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Hamdy Elsayed-Awad, MD

Award Name OSU CCTS Pilot - Collaborative Transitional and Clinical Science
Award Date 12/01/2009

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Local wound environment in regulation of pain and wound healing in post-sternotomy cardiac surgery patients

The Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science has awarded Hamdy Elsayed-Awad, MD, with a pilot grant for his research involving local anesthetics and wound healing. Awad has also been awarded a grant from the Pilot and Collaborative Translational and Clinical Studies Program in conjunction with the Richard P. and Marie R. Bremer Medical Research Fund and William H. Davis Endowment.

Awad has a research team working with him on the project, including Alison Schultz, a clinical research coordinator in anesthesiology; Drew Franklin, an undergraduate in the Surgery Department; and Hayatham Elgharably, MD, a post-doctoral researcher.

After experiencing cardiac surgery by sternotomy (incision of the entire sternum), some patients’ wounds are injected with local anesthetics. This is a fairly common practice, but there is little knowledge on the effects of these anesthetics.

As an anesthesiologist, Awad says that his goal is to relieve pain. His research is based on discovering the effects of local anesthetics on postoperative pain and wound healing. Awad’s research team also wants to know what happens to the body’s endogenous opioid peptides, which are natural painkillers produced by the body.

The research team is taking blood and fluids from a small catheter placed at the wound site and using them to examine the effects of local anesthetics on the body. Patients then give two blood samples at 24, 48, and 72 hour periods following the procedure.

Information gained from the study will give the research team a better understanding of pain management after major cardiac surgery. Awad is optimistic that the study results will help doctors to improve patient outcomes by helping them recover faster while experiencing less pain.

“Overall, we want to change [these procedures] so that every person can have local anesthetics,” Awad said. “Once we understand the process better, we can change it at Ohio State.”

In the future, Awad’s research team will apply for a grant from the National Institutes of Health that would help fund a randomized trial. Awad hopes to continue his research by comparing the healing times of patients that received local anesthetics with those patients that did not receive anesthetics.

By Jessica Henry, March 1, 2011

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