2009 Clinical Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Award Recipients Special Commendation
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC
National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
The joint Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) and National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) pain team is meeting, treating and researching the pain associated with combat trauma. The use of forward deployed surgical units has resulted in unprecedented survival rates among severely injured military personnel, many of whom experience significant pain. Pain care is provided across the continuum, beginning at point of injury on the battlefield and continuing throughout the recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration process.
The joint WRAMC/NNMC Pain Service provides care to more than 11,000 patients annually. Comprehensive services offered include pain consultations, ultrasound-guided placement of continuous peripheral nerve blocks, diagnostic and interventional procedures for chronic pain conditions, and the use complementary and alternative treatment techniques. In addition, the pain team has implemented the use of epidurals, continuous peripheral nerve blocks, and IV ketamine infusions in field hospitals and on evacuation aircraft, resulting in advanced pain care being deployed far forward of the combat casualty receiving hospitals in the United States.
The Wounded Warrior Primary Care Clinics at WRAMC and NNMC provide care to outpatient troops who have been injured. These troops are assigned a case manager, who facilitates communication and coordinates the entire health care team, including pain management. This coordinated approach optimizes the recovery of injured troops.
The Army/Navy pain team's dedication to the advancement of knowledge regarding pain care across the continuum is exemplified in the Regional Anesthesia and Analgesia Tracking System, which houses the largest database of combat casualty pain in the United States. The joint WRAMC & NNMC pain team is setting precedent for the value of early and aggressive treatment of acute pain; maintaining pain control throughout evacuation; and comprehensive, multi-disciplinary pain management upon return to the United States.