LINTHICUM, MD, April 18, 2012 This week, the American Urological Association (AUA) applauded Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY-02) for testifying before the House Armed Services Committee in support of increased awareness of combat-related genitourinary injuries, or urotrauma. In his testimony, Congressman Guthrie advocated for the inclusion of H.R. 1612 – a bill that specifically addresses urotrauma and calls for the establishment of a commission to study the long-term effects of these devastating conditions – into this year’s Department of Defense (DoD) authorization bill.
"We applaud Rep. Guthrie and the federal government for taking an increased interest and focus on genitourinary trauma," said AUA Vice Chair of Health Policy Dr. David F. Penson, MD, MPH. "Urotrauma may not be as visible as other war injuries, but it can be every bit as devastating to the quality of a soldier's life and well being. It is imperative that we take steps to ensure that medical staff are thoroughly trained to adequately treat these injuries on the battlefield and beyond to maximize outcomes."
Urotrauma – injuries to the urinary tract (including the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, urethra, and male and female genitalia) from a penetrating, blunt, blast, thermal, chemical or biological cause – is a significant issue, particularly among military populations. In today’s combat situations, soldiers are suffering an increasing number of injuries from improvised explosive devices (IEDs, a leading cause for injury and death in Iraq and Afghanistan) which, when detonated, can cause severe trauma to the genitourinary system.
H.R. 1612, a bipartisan bill with more than 20 cosponsors, calls for collaboration between the DoD and the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Health & Human Services to plan and track the care of urotrauma patients. The legislation also calls for an increased focus on expanding urotrauma research and extending healthcare coverage for patients with these injuries. The AUA worked closely with Rep. Guthrie to develop language for the bill.
“I appreciate the leadership that AUA has taken in addressing the growing problem of urotrauma in America’s Wounded Warriors,” Rep. Guthrie said in a statement. “Their work has done much to elevate the profile of this issue among policy makers and their medical expertise will be crucial as we explore more effective ways to care for our wounded. I look forward to continuing this productive relationship.”
About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has more than 18,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy.
Wendy Waldsachs Isett, AUA