November 7, 2016

Denver Health and UC lock in $90M DoD contract

Amy DiPierro

Denver Health and the University of Colorado School of Medicine have won a share of a Department of Defense contract for up to $90 million to study trauma care.

“This is a highly coveted contract,” said Dr. Ernest E. Moore, the principal investigator for both Colorado medical centers. He said competition was so intense that Denver Health was invited to join rival groups vying for it.

Moore said the two Colorado centers, which will collaborate with co-grant winners the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Oregon to build a dataset on patients in trauma care, won out in part because of their participation in another Department of Defense trial on trauma over the past four years.

“We’ve had a track record of collaboration in the past and seem to share a vision of what we need to do with trauma research,” he said.

Researchers will also receive data from five other trauma centers around the country.

The first phase of research, which has a budget of $10.7 million, will have researchers monitoring patients in the first hours after a traumatic injury.

“Even the military doesn’t have the detail that we intend to pursue,” said Moore, a trauma surgeon at Denver Health and a professor at the University of Colorado. “And the reason that we don’t have this kind of data is that it’s labor intensive.”

That means collecting data before patients arrive in the emergency room and during their hospital stay. Moore said research assistants will likely be on-call 24 hours a day to record data reported from paramedics in the field, including some specifications that aren’t included in standard medical forms.

A top priority for the Department of Defense is reducing deaths caused by uncontrolled bleeding, Moore said, a major cause of death in combat. Moore said researchers are planning to monitor patients’ blood coagulation frequently as part of their study.

The contract, granted in September, will cover up to $90 million in research over the next decade.