Issue: Dec 2007


AI's article about FOCUS headform



Published letter from LTC Ron King, MD MPH FAAFP, Director, Warfighter Protection Division, USAARL, Ft Rucker, AL

by John Larkin

Communication dated 14 December 2007 sent to Ed Richardson, Editor, Automotive Industries

Mr. Richardson,

I recently came across AI's article about our FOCUS headform and wanted to point out some inaccuracies in the presentation of our work in collaboration with the CIB and Denton.

1. This development was entirly funded by the US Army Medical Research and Material Command thru the US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL) in Fort Rucker, AL (vice "US Army Research Lab" in Aberdeen, MD). We are the DOD leader in the development of biomedically validated injury tolerance standards, primarily because of our decades long experience with aviation mishaps and crash investigations.

2. My biomechanics engineering staff and physicians actually collaborated with the Virginia Tech - Wake Forest Center for Injury Biomechanics (vice "Virginia Tech's Wake Forest Center for Injury Biomechanics") to do the research that was required to create the specifications for this headform. Denton then used that data to create the headfrom which was subsequently validated in further testing by CIB and USAARL

3. Your article further states that the US Army will use the FOCUS "to test and evaluate various protective devices..." Although this is partially true, the military already has many protocols in place that test protective devices and the major thrust of further FOCUS use will be to develop biomedically validated standards that will be used by equipment manufacturers to create even better facial and eye protection.

I hope that these comments help clarify what Mr. Case was trying to say and that your organization will strive to give credit to those individuals that paid for and did the work, rather than an unrelated institution.

Thank for your time and I look forward to hearing your response.

Best wishes,

Ron

LTC Ron King, MD MPH FAAFP
Director, Warfighter Protection Division
USAARL, Ft Rucker, AL

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