Fighting to Improve Trauma Care

Each year in the United States, trauma accounts for 37 million emergency room visits and is the leading cause of death for people under age 45. Biochemist Frank Castellino’s research may improve their chances of survival.

At the Keck Institute for Transgene Research, Prof. Frank Castellino is working to improve the chances of survival in cases of trauma. His research on the genes and proteins that allow the human body to form and dissolve blood clots has influenced how doctors treat heart disease, stroke and trauma.

Partnering with Drs. Scott Thomas and Mark Walsh, Prof. Castellino has devised a method using the Haemonetics® TEG® analyzer to help physicians make timely decisions on which blood products a patient needs. The medical team at Memorial Hospital of South Bend has used this method to successfully treat trauma cases, including Angie Knight who suffered a cardiac arrest caused by a rare placental amniotic fluid embolism during childbirth.

With such success, the principles of Prof. Castellino’s work have now been applied in military units in Iraq and Afghanistan and at high-level trauma centers in Texas, Denver and San Francisco.