Carolinas HealthCare System
Trauma and Surgical Critical Care

Trauma Research

Clinical trials can offer patients access to treatments not otherwise available as well as a chance to participate in cutting-edge medical research. The Ross Trauma Center is currently offering the following clinical trials to our patients:

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Sometimes an infection in the body can cause extensive inflammation - especially in the lungs - resulting in a condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This trial is investigating an antibody-type medication that may limit or decrease this inflammation and therefore limit the damage to the lungs.

Flail Chest

Flail chest is a potentially life-threatening condition in which several ribs are fractured in multiple places and part of the chest wall is separated and moves independently from the remainder of the chest wall. Flail chest is most commonly caused by a crushing or rollover injury. This trial is using an FDA approved rib fixation system to see if patients receiving surgical intervention for their rib fractures have better outcomes than patients who do not have the surgery.

Open Abdomen Management

Trauma to the abdomen can be caused by a penetrating object (such as glass or a bullet) or a blunt injury (such as the force from a motor vehicle accident.)  In these situations, a doctor may have to take you to surgery and leave your abdomen open with a protective covering because of swelling of the abdominal organs.  The abdomen can be left open for days or weeks until it is safe to close it.  Sometimes after surgery, adhesions can form in the abdomen. Adhesions are abnormal joining or scarring of tissues and can lead to serious problems such as pain or blocking of the intestines.

In this trial, we are studying the use of an adhesion barrier that is sometimes used in other surgeries to see if it can help prevent or lessen adhesions, and to see if it can decrease the size of the wound in your abdomen. Your doctor can answer questions about your traumatic injury to the abdomen and tell you more about this trial.

Pulmonary Embolism

When a blood clot forms (usually in the deep veins of the leg), it can travel through the bloodstream and lodge in the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism.  A pulmonary embolism can lead to decreased blood flow to the lungs, which may cause lung damage or death.

Anticoagulant medicines, commonly called "blood thinners," are used to help prevent these clots from forming. However, sometimes these medicines cannot or should not be used and an effective alternative is to place a filter into the inferior vena cava (IVC) to trap the clots before they reach the lungs.

The Denali clinical trial involves using a newly designed IVC filter to help prevent clots from moving into the lungs.  Your doctor can tell you if you are at risk for a pulmonary embolism and if you would be a good candidate for this trial.

Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

A closed head injury, which can result in swelling and damage to the brain, is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. A closed head injury can occur from a fall, a motor vehicle crash, or any blunt force injury. This trial is investigating a medication made from a naturally occurring hormone that has been shown to decrease the swelling and protect the brain from further damage occurring after a traumatic injury. Results from this trial could be used to develop the first FDA approved drug for traumatic brain injury.

Clinical Research Nurse: jill.scott@carolinashealthcare.org

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