March 9-22, 2001
(no issue March 16 due to Spring Break)
Matthews family gives $500,000
General Faculty Council holding elections online
Library honors Madison's contributions to U.Va.
WFPA seeking nominations

Students vote down three of four proposed Honor System reforms

Nondiscrimination policy
Undergraduate engineers launch real-world NASA project
In Memoriam
U.Va. tapped to study acute lung injury
Hot Links -- Jackson Davis Collection
Communications projects recognized
Notable -- awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Not just an 'everyday' experience -- photo
Special trio closes concert series
After Hours -- Zephyrus
Back Issues

lungs U.Va. tapped to study acute lung injury

By Suzanne Morris

The 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.

The 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.

The 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.

"We believe that our involvement with the network will ultimately generate new, life-saving therapies for patients with ARDS," Truwit said.

U.Va.'s 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.

"Our 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.


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