AACRE's prehospital research focuses primarily on the public health problems of cardiac arrest and traumatic injuries. 

Cardiac Arrest

Alabama has the second highest rate of out of hospital cardiac arrest in the country. Although survival has risen slightly due to improvements in pre-hospital care, the survival rate remains low. Someone who experiences an out of hospital cardiac arrest has a less than ten percent chance of surviving. More research is needed to optimize care for these patients, including the care given in the field (including care given by witnesses), on the way to the hospital, and after arrival in the hospital.

Traumatic Injuries

Severe traumatic injury is an important public health problem. Current treatments still result in a very high failure or mortality rate. Traumatic injury is the leading cause of death in North America for persons between the ages of 1 and 44 years, and a leading cause of death in those over the age of 65 years. Outcomes after traumatic injury arrest have not improved significantly in the US for more than 30 years. Since patients with a traumatic injury need immediate intervention to prevent death, our research focuses on the prehospital period.

EFIC – Exception from Informed Consent

Our research is sometimes conducted with an exception from informed consent (EFIC). US regulations require that research that is approved with EFIC waiver undergoes an extremely high level of scrutiny by multiple agencies. These agencies provide oversight to ensure that individuals who are enrolled in the study without first having provided consent are given every protection available under the law. Research that is conducted with an EFIC waiver is research that could not otherwise be conducted, because of the nature of illness or injury to the persons who are enrolled. The research must hold the promise of a new treatment that is better than what is currently available.

Before any EFIC trials are started, the US government requires that the participating institutions conduct a process of “community consultation and public disclosure.” During this process, the study is advertised several different ways in the communities where the research will take place. Community members are invited to give their own thoughts and comments about the proposed study. Lastly, the results of this plan, both negative and positive, are reported to the boards that provide formal oversight for protecting participants of these studies (Institutional Review Boards, or IRBs, and committees that monitor the research). These boards and committees have the power to refuse to grant the EFIC waiver, or to require that more work be done to educate the community before the study is approved.

You can find comprehensive information on Exception from Informed Consent at the website of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or read the regulations themselves at the electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

Our inpatient research focuses primarily on four areas of public health concern:

Cardiac Arrest
HIV and HCV Screening and Education