Wilford Hall Doctor Studies Burn Injury Recovery

Lt. Col. Chad Hivnor, director of the associate dermatology program at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, has received a research grant of more than $1 million to study the use of lasers to help wounded troops recover better from severe burns. Hivnor has noticed that the use of fractionated lasers to treat burned skin results in better range of motion for the patient because the burn scars become softer. He will be cooperating on the three-year study with Robert Spence, a burn reconstructive surgeon, who founded the National Burn Reconstruction Center at Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore. Spence said he is particularly interested to discover whether burn victims can regain more complete movement of their mouths and elbows with this treatment. (Lackland report by SSgt. Robert Barnett)