The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a contract to University of Pittsburgh in collaboration with OHSU and University of Colorado that could lead to $90 million in research over the next decade to improve trauma care for both civilians and military personnel.
The first $10.8 million project aims to create a nationwide network of trauma systems and centers capable of conducting detailed research to improve injury care. The Linking Investigations in Trauma and Emergency Services Network, or LITES, will include extensive data collection to obtain and link information ranging from pre-hospital care through recovery after discharge on potentially thousands of trauma cases across the country.
“This unique collaboration has the potential to make historic changes in how trauma patients are managed in both military and civilian settings,” said Martin A. Schreiber, M.D., OHSU principal investigator, professor of surgery and chief, Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery division, OHSU School of Medicine.
Initially, the LITES Network is expected to provide epidemiological data on moderate and severe injuries in the U.S. and identify any regional variations in the types of injuries and the way they’re managed.
A recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report determined that hundreds of U.S. service member lives could likely be saved in future wars if trauma care were optimal and that those gains would lead to tens of thousands of civilian lives saved if such improvements were shared with U.S. trauma centers. That report set a bold goal to achieve zero preventable deaths after injury and minimal trauma-related disability.
Because OHSU previously has collaborated with the University of Colorado and University of Pittsburgh, and due to their integrated research approach and clinical trial experience, these three institutions will provide the trauma leadership necessary for the successful execution of the clinical trial network.
The initial study also will involve five other trauma centers around the country, including the University of Texas at Houston, Vanderbilt University, University of Louisville, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Arizona. Additional trauma centers will be involved in subsequent studies, including the University of Pennsylvania, University of Utah, University of Texas Southwestern and the University of Florida.
The Coalition for National Trauma Research, comprising six leading trauma-related organizations, will be a key partner in the project by providing expertise and advocacy.
The LITES Network contract follows an established track record of OHSU leading clinical trials on transexamic acid for traumatic brain injury and prehospital fluid resuscitation techniques.
In addition to Schreiber, LITES Network participants include David Zonies, M.D.; Mo Daya, M.D.; and Samantha Underwood, M.S., of OHSU; Stephen R. Wisniewski, Ph.D., and David Okonkwo, M.D., Ph.D., of Pitt; Ernest E. Moore, M.D., of the University of Colorado. Barbara Early, B.S.N., of Pitt, will be the program administrator.
The research activities planned under Contract No. W81XWH-16-D-0024-0001 are supported by the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and may not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, DOD or the U.S. Government.