On March 6, 2013, Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY-2) introduced H.R. 984, a bill to address urotrauma, a growing concern among active military personnel and veterans. The AUA applauds Rep. Guthrie for his commitment to this issue.
Urotrauma is a significant issue, particularly among active military populations. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), when detonated, can cause severe trauma to the sexual organs and genitourinary system. These debilitating injuries can have devastating impacts – not only to urinary and sexual function, but also on fertility. Since legislation on urotrauma was first introduced in 2009, the AUA has worked with lawmakers to increase awareness of these injuries. In 2012, the AUA led the formation of an Urotrauma Policy Roundtable, comprised of veterans and patient advocacy groups, to support legislation addressing urotrauma.
“We applaud Rep. Guthrie for his commitment to supporting this issue for our veterans by introducing this legislation,” said AUA spokesman Mark T. Edney, MD, an urologist and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “He is a long-standing champion to raise awareness, research and education around urotraumatic injuries and we look forward to working with him to advance this issue on Capitol Hill.”
H.R. 984 would establish an interagency task force, led by the U.S. Department of Defense, to investigate and advise on the research and action needed to advance this increasingly essential field. The urotrauma legislation includes the following key provisions:
Creation of “The Task Force on Urotrauma,” which will conduct a comprehensive study of the present state of knowledge and research on urotrauma, evaluate existing education and research resources, and identify knowledge and programmatic gaps.
A long-range plan, based on the Commission’s comprehensive study, for the use and organization of national resources to effectively deal with urotrauma, including: 1) researching innovations in the care and treatment of persons affected by urotrauma, 2) identifying ways to prevent or minimize these types of injuries, and 3) improving education and training to medical personnel caring for these individuals and to the general public.
“Blast injuries are prevalent in today’s military theater and we must ensure that we allocate resources to ensure that we are doing all we can to prevent and treat them in our soldiers,” Mr. Guthrie said. “While urotraumatic injuries may not be as visible as others, they are equally life-altering and deserve focused attention.
“It has been my pleasure to work with the AUA and the Urotrauma Policy Roundtable to do all I can to raise awareness.”