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Improving Shock and Trauma Care in Kansas City

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City, MO – The Department of Defense is giving the University of Missouri-Kansas City almost $2 million to improve treatment for patients with shock. Advancements in this field are far and few between but Kansas City researchers will use this money to develop better care for wounded soldiers and civilians. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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When patients reach dangerously low blood pressure levels they experience shock. Often people who sustain traumatic injuries from the battlefield, car accidents or bullet wounds lose large amounts of blood, go into shock and need immediate medical attention. Dr. Charles Van Way, the director of the Shock/Trauma Research Center at UMKC, says the center will work to improving patient's health after controlling the bleeding.

Dr. Charles Van Way: "We've realized that nothing in this treatment is intended to prevent the damage that comes from the body's response to all of this. And, the body responds to all of this with a rather severe inflammatory reaction."

Van Way says after the treatment patients can have multiple organ failure, which can cause death. The UMKC center, the only such program in the state, will use almost $2 million from the Department of Defense over the next two years to research and test drugs to prevent later complications in patients from shock.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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