Comprehensive, life-changing care at Ohio State’s new military medicine program
The program brings together a team of advanced reconstructive surgeons, military specialists and rehabilitation experts to help restore the health and well-being of seriously injured service members. They treat the complicated combat injuries suffered during modern warfare and protracted conflicts. More and more soldiers are seriously injured by improvised explosive devices which break bones, tear limbs and damage muscles and nerves. Survivors often suffer from unique debilitating injuries that can take a lifetime of physical and mental care.
The military medicine program is already having a major impact on veterans like Nick Vogt. He lost both of his legs after stepping on an IED while leading his platoon in Afghanistan in 2011. Even after recovering, everyday life was extremely difficult and he couldn’t sit for more than a few minutes. that time. Finally, he found Souza who performed a 12-hour surgery that changed his life, allowing him to be more engaged with his wife and two children every day.
“For years, I couldn’t even enjoy a meal with my family without having to lie on my side because there was only skin on the bones under my pelvis, which degrades. easily and is very painful, âsaid Vogt. âDr. Souza was able to take a flap of skin from my back, with layers of fat and the vessels underneath, and put it under my pelvis where I needed padding.
Post-surgical recovery for patients like Vogt is customized to meet individual care needs, such as amputee rehabilitation, neurological rehabilitation, lower and upper limb physiotherapy, and specialized hand therapy. For particularly difficult injuries, experts may recommend support groups or personalized advice.
Souza, a Navy medic who was recruited at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, said the state of Ohio is the perfect place to establish a military medicine program. Ohio is home to one of the largest veteran communities in the country, and nearly 500 service members or veterans work at Wexner Medical Center.
âMy military experience has left me with a lasting commitment to do everything in my power to ensure that our wounded warriors receive the quality care they deserve. We all owe an immense debt of gratitude to those who have chosen to serve our country and to wage sustained battles. Their patience, persistence, courage and determination to push the boundaries of what can be achieved through reconstructive surgery has reshaped the conversation for all patients with devastating injury or illness, âsaid Souza. âThe technology and techniques that have emerged from the past two decades of military conflict have been widely applied to cancer and civilian injury care. Ohio State University is well positioned to return the favor, providing these veterans with cutting-edge care.
Research grants from the US Department of Defense and other federal agencies are enhancing the military medicine program, which is also designed to educate more providers on how to treat complex combat injuries.
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