Academic to prove his prowess on the battlefield
HIS day job usually takes place in the office but James Cook University scientist Prof Geoffrey Dobson is hoping to prove his skills on the battlefield.
The Townsville academic h a s b e e n a s k e d t o t e l l NATO’s top medical advisers about his l i f e-saving research.
H e w i l l s p e a k a b o u t ‘ ‘ E me r g i n g r e s e a r c h i n trauma care’’ at the Allied Command Operations conference in Madrid this week.
NATO’s fundamental role is to safeguard the freedom and security of its member countries by political and military means, and Prof Dobson has developed a solution to rescue and stabilise the heart following massive blood loss and shock.
‘‘ On the battlefield, catastrophic haemorrhage is the leading cause of preventable death,’’ Prof Dobson said.
‘‘ In combat situations, up to 50 per cent of deaths occur from blood loss, and 25 per cent of these may be salvageable.
‘‘ The huge problem facing military medical operations is that the majority of combat deaths – up to 90 per cent – occur within the first hour after the initial injury.
‘‘ The laboratory results are so dramatic that if we can translate our findings on to the battlefield and save a soldier’s life, then we have an obligation to do so.’’
Prof Dobson said the new enemy was time and every second counted.
At the NATO conference, Prof Dobson will also present his laboratory’s more recent findings on placing a rat in ‘‘ suspended animation’’ or a ‘‘ hibernating-like’’ state for a finite time with full and spontaneous recovery of cardiac function.
Prof Dobson said when an eminent cardiothoracic surgeon at Emory saw this for the first time, he described it as amazing.