PHILADELPHIA – Carrie Sims MD, MS, FACS, assistant professor of Surgery in the division of Traumatology and Surgical Critical Care at Penn Medicine, is the recipient of a $125,000 research grant from the National Trauma Institute (NTI). Sims’ study is one of seven awarded grants this month by NTI, a non-profit organization dedicated to funding trauma research in the United States.

Sims will investigate the impact of using vasopressin vs. normal saline during the resuscitation of severely injured trauma patients. Massive resuscitation is associated with a decrease in vasopressin—a hormone needed to support blood pressure during hemorrhagic shock. While giving vasopressin in high doses has been shown to improve blood pressure, decrease blood loss and improve survival in animal models, clinical studies investigating its use in trauma patients are limited to case reports.

“The AVERT Shock trial is essential because trauma remains the leading cause of death for those under the age of 40 in the United States, with a large percentage of patients dying from hemorrhagic shock,” says Sims.  “If using hormone supplementation proves beneficial, it will dramatically change the way trauma patients are routinely resuscitated.”

NTI is committed to facilitating translational research—that is, research whose results may affect the practice of medicine and patient outcomes in the near-term. Sims’ study and the other six funded by NTI will get under way this year and may be completed in as little as one year. Preliminary results from the principal investigators may be presented at the NTI’s Annual Trauma Symposium as early as 2011.

Sims received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and completed her surgical residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  She finished her trauma and critical care fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and conducts translational research in conjunction with Penn’s Center for Resuscitation Science in the department of Emergency Medicine.


Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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