Issue 37
November 2002

3,900 patients randomised

Haleema Shakur
To all our collaborators throughout the world, I am your new Manager for the Crash Trial. I am delighted to be part of this very important MRC sponsored project which will influence the treatment of patients with traumatic brain injury worldwide. I bring to this role seven years of research experience at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College (London). In addition, I have experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry as a Nurse Adviser and, also, more years than I wish to recall as a senior nurse in Acute Medicine, Intensive Care and Orthopaedic Nursing. I hope that with my diverse clinical nursing experience and research knowledge, I will be able to help accomplish success for this trial.

Having been in post for only a few days, I am motivated by the existence of a great team spirit between the trial team and collaborators and the determination to make this trial a success. The CRASH Trial is progressing well. We have now recruited about 4,000 patients but we still have a long way to go to achieve our ultimate aim of 20,000 patients randomised. We still need 16,000 patients over the next 28 months; this means that our current centres will need to randomise five patients every month to enable us to achieve this. As this is your trial, I would very much appreciate any suggestions you have to make it a success. I look forward to meeting all our collaborators over the next few months.


Congratulations to Mario Izurieta Ulloa in Hospital Luis Vernaza, Ecuador,
and Marcos Iraola Ferrer in Hospital Universitario "Dr Gustavo Aldereguia Lima", Cuba,
who have just received ethics approval, and many, many thanks to those on the right, who have recruited a remarkable number of patients.

CRASH Cuba Libre!

The first Cuban National CRASH Trial Collaborators meeting was held in Havana, on 3rd and 4th October 2002. The meeting, organised by Caridad Soler Morejón, Cuban National Co-ordinator, and Professor José Molina, Director of the National Council of Scientific Societies, was attended by over 40 doctors and nurses from all over Cuba. The meeting began with a review of the aims, methods and progress of the trial but most of the work was done on the second day during a round table meeting in which collaborators discussed the trial protocol and how the trial should be organised in Cuba.

Due to the economic blockade imposed on Cuba by the USA there is a severe and longstanding shortage of essential medicines and medical equipment. However, there was no shortage of effort and enthusiasm by doctors and nurses to take part in the trial. For example, despite the recent hurricane that caused chaos in the western province of Pinar Del Rio, intensivist Irene Pastrana, neurosurgeon Raul Perez Falero and nurses Sabina Valdes and Yanela Martin Nuñez from the provincial hospital managed to make the 150 km journey to Havana to attend the meeting, the two nurses having hitchhiked! We have every reason to expect excellent recruitment from the eight collaborating centres and excellent follow-up, thanks to the support of Janielka Noa Alonso, the six-month follow-up co-ordinator. Cuba is well known for sending thousands of doctors to those parts of the world where medical aid is needed. By participating in the CRASH Trial Cuba also becomes a leading exporter of evidence based medicine.

Special thanks to Alvaro Sosa, Chief of Cuban Emergency Services, for his help with the importation of the trial treatment packs and to the trial collaborators listed on the right.

Caridad Soler, National Co-ordinator

Hospital Abel Santamaria Cuadrado (Pinar Del Rio)
Irene Pastrana Roman, Raóul Falero,
Licenciado Bernandez Ledesma,
Sabina Valdés, Yanela Martin Nunez

Hospital Universitario “Dr Gustavo Aldereguia Lima”
Marcos Iraola Ferrer, Juan Francisco Piñeiro,
Florencio Pons, Jorge Emilio Barletta,
Alfredo Espinosa Brito

Hospital Universitario “Arnaldo Milián Castro”
(Santa Clara, Villa Clara)
Mario Domínguez Perera, Agustin Arocha García,
Elias Becquer García, Mauro Lopez Ortega,
Armando Caballero

Hospital Clínico-Quirúrgico Docente “Saturnino Lora”
(Santiago de Cuba)
Ernesto Miguel Piferrer Ruiz, Arnaldo B Milon





CRASH Co-ordinating Centre, LSHTM, 49-51 Bedford Square, LONDON WC1B 3DP

Tel +44(0)20 7299 4684 - Fax +44(0)20 7299 4663 - email CRASH@LSHTM.AC.UK

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