In May 2009, emergency physicians from seven Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) institutions met at the annual meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) to discuss ideas for collaborative emergency care research projects that could build upon the CTSA framework.
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 30 – No 05 – May 2011
This meeting followed several similar meetings that had taken place at the SAEM annual meetings in the previous 3 years about brainstorming ideas for integrating emergency care research and emergency medicine into CTSAs in a collaborative fashion.
As an initial project, the group decided to pursue a multisite, community-based translational research project assessing the accuracy, redevelopment, and cost-effectiveness of out-of-hospital trauma triage guidelines.
This project was already supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Physician Faculty Scholars Program, and it originally included two CTSA sites. The project was expanded to seven sites, with the RWJF grant providing partial support for the additional sites. This support was matched by CTSA grants at five sites.
As part of this initial pilot effort, the group formalized the first inter-CTSA network dedicated exclusively to emergency care research: the Western Emergency Services Translational Research Network (WESTRN). The seven sites are Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Harborview/University of Washington, University of California at Davis, San Francisco General Hospital/UC San Francisco, Stanford University, Denver Health/ University of Colorado, and University of Utah. Collaborators are interdisciplinary, representing emergency medicine, pediatric emergency medicine, emergency medical services, and trauma surgery.
Since its inception, WESTRN has collected data for more than 325,000 injured patients at the seven sites in a detailed assessment of regionalized trauma care (principal investigator: Craig D. Newgard, OHSU). To date, this project has resulted in five abstracts, with multiple manuscripts in development.
An additional CTSA grant has been obtained from the UC Davis CTSA to support another multicenter WESTRN project evaluating the variability in intensive care and resource utilization among patients with traumatic brain injuries (principal investigator: Daniel Nishijima, UC Davis).
The network has also obtained an R01 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study field triage at two WESTRN sites (principal investigator: Craig D. Newgard, OHSU). Another R01 application is in review by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of an Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMS-C) grant to validate decision rules for CT use in children with head or abdominal trauma (seven WESTRN sites; principal investigators: James Holmes and Nathan Kuppermann, UC Davis).