Air Force Doctor Honored

Maj. Vikhyat Bebarta, chief of medical toxicology and a staff emergency physician with the 59th Medical Wing at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland AFB, Tex., has been recognized for his research on evaluating treatments for cyanide poisoning. He is recipient of the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine’s annual Best Basic Science Research Award, which is considered a high distinction for researchers. His year-long ground-breaking research compared two antidotes designed to treat cyanide poisoning that result in cardiac arrest or death. Warfighters are exposed to cyanide when buildings burn in combat zones; terrorists have also used it as a weapon. Bebarta’s research identified that the newer antidote was more effective. He credited the 59th MW’s Clinical Research Department for its support, saying “Everyone was involved, from the laboratory to the veterinary staff, statisticians, supply custodians, a research nurse, a chief scientist, and senior leadership.” (Lackland report by Linda Frost)