Rads train military docs in shrapnel removal
Article Thumbnail ImageSeptember 6, 2013 -- A team of radiologists from Children's Radiological Institute is training military physicians on how to remove foreign bodies such as shrapnel under ultrasound guidance.

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The training is being led by Dr. William Shiels II, chief of the department of radiology at Nationwide Children's Hospital and president of Children's Radiological Institute, using ultrasound guidance techniques that he developed. The training is being funded by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

Soldiers who receive combat injuries are often exposed to fragments of metallic and nonmetallic shrapnel. The grant funds training in the use ultrasound to determine the position and shape of foreign bodies such as shrapnel that are embedded in soft tissue and bone. The training also covers minimally invasive ultrasound-guided foreign body removal (USFBR).

Shiels and interventional radiologists at Nationwide Children's have used USFBR to remove foreign bodies in the civilian clinical environment in more than 800 patients, but until now the techniques have not been routinely utilized in military care settings. Shiels and Dr. James Murakami are leading training sessions that will eventually involve 48 military doctors in the U.S. at four medical centers, using turkey breasts as tissue simulators.