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UTHealth seeks community input
on proposed blood transfusion study

Missouri City resident Jeanette Podbielski has been named project manager by a group of researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) who are seeking community input for a proposed study comparing different types of approved blood products for severely injured patients.

The purpose of this study is to compare the use of whole blood with the use of blood products such as platelets, plasma and red blood cells for people who have been involved in a major trauma event. Bryan Cotton, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the UTHealth Medical School and the study’s principal investigator, would like to examine whether using units of whole blood for patients requiring multiple blood transfusions upon arrival to the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center Emergency Department could possibly decrease the amount of blood products needed in an emergency room setting. Also, Cotton said the proposed study could provide data to see if there is an improvement in patient outcomes. He is on the faculty of the UTHealth Center for Translational Injury Research.

In the proposed study, participants would be followed for the first 24 hours they are in the hospital. Trauma physicians would enroll a patient if he or she is considered a “good candidate.” This study would require physicians to begin emergency treatment without first obtaining an informed consent from the patient or a legal representative and/or family member. All reasonable attempts would be made to contact a family member to discuss this study and obtain permission for the patient to be in the study. Patients can withdraw from the data collection part of the study.

Cotton and members of his research team are presenting the proposed project and fielding questions at a series of meetings with a variety of groups depicted as representatives of Houston, Harris County and surrounding cities and counties. A member of the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS) is also attending the meetings to assist in answering questions related to emergency consent. Upon completion of the community consultation meetings, Cotton’s team will report to the CPHS (the university’s institutional review board), which will determine whether the university will participate in this clinical trial.

For information, contact Jeanette Podbielski at 713-500-6407.

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