Image-guided, minimally invasive medicine revolutionises emergency care

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The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), in coordination with Member of the US House of Representatives (Rep.) from Utah’s 4th district, Mia Love, hosted a panel discussion on the important role of interventional radiologists on trauma teams responding to mass casualty incidents.

The discussion was to observe the International Day of Radiology on 8 November with Capitol Hill briefing on interventional radiology’s role on trauma teams.

In trauma situations, interventional radiologists are frequently called in to stop active bleeding without a single stitch. In the past these patients would be sent to surgery, but now, through embolization, the interventional radiologist stops the bleeding to stabilise the patient so it is safe for a surgeon to go in and repair the damage caused by the trauma.

This procedure was performed on Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., after he was shot on 14 June while practicing for the congressional baseball game. He discussed his care during the briefing, which can be viewed on SIR’s Facebook page.

Joining Reps. Scalise and Love at the briefing were Matthew Mika, director of government relations at Tysons Food who was also shot on 14 June; Rep. Scalise’s doctor, Arshad A Khan, a senior interventional radiologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center; Mika’s doctor, Libby Schroeder, a trauma surgeon at George Washington University Hospital; Saher S Sabri, director of Interventional Radiology at MedStar Washington Hospital Center; and Susan E. Sedory, SIR executive director and panel moderator.

“Rep. Scalise is living proof that physicians like interventional radiologists are an essential part of our life-saving healthcare system,” said Rep. Love. “With the growing shortage of graduate medical education residency slots across the nation, I am working to solve this issue so that we can fill the gap in the education of our needed healthcare providers.”

The panel also explored issues that limit access to adequate and timely trauma care, including training gaps in rural and underserved areas. Rep. Love has sponsored a bill, H.R.1167, the Enhancing Opportunities for Medical Doctors Act, to help fill that gap by expanding access to residency slots among rural programs, new medical schools and new primary medical specialties, like interventional radiology.

“Interventional radiology has a vital role to play on the trauma team, but many rural areas do not have access to any interventional radiology care, let alone the 24/7 IR care needed in a trauma center,” said Sedory. “That is why Rep. Love’s bill is so important. Through the reallocation of training slots to new and underserved areas, her bill would create more opportunities for patients to obtain access to critical and necessary care.”

The briefing was held as part of the International Day of Radiology, which commemorates the invention of the X-ray on 8 Nov 1895. This year, the International Day of Radiology was focused on the role of radiology in emergency care, which includes image guidance and minimally invasive procedures pioneered by interventional radiologists.


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