The Combat Trauma Innovation conference

17 January 2012

Several leading UHB clinicians provided an international audience with an insight into the development of treatment of military trauma patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

The Combat Trauma Innovation conference in London drew speakers, delegates and industry representatives from all over the world and featured a satellite event dedicated to the NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre at QEHB.

Professor Sir Keith Porter and Lt Col Steven Jeffery both spoke during the main event.

Sir Keith presented on the opening day of the conference, discussing the development of cooperation between personnel at the British military’s field hospital at Camp Bastion and the combined military-civilian teams at QEHB.

Sir Keith was part of the pre-hospital segment of the conference, which included presentations by American, Indian, Dutch and Israeli experts, as well as several leading British figures.

Lt Col Jeffery spoke on the second day of the conference, discussing some of the latest advances in treating burn and soft tissue injuries, as well as the mechanisms of burn trauma.

Sir Keith also chaired and introduced the NIHR SRMRC satellite event, which showcased the research being done to bring into the NHS lessons learned from treating military trauma patients.

Dr Emrys Kirkman from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) spoke about how research is improving the understanding of how to treat military trauma casualties, and he was followed by Maj Mark Foster’s presentation on the role of steroids on immunity.

Dr Paul Harrison, from the University of Oxford, looked at the role of microparticles in trauma, and Dr Alun Carter spoke about inflammatory response to different resuscitation strategies.

Dr Iain Mackenzie provided a powerful insight into the diagnosis and treatment of blast lung injury to finish the morning session.

The afternoon sessions began with a focus on microbiology, with Gp Capt Andrew Green looking at the role of microbiology in treating battle trauma. Dr Beryl Oppenheim, from UHB, discussed the increasing importance of molecular approaches to microbiology and Prof Mark Pallen from University of Birmingham looked at the value of high-throughput sequencing to diagnose microbial infections in trauma patients.

The final session examined reconstructive and regenerative medicine, including the use of nanocomposite polymers by the team led by Prof Alex Seifalian at University College London. That was followed by Professor Peter Butler’s presentation on the opportunities and developments in hand and facial transplant.

The two final presentations of the day were by Lt Col Colin Schieff on traumatic brain injury and Wg Cdr Rob Scott on treating the many complex eye injuries sustained by military trauma patients.