Over the past decade, Donald Jenkins, M.D., has participated in research activities related to resuscitation of trauma patients and specifically related to transfusion and transfusion ratios, now to include transfusion in the prehospital area. Dr. Jenkins also has a strong interest in trauma system development and management of patients with acute care surgical conditions.
- Transfusion in trauma patients. Establishing the proper transfusion ratios of red cells, plasma and platelets is an ongoing area of specific interest. Dr. Jenkins is investigating the use of refrigerated platelets and refrigerated whole blood in the resuscitation of trauma patients. Future activity includes incorporation of these transfusion products and ratios in the prehospital setting.
- Trauma system development. Having created Minnesota's first regional trauma organization, Dr. Jenkins is very engaged in the outcome of the development of a regional trauma consortium. Specifically, he and his colleagues are studying the effect of regional triage and transport guidelines as well as development and implementation of regional practice management guidelines.
- Acute care surgery. Development of illness severity scores to predict outcomes is a current focus for Dr. Jenkins in this area. Two illness severity scores, comprising scores for small bowel obstruction and gallbladder disease, have been developed and regional implementation is being undertaken.
Significance to patient care
With the leading cause of preventable trauma death being hemorrhage, hemorrhage control is imperative to achieve optimal survival in trauma patients. Delaying transfusion until the patient arrives in the hospital is not necessarily going to benefit the maximum number of patients, but the logistics of hemorrhage control can be quite challenging. Using a variety of hemorrhage control devices and resuscitation techniques should result in additional lives saved.
Having a starting point for the evaluation and care of patients with undefined acute illnesses needing surgical care is a necessary first step toward implementing widespread practice guidelines.
- Member, Order of Military Medical Merit, 2015-present
- Executive committee, The Committee on Trauma, American College of Surgeons, 2015
- John P. Pryor, MD Distinguished Service Award in Military Casualty Care, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST), 2015
- Distinguished Service Medal, The American Legion, 2014
- President, EAST, 2010