The short course was held on 5–7 April 2005, at Andrews AFB, MD. In this entry we offer a content overview from this course.
Presentation abstracts from the meeting
Each year MAA invites military, ex-military or prominent non-military affiliated speakers to address our organization.
Health Care Operations
BGen Melissa A. Rank, USAF, Deputy Assistant Surgeon General
Best Practices in Audiology Today
James W. Hall III, Ph.D.
The session begins with a review of the diverse array of audiologic test procedures available to clinical audiologists. Then, suggestions are offered for the reorganization of specific procedures into new diagnostic test batteries for the efficient and effective assessment of selected patient populations, including infants at risk for hearing loss, children at risk for auditory processing disorders, adults at risk for noise induced auditory dysfunction, adults presenting with the chief complaint of tinnitus, and patients with suspected pseudohypacusis. The recommendation for inclusion of a collection of audiologic procedures within a test battery are guided not by their historical significance or by personal preference but, rather, by the following four parameters:
- research evidence in support of the procedure
- clinical efficiency of the procedure (e.g., test time and cost)
- the value added by the procedure to the diagnosis of auditory dysfunction,
- contribution of the procedure to audiologic management and patient outcome
Audiologists attending this session will be prepared to critically evaluate their clinical practices with regard to these parameters, and with the ultimate objective of minimizing health care cost while improving patient outcome.
Auditory Hazard Assessment Algorithm for Humans
Richard G. Price, Ph.D.
Assessing the hazard from intense sounds remains a technically perplexing problem. It is a major issue for the weapons designers, the user and the medical community. Over the years, many have worked to create models of various parts of the ear. But for the purpose of predicting hazard, five things have been lacking:
- algorithms connecting a directional sound field with the ear,
- a nonlinear model for the stapes suspension,
- a model that accounts for middle ear muscle contractions,
- a hazard model at the level of the cochlea and
- the integrative “glue” that begins with pressure in the free field and ends with hazard calculated within the cochlea.
The process of developing the integrated model has taken place at the US Army Research Laboratory over a number of years and has involved iterative processes in which algorithms or values have been arrived at and tested by comparison with data from noise exposure experiments. The model has been deliberately formulated in such a way that it is possible to relate its elements to the physiology of the ear. It has been peer reviewed and validated with data from over 70 experiments with human ears. Far more accurate than existing methods as well as theoretically based, it is being proposed as an alternative to the MIL Standard 1474 (Department of Defense Design Criteria Standard: Noise Limits), the current method of noise hazard determination. The presentation will provide an overview of the model and its application.
Recent Insights into Hair Cell Regeneration
—Dr. Brenda Ryals
—Dr Therese Walden
Presentation abstracts from the Army include the following:
Technical Guide 41 (Hearing Protective Devices) Update
Don Ciliax, PhD,
In October 1975, the initial technical guide (TG) on hearing protective devices was published by the USACHPPM HCP Office. It has not been revised until now. Although many new hearing protective devices continue to become available for use by our soldiers and noise-exposed civilians, most of the original technical advice and counsel about the fitting, care and use of these devices still remains pertinent and germane. This presentation will review the overall contents of this updated TG and lead the listener through a pictorial journey of its 15 chapters and 6 appendices. Copies of the TG will be distributed for immediate reference and use to assist those who support Army Hearing Conservation.
How Can DOEHRS–HC Help You Manage Your Local Hearing Conservation Program?
Leeann S Domanico M.S., CCC-A
Participants will receive a review of the current capabilities of the Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System—Hearing Conservation (DOEHRS–HC) and a demonstration on how to use DOEHRS–HC data, as reported from the DOEHRS Data Repository (DR), to help manage their local hearing conservation program. End–user questions and suggestions for improvements will be addressed, as time permits.
Deploying 3 ID (Mech) in Seven Weeks—The Method Behind the Madness
CPT Jillyen Curry
3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) of Ft. Stewart is currently preparing to deploy to Iraq in January, 2005. Given their wartime mission (combat arms), history of recent combat exposure, and increased op-tempo for training (i.e.; JRTC), this division’s risk for hearing loss is immense. The 2004 Army G-1 medical readiness requirement for the completion of a DD2215 prior to SRP clearance provided the necessary command support to accomplish mass hearing screens. Further, the 3rd ID Division Surgeon approved a decision paper mandating SRP hearing tests be completed within the last calendar year. Approximately half of 3 ID’s 20,000 soldiers, therefore, required hearing screens within seven weeks. The hearing conservation team of Ft. Stewart/Hunter AAF accomplished this mission. The methods that worked and those that failed will be the subject of this presentation. The goal is to provide helpful information to other HCPMs facing large SRPs with limited equipment and personnel.
Management of Otological Injuries and Disease in a Forward Deployed Medical Setting
MAJ Eric Fallon
The author will discuss audiology clinical operations at the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq. Common injuries and medical treatment guidelines of patients seen at the busiest level III medical treatment facility in theater will be presented.