Media Advisory: UA to Announce Results of EPIC Project for Treating TBI

May 2, 2019

Media Advisory: UA to Announce Results of EPIC Project for Treating TBI

  • What: News conference to announce the results of the Excellence in Prehospital Injury Care project, followed by a live demonstration conducted by the Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department and Mesa Fire and Medical Department, to include extrication of a simulated patient from a major vehicle crash.
  • When: Wednesday, May 8, 9 a.m. (PDT)
  • Where: City of Mesa Public Safety Training Facility, 3260 N. 40th St., Mesa, AZ
  • Speakers:
    • Dr. Daniel Spaite – principal investigator, UA Department of Emergency Medicine professor and Virginia Piper Distinguished Chair, associate director of the Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center – Phoenix
    • Dr. Bentley Bobrow, co-investigator, UA distinguished professor of emergency medicine, associate director of the AEMRC – Phoenix, who served as medical director of the ADHS Bureau of EMS and Trauma System for 15 years.
    • UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins
    • Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services
    • A mother, also a paramedic certified in the EPIC protocol, who was involved in a terrible car accident and used the treatment guidelines to save her infant son.

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona, the Arizona Department of Health Services and more than 130 fire departments/EMS agencies throughout Arizona implemented the most comprehensive “attack” on major traumatic brain injury, or TBI, ever undertaken. The results of the Excellence in Prehospital Injury Care, or EPIC, project, are under embargo until May 8 at 8 a.m. (PDT), when they will be published in JAMA Surgery: the Journal of the American Medical Association.

EPIC is a National Institutes of Health-funded, statewide collaborative public health initiative to treat TBI in the field. Evidence-based TBI treatment guidelines, which have been studied internationally for years, were implemented by more than 11,000 paramedics and emergency medical technicians throughout Arizona. The impact of this approach to TBI patient care was tracked by the Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center, which is part of the UA Colleges of Medicine in Phoenix and Tucson. The study, which involved 21,852 patients, began in January 2007 and ended in June 2015.

“Overwhelming evidence suggests that rapid response by fire or EMS personnel, combined with state-of-the-art prehospital treatment, has a profound impact on survival,” Dr. Daniel Spaite said, adding that until EPIC, no studies had evaluated the treatment guidelines’ impact in the prehospital setting.

Annually, traumatic brain injuries lead to 2.2 million emergency department visits, 280,000 hospitalizations, 52,000 deaths, and more than $60 billion in direct and indirect medical costs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates at least 5.3 million Americans have a long-term need for help performing daily living activities as a result of brain injury.

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Media contact:
George Humphrey
UA Health Sciences Office of Public Affairs
520-626-7255
ghumphre@email.arizona.edu
The University of Arizona, the state's super land-grant university with two medical schools, is one of the nation's top 50 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the UA is widely recognized as a student-centric university and is a designated Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The UA ranked in the top 25 in 2018 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading R1 institution with $687 million in research expenditures. The UA advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually.