Thomas Serena

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Clinical Research

by Thomas E. Serena, MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA

I have conducted numerous unblinded clinical trials, mostly evaluating cellular or tissue-based Products (CTPs). These trials do not easily lend themselves to blinding. However, when I slated this topic with the title “Unblinding the Blind" for my Association for the Advancement of Wound Care lecture track at next year’s spring Symposium on Advanced Wound Care, the organizers removed it and cited the lecture’s controversial nature. I thought that scientific research was the last frontier of free-wheeling discourse in the private sector, but here lurks the most challenging aspect of contemporary research in wound care: we woundologists do not demand increasing rigor in our trials. Outside of hyperbaric oxygen (HBOT) studies, we have not critically evaluated trial results.

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medical identity

by Thomas E. Serena, MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA

Have you ever run into an acquaintance at a reception and called him or her by the wrong name only to realize it later that evening? I blush with embarrassment reflecting on those faux pas. My grandmother infamously perfected the art. She would run through the list of names of all her grandchildren before coming to my name then exclaim she was pleased to see me. I loved her. In a health care world riddled with acronyms, confusion abounds. You might, for example think that HONDA is an automobile-related acronym. But it could just as easily mean Hypertensive Obese Non-compliant Diabetic Adult, of which I have cared for a few. I could go on, but it would be NQR, Not Quite Right of me to do so; you might even think my ruminations were the result of VSGP, a Very Shallow Gene Pool.

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Wound Care Teamwork

by Thomas E. Serena MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA

In the words of Ben Franklin, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” The specialty of wound care and hyperbaric medicine faces a never-ending attack from payers and regulators. Our current state of partition leaves us voiceless and defenseless. We must band together and be counted.

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Wound Care Clinical Trials

By Thomas E. Serena MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA

A recent article by Kaiser Health News misquoted me as saying that we enroll only "healthy" patients in our clinical trials. At moments like this, one feels that something has been overlooked. One of my research coordinators, recalling the serious adverse events (SAEs) of the previous week said, "The only patients sicker than ours are underground."

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SAWC Spring Conference Site

By Thomas E. Serena MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA

Wound care Facebook friends from across the globe posted reports of their experiences at the Spring Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC) meeting in San Diego. Social media pronounced the meeting a huge success in hundreds of selfies, videos, and shots of the stage and the Gas Lamp district. In this month’s blog, I share my personal take on the nation’s largest wound care conference.

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hyperbaric oxygen therapy

by Thomas E. Serena MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA

In 1950, J. Edgar Hoover published the first edition of the FBI’s most wanted list. Since that time, no less than 512 fugitives have been featured. Many surrendered after learning that their mug shots were hanging on every post office wall in the country. In medicine, we have an equally infamous public posting: The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) work list. In 2017, it turns out that hyperbaric medicine services are "public enemy number one." But please, do not surrender just yet.

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clinical research in wound care

by Thomas E. Serena, MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA

The ancients sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather. Why a brown dog? I wonder. I think it more appropriate to register a complaint with the concierge that the air conditioner in my room is acting strange and performing poorly. But the dog days of Summer 2016 are upon us with a menacing bark and a harsh bite. I am lethargic. I am uncomfortable. I wondered whether to blog or not.

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leadership in wound care

by Thomas E. Serena MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA

This past May we celebrated the anniversary of John F. Kennedy's quixotic "moon shot" presentation to congress during which he laid out a plan to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. To the world's surprise, his leadership and unwavering commitment to this dream succeeded and in the aftermath, created our modern space program.

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digging a grave site

by Thomas E. Serena MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA

"Please don't bury me down in that cold, cold ground. I'd rather have them cut me up and pass me all around."
-John Prine

Fans of folk singer John Prine will recognize the homey lyrics describing his views on organ donation. Sitting at my desk a few weeks ago with John Prine twanging in my headphones, I began to slog through the new Noridan Local Coverage Determination on hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

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standardizing clinical trial endpoint

by Thomas E. Serena MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending Puccini's opera Turandot at New York's Metropolitan Opera House. In my favorite scene, young prince Calef comes upon a gruesome tableau: Potential suiters for the princess Turnadot must answer three questions correctly in order to win her hand. On the downside, one incorrect answer is rewarded with a beheading. Calef takes the challenge and answers all three questions flawlessly. Yet, the princess begs her father not to force her to marry the stranger. Calef intercedes saying that if she can guess his name before dawn he will release her from her obligation. Confident of conquest, he sings Nessun dorma (none shall sleep), the opera's most famous aria.