tapped to study acute lung injury
U.Va. Health System has
been chosen by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to
join a network of centers studying the management
and treatment of Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
respiratory syndrome is an acute, severe injury to the lungs,
caused by a variety of diseases, such as pneumonia, shock and
sepsis, or traumatic injury. According to the institute, it affects
as many as 150,000 people in the U.S. each year. Patients experience
severe shortness of breath and require life support on a ventilator
because of respiratory failure. Aggressive treatment of the precipitating
illness or injury is essential; however, there is no specific
treatment for ARDS. Physicians have to wait for the body to heal
the injured lungs while they keep the patient alive.
institute created the network of research centers, called ARDSnet,
"because despite 30 years of research and development, the
death rate for this illness has remained near 40 percent. Many
patients with ARDS are young, and their lives are cut short,"
said Dr. Jonathon Truwit, professor of internal medicine in the
U.Va. Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. He and
Dr. Alfred F. Connors Jr., professor of health evaluation sciences
and internal medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical
Care Medicine, are the principal investigators for the center.
believe that our involvement with the network will ultimately
generate new, life-saving therapies for patients with ARDS,"
participation in ARDSnet, which is supported by a grant of $496,000
over three years, will allow U.Va. critical care specialists to
offer patients new treatments through innovative clinical studies.
The first study conducted at U.Va. will involve fluid management
and the use of a pulmonary artery catheter in the care of patients
with ARDS or acute lung injury, a mild form of ARDS. Connors said
they have just started to enter patients in this study.
selection was based on their assessment of the quality of critical
care at U.Va., the number of patients that we manage with acute
lung injury and the quality of our scientific team. We are extremely
pleased to be part of this excellent national effort to improve
care," said Connors. There are 20 ARDSnet centers nationwide.