UMMC surgeons' goal: limb salvage, not amputation

UMMC surgeons' goal: limb salvage, not amputation

Jennifer Hall remembers vividly the shock she felt the night a doctor said her painful leg needed to be amputated.

“It started out as a little ache, but one night, my left leg was hurting so badly,” Hall, a Hattiesburg resident, said of her experience in late 2014. “I went to the emergency room, and my leg was turning colors. They called in a surgeon, and he did surgery right then to take a quick look.

“Next thing I know, he told me to consult with my family, and that he would need to take it at the knee or at the ankle. That's when my mother took me to UMMC.”

She was transported by ambulance to the University of Mississippi Medical Center and admitted, Hall said. Dr. Greg Stanley, assistant professor of vascular surgery and a limb salvage specialist, “was waiting on me.” Her condition, she said, appeared to stem from an earlier experience with blood clots below her left knee that ended up damaging an artery.

“We ended up doing surgery first thing in the morning, and he came in and told me he didn't see a need for amputation,” Hall said.

“We throw everything at patients that we have. We are able to save over 90 percent of legs in patients who come here,” said Stanley, a physician in the Medical Center's Division of Vascular Surgery. “We really are saving limbs. There are hundreds of patients who have been told they needed an amputation. To this day, they have their legs.”

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Exercise helps agencies coordinate thunderous response to WMD threats

Two armed assailants gain access to hazardous materials and take multiple hostages. Hackers break into the institution's website and its social media accounts become compromised. A “dirty bomb” explodes.

How would emergency responders, police and executive leaders work with local, state and federal agencies to initiate the appropriate response to such nightmarish scenarios?

That was the focus of “Magnolia Thunder,” a terrorist weapons of mass destruction tabletop exercise hosted by UMMC, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration Wednesday. Representatives from approximately 50 organizations, including the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, came to the Norman C. Nelson Student Union to take part in the exercise, a challenging fictional scenario that pushed the boundaries of their domestic terror response capabilities.

According to Holly Vaughn, an exercise planner with Summit Exercises and Training in Washington, D.C. and one of the tabletop moderators, the activity provides an opportunity for responders to discuss how they might best work together to mitigate the consequences of a terrorist incident.

“We think it's really important to give these agencies the opportunity to exchange information and clarify their roles and responsibilities during the exercise,” Vaughn said. “Everyone's well informed on international and national levels, but when you bring this kind of 'what if' scenario locally to this kind of facility, it spurs thoughts of what might be done to respond.”

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Exercise helps agencies coordinate thunderous response to WMD threats

D2 elected to national leadership position

D2 elected to national leadership position

A second-year dentistry student has been chosen to serve as president-elect of a national student research organization. 

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