Dear [INSERT REP. ______ or SEN. ________]:
As a member of the burn treatment and prevention community, I wanted to express my support for funding for burn-related research in the Conference Agreement to H.R. 6157, the bill that includes the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations for the Department of Defense.
The Conference Agreement contains $8 million in continued appropriations for the Military Burn Trauma Research Program, which supports multi-center clinical trials to improve care for those members of the armed forces suffering from serious burn injuries during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
Additionally, the agreement includes an amendment from Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) that requires the Department of Defense to submit a report in six months on improving trauma training, including coordination and training among Defense and civilian trauma centers linked with burn centers.
As you may know, burns are one of the most painful and devastating battlefield injuries, with over 1,000 military personnel having suffered serious burn injuries since 2003. While 95 percent of those service members ultimately survive their injuries, they often cope with severe physical injuries, disfigurement, and limitations to movement and function.
Since Congress began appropriating funds for military burn research in 2008, notable progress has been made in improving outcomes for service members with burn injuries. For instance, several ongoing studies are addressing ways to prevent scar conjecture, improve triage within the first 30 minutes to ensure the best possible chances of survival, better detect infection, and treat lung acute lung injury due to smoke inhalation.
However, many unmet research needs exist that revolve around pain management, decreasing blood clots, and advancing telemedicine.
Thank you for supporting combat veterans with serious burn injuries through the Military Burn Trauma Research Program.