University of Tennessee Medical Center joins study to improve trauma care

Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) — Researchers from the University of Tennessee Medical Center join researchers at the University of Pittsburgh in a trial in hopes of improving outcomes for trauma patients.

The TOWAR clinical trial will be conducted with UT Lifestar trauma patients according to UTMC. TOWAR stands for type O whole blood and AGE assessment in a prehospital resuscitation trial. According to Brian Daley, MD, professor and head of the division of trauma and critical care and director of the surgery program at UTMC, the trial will study the survival rates of trauma patients when using type whole blood. O during “pre-hospital resuscitation”. Daley leads the testing efforts at the medical center.

“Theoretically, donating whole blood to trauma patients while they are in an ambulance or emergency medical flight on the way to the hospital will improve patient outcomes because, although the blood has not separated into its individual parts, like red blood cells or plasma,” Daley said.

This type of research is not new to UTMC or to UT Lifestar. Daley said the two organizations previously did a similar project with plasma called PAM Per. Daley said he learned the project “was a key factor in changing the way trauma patients are treated.” The findings of the project were reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The TOWAR trial aims to answer three questions according to Daley:

  • Does donating whole blood to trauma patients in a prehospital setting improve 30-day survival outcomes compared to plasma, red blood cells, or nothing at all?
  • Does Whole Blood Age Impact Patient Survival Rates?
  • Does the administration of whole blood provide an overall benefit to patients during assessment and arrival at the hospital?

At this point, when a person is losing a large amount of blood, they can receive whole blood as part of their care, but not until they arrive at the hospital. This the study will give randomly selected patients with significant blood loss of whole blood on the way to the hospital. The researchers will then compare people who obtained whole blood in the field and those who received usual care.

“When someone donates blood, it’s usually separated into parts such as red blood cells, plasma, platelets or other parts for storage, and those parts can be used individually,” Dr Jason Sperry said. , principal investigator of the TOWAR trial, professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and trauma surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “When someone bleeds, they lose all those parts of blood. Trauma research has shown that if you put all of these parts together, whole blood can be beneficial for trauma patients or patients at risk of bleeding.

The trial begins in 2022 and is funded by the US Department of Defense according to Sperry. A statement from UTMC said the researchers hoped the results could offer prehospital trauma care to injured soldiers in the field.

“It’s very difficult to have whole blood products in the field or in remote environments because the products are considered expired after a certain point,” Sperry said. “So we also want to know more about the shelf life of whole blood products, whether younger or older whole blood makes a difference, or whether whole blood is safer and more effective for trauma patients.”

The results of the TOWAR study could potentially change the way trauma care is delivered, according to Sperry.

“If we can determine that whole blood is safe and effective for trauma patients, we can improve outcomes for those patients before they even get to the hospital,” Sperry said.

The study will last four years. Trauma patients will be randomly selected from emergency calls. However, anyone wishing to opt out early can call 1-800-664-0557 or use the contact form on the LITES website, www.LITESNetwork.org/TOWAR. According to the study’s website, researchers from Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania are participating in the study.