITTLE ROCK, AR. (Oct. 7, 2010) – The Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) has received a $400,000-plus grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore how goal-directed critical care therapies delivered during air transport can help kids recover long-term. The study began earlier this month and is funded for two years.

The project will examine the outcomes of children with Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) during transport on the Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) Angel One helicopters. SIRS is a critical condition in which patients have irregular body temperatures, fast heart rates, abnormal respiratory patterns and white blood cell counts that are too high or too low. It is caused by a variety of pediatric illnesses including infections, sepsis and trauma.

Principal Investigator Michael Stroud, MD, and his team will look at the outcomes from patients treated in transport using current care delivery methods for 10 months. They then will help the transport team institute goal-directed protocols commonly used in academic medical center intensive care units, utilizing ACH’s state-of-the-art Pediatric Understanding and Learning through Simulation Education (PULSE) Center. After those methods are in place, the team will track the SIRS patients treated during air transport to see if outcomes improve.

“We know that if you’re in an academic hospital and you get critical care therapies early, your outcome is better,” said Stroud, who also is an assistant professor in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Department of Pediatrics Section of Critical Care. “What we’re trying to do is take that process and start it earlier in the course of illness.”

The study will mark the first time that goal-directed therapies have been tested in the transport environment. Stroud’s team would like to see transport programs emphasize immediate delivery of critical care, rather than getting patients to their destination as quickly as possible.
The researchers expect that the Angel One team will transport 300-400 children with SIRS during the course of the study. The teams will look at the patients’ incidence of multi-system organ failure, their lengths of mechanical ventilation, the lengths of their hospital stays, and how long they are in intensive care units.

“The idea is that if you provide that critical care as early as possible, all those things should improve,” Stroud said.

Arkansas Children’s Hospital is the only pediatric medical center in Arkansas and one of the largest in the United States serving children. The campus spans 28 city blocks and houses 316 beds, a staff of approximately 500 physicians, 80 residents in pediatrics and pediatric specialties and more than 4,000 employees. The private, nonprofit healthcare facility boasts an internationally renowned reputation for medical breakthroughs and intensive treatments, unique surgical procedures and forward-thinking medical research - all dedicated to fulfilling our mission of enhancing, sustaining and restoring children's health and development. ACH recently ranked No. 85 on FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For®. For more information, visit www.archildrens.org.

ACHRI provides a research environment on the ACH campus to meet the needs of the UAMS faculty.  Research scientists at ACHRI conduct clinical, basic science, and health services research for the purpose of treating illnesses, preventing disease and improving the health of children everywhere.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 540,000-square-foot hospital; six institutes; and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,775 students and 748 medical residents. Its institutes are the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com.

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