Danielle Schaaf, a staff nurse at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center Intensive Care Unit (BICU), was one of the first staff members to use the Burn Navigator once implemented at the BICU. Photo by Steven Galvan
By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
11 JULY 2013
The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) Burn Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston implemented the Burn Navigator or Burn Resuscitation Decision Support System (BRDSS)-Mobile, approved by the Food and Drug Administration, as part of the Burn Intensive Care Unit (BICU) resuscitation regimen.
According to USAISR Research Task Area Program Manager for Comprehensive Intensive Care Research Jose Salinas, Ph.D, who helped develop the BRDSS algorithm which generates recommendations of fluid intake for burn patients, the Burn Navigator is designed to assist in avoiding problems related to over- or under-resuscitating by medical care providers who do not routinely care for burn patients
“If you give a patient too much or too little fluid, the results can be fatal,” explained Salinas, describing the complex care necessary for burn patients who are often dehydrated and require precise rehydration.
Though the Burn Navigator was designed to be used in a deployed setting by non-burn experienced care providers at combat support hospitals, the BICU staff will utilize it with civilian patients admitted from the Southwest Texas region. Capt. Danielle Schaaf, a staff nurse at the BICU believes that the Burn Navigator will increase better patient outcomes. “The fluid resuscitation process happens within the first 48 to 72 hours,” she said. “This device will guide them [care providers] in the decision-making process as they begin to fluid resuscitate a burn patient and that will result in better outcomes down the road.”
Schaaf said that the advantages of using the light-weight portable device are numerous. “But most importantly it helps to increase communication between the nursing staff and the physicians,” she added.
The software in the Burn Navigator that meets military specifications and is expected to be deployed soon to deployed Combat Support Hospitals.
The Burn Navigator technology was licensed to Arcos Medical, Inc. of Houston, which worked with the USAISR to manufacture it with funding from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) at Fort Detrick, Md. The USAISR is a subordinate research command of USAMRMC, which is a major command in the Army that leads efforts in support of the full life cycle of medical supplies and equipment, to include research, development, acquisition and sustainment. The research part of the mission is executed through its laboratory commands like the USAISR and extramurally.
Companies such as Arcos, Inc. produce commercial devices, including the Burn Navigator, for use by the Army and at civilian burn centers throughout the world.