WHY CETRI
Chicago Electrical Trauma Rehabilitation Institute

PROGRAM HISTORY

The Chicago Electrical Trauma Rehabilitation Institute (CETRI) was incorporated in 2009 to centralize the administrative operation of an ongoing 20-year multidisciplinary medical service and research collaboration to better understand and treat electrical burns. Over this period, this collaboration became distributed across three universities and medical centers in the Chicago area. CETRI is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that provides a medical service while simultaneously striving to advance the treatment of electrical injury through clinical research. CETRI's primary focus is the rehabilitation of individuals after electrical shock injury.

Our team of clinicians and laboratory scientists have extensive experience in evaluating and medical management of electrical injury survivors. Our scientists are widely recognized for their influence on the field. CETRI has access to over fifteen years of electrical trauma survivor files, making it America's largest accessible collection of electrical injury medical records. These factors make CETRI uniquely qualified to undertake ambitious electrical injury cases and longitudinal clinical trials.

The CETRI team consists of expert internists, neurologists, physiatrists, anesthesiologists, and trauma surgeons that work together with psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, radiologists, and diagnostic physical therapists to evaluate the clinical problems of electrical trauma patients. Electrical injury survivors that have their medical care coordinated by CETRI are scheduled for several evaluations and enrolled in multiple clinical studies with our specialists. Together our multidisciplinary team evaluates, diagnoses, and formulates corrective therapies and treatment recommendations tailored to each patient's unique case.

CETRI's top priority is its patients' journey towards a gainful and productive life. We believe that maintaining communication with our patients through continual follow-up is essential to seeing that individuals reach a status of maximal recovery. For this reason, our specialists also coordinate with local physicians to see that treatment recommendations are being implemented. Through continual follow-up with both patients and local providers, CETRI helps to facilitate patient rehabilitation further.

CLINICAL FACULTY & STAFF INVESTIGATORS

Associate Professor of Anesthesia and Critical Care, University of Chicago

Internal Medicine Specialist, CETRI

Assoc. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Director, Neuropsychology Services, University of Chicago

T.R. Gowrishankar, PHD

Senior Research Engineer, Chicago Electrical Trauma Rehabilitation Institute

Professor of Surgery and Trauma Medicine, University of Chicago
Director, Laboratory for Molecular Regeneration

Dr. Kenneth Moore Co-Director UI Headache Center at UI Health

Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Neuropsychology, University of Illinois, Chicago

Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Neurology
Training Director, Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine

Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University

James Herrick Professor of Heart Research, Chief of Cardiology, Rush Medical College

ELECTRICAL TRAUMA TERMINOLOGY

Arc-burn - When the voltage gradient in the air exceeds 10-20 thousand volts over a distance of about a half-inch, the air breaks down into a hot ionized gas that is a very good electrical conductor. As such, electrical current can pass through the arc to the person and cause electrical injury. Lightning is an example of an electrical arc. The arc is intensely hot and creates a shock wave that may produce significant barotrauma.

Electrical Shock

  • This term refers to the noxious experience of having a painful electrical current passed through the body.

Electrical Burn

  • This pertains to heat damage of tissue caused by the flow of electrical current through the tissue.

Electrocution

  • This means death caused by the passage of electrical current through the body,

Electroporation

  • This term relates to the physical disruption of cells or other types of membranes caused by the induction of a large enough voltage across the membrane. For the outer membrane of cells, induction of a trans-membrane potential of more than 0.5 volts for more than one millisecond will form structural defects in the membrane. If large enough, these defects typically do not spontaneously close.

Flash-Electrical Burn

  • This refers to the heartburn caused by being in the vicinity of an electrical arc short-circuiting a high-power electrical source. Although intensely hot (i.e., 5,000 - 20,000°C), because of the limited heat capacity of air and the brief exposure, it only produces a superficial skin burn.

High-Voltage Shock

  • This is common terminology used to indicate that the electrical shock voltage is higher than an arbitrarily selected voltage of 1,000 or 2,000 volts. This alone has very little medical significance because the extent of tissue damage relates more to the voltage difference imposed across the body, the anatomical region involved, the duration of current flow, the frequency of the current, and the electrical power capacity source, and other parameters.

Lightning Injury

  • This term refers to bodily injury caused by lightning contact with the body. Lightning current tends to concentrate on the skin surface, but even a small percentage of the current passing into the body can disrupt neurological or electrical muscle function. Lightning injury can also be mediated by acoustic blast forces (thunder) and strong magnetic pulse induction in the body.

Low-Voltage Shock

  • This is common terminology used to indicate that the electrical shock voltage is less than an arbitrarily selected voltage of 1,000 or 2,000 volts. This alone has very little medical significance because the extent of tissue damage relates more to the voltage difference imposed across the body, the anatomical region involved, the duration of current flow, the frequency of the current, and the electrical power capacity source, and other parameters.