Philly researchers to test trauma-care conventions
Researchers in Philadelphia will challenge the assumption that a person who is shot or stabbed has a better chance of surviving if he receives more-intensive care before reaching the hospital.
Potentially starting later this year, Temple University Hospital researchers, staff at six hospitals and all of Philadelphia’s Level 1 and Level 2 trauma centers, will examine whether two procedures—placing breathing tubes or administering IV fluids—provide survival advantages for patients with penetrating injuries, defined as “gunshot, shotgun or stab wounds to the chest, abdomen or upper arms or legs.”
The citywide study will compare the benefits of IVs and breathing tubes used in advanced life support with those of basic life support, where only oxygen is administered. Researchers hypothesize that patients without advanced care will have a greater survival rate than those who do receive such care.
Patients eligible for the five-year study are limited to those in Philadelphia, with gunshot, shotgun or stab wounds with evidence of bleeding and brought to the hospital by an ambulance. One group will receive advanced life support; the other will not. Both would receive the same care at the hospital. Those who think they might be injured in this fashion and wish to opt out of the study will receive a wristband they must wear for five years.