Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Treatment Center and Research Institute
After nearly twenty years of dedicated service to the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, Anthony F. Kirkpatrick, MD, PhD, left to establish the RSD / CRPS Treatment Center and Research Institute, the world's first institute of its kind, dedicated exclusively to RSD / CRPS.
The Institute opened in February 2008 and is headquartered in Tampa. The Center is approved by the Florida Board of Medicine for Level II surgery.
According to Dr. Robert Schwartzman at Drexel University, “There is a desperate need for a center of excellence for RSD treatment and research."
Dr. Kirkpatrick has devoted his life to the fight against RSD. He has been the recipient of awards from Florida Governors Jeb Bush and Bob Martinez, and from several Deans of the College of Medicine for his accomplishments while at USF. In 2002, the Dean recognized his service and gave him an award for being an "outstanding employee who exemplifies the work ethic and commitment that has helped to make the College of Medicine and the Health Science Center a success”.
In 2001 Dr. Kirkpatrick established The International Research Foundation for RSD / CRPS. He has had the honor of serving as the Chairman of the Foundation’s distinguished Scientific Advisory Committee since its inception. His duties for the Foundation have included conducting clinical research, educating and advising patients who elect to participate in clinical studies, and providing special treatments for RSD / CRPS research subjects.
Some of these treatments, such as conscious sedation with ketamine IV
infusions, are critical and not readily available elsewhere in the USA.
Patients who fail to receive this treatment are likely to suffer an acute exacerbation of unbearable pain due to RSD / CRPS. Additionally, there are children who suffer from RSD /CRPS and receive treatments that are only available through Dr. Kirkpatrick.
Dr. Kirkpatrick has also devoted significant efforts to educating physicians worldwide on RSD / CRPS and has led the Foundation’s fund raising efforts.
STATE-OF-THE-ART MEASUREMENT OF OUTCOME
As part of the RSD / CRPS Treatment Center & Research Institute initiative is the implementation of new ways to measure patient outcomes through objective measurements of pain and physical functioning that have a major impact on quality-of-life. The best way patients and physicians can judge the effectiveness of treatments over time is by documenting objective changes. The Center documents these objective measures before and after treatment with video recordings, photos and through the measurement of pain thresholds. Patients are provided with copies of these recordings. Patients comment in videos that documentation of their outcome on an objective basis facilitates their decision-making throughout their care and that it hastens their rehabilitation.
The Center has launched a web-based system that allows patients to access information about their outcome from treatment at any time. Our web-based system is similar to that under development at the National Institutes of Health in the United States. The increased efficiency, flexibility, and sensitivity offered by a web-based system holds potential to become a widely-accepted, standardized measurement tool for outcome that will improve clinical outcomes and reduced burdens on patients.