Issue 13       N E W S L E T T E R      April 2000

460 patients randomised

CRASH at Heartland’s Hospital A&E

by Shiela A. Pantrini A&E Sister

We have been developing the support of nursing staff for the CRASH trial since November 1999.  I was dragged into it (sorry, selected) to be the lead nurse by Tony Bleetman, A&E Consultant, who no doubt, recognised my noticeboard skills.  My first priority was to nominate Alan Baldwin, Charge Nurse, and he attended the November ‘99 south regional CRASH meeting.  So now that we are both hooked Alan and I have two priorities: 1. RANDOMISE and 2. GET MORE PEOPLE involved.
Randomisation is the relatively the easy part; Alan two subjects, Tony three subjects and I myself three subjects.  Getting more people involved is harder, and this is where the noticeboard comes into its own.  Displaying the information not only leads to an increase in awareness, but also cultivates an interest. 
                                    Shiela and Fiona
The CRASH Protocol now has several coffee stains on it, and the noticeboard also assists with another intervention, which is the advertising of the CRASH trial presentations.  We take over the nurses’ training session once a month and have made personal contact with approximately 50% of our nursing staff as well as recruiting a couple of other people with a keen interest, Fiona King and Stuart Kabey.  A mention of CRASH these days seems to create a response: “oh that’s the head injury trial ...”, and that for me, apart from having randomised eight subjects (3 April 2000), is our greatest success.

Growing interest in CRASH trial. Walter Videtta, Luis Camputaro and colleagues in Argentina have discussed the trial within their neurocritical care group and are applying to take part. In Indonesia, Hot Asi Napitupulu is applying for ethics approval. We look forward to these centres obtaining approval. Sunil Perera at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka, in Colombo has started recruiting within a week of receiving trial materials. 

Most recently ethics approval has been obtained by the University of Lagos and University Teaching Hospital Idi-Arababeing with Adeyemi-Doro, A Z Kliena Hospital in Belgium with Veronique Braet and Trauma Centre ‘Virgen del Rocio’ in Spain with Maria Muñoz Sanchez taking the leads in these centres.

There are also three more centres in the Czech Republic with Ethics Committee approval, treatment packs on site and recruiting patients: 

  • Jan Bürger, Hospital Pribram
  • Karel Edelmann, Masaryk Hospital
  • Filip Kramar, Univerzity Karlovy Neurochirurgicka Klinika

There were two CRASH meetings held in April the first being the North West CRASH Nurses meeting at Hope Hospital. CRASH trial lead nurses Sandra Bathgate (Whiston Hospital), Diane Lee (Royal Albert Edward Infirmary) & Gabby Lomas (Hope Hospital) gave presentations on the various stages of setting up and keeping the trial going in their hospitals. 

The second was the Midlands Regional CRASH collaborators’ meeting  and hosted by Jonathan Wasserberg, neurosurgeon at the QEH, Birmingham.  He gave a talk titled “Can potential neuro-protective agents be administered to head injured patients within an appropriate therapeutic time window? Early experience from the MRC CRASH Trial”  to the group which he again presented at the SBNS meeting in Glasgow on 14 April.

Both meetings were very well attended and created a great discussion and ideas swapping forum. It was great to see so many CRASH trial enthusiasts – thank you all for coming!


Thank you Una Greary and Michael Graves at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Sandra Bathgate, Terry Brown and colleagues at Whiston Hospital, Richard Makower and Jay Rathore at the Countess of Chester Hospital, Mohammad Atique and Maureen Clarke at Bromley Hospital and David McPhee and Aaron Pennell at the Princess Alexandra Hospital for making me so welcome when I visited recently. Nin This months Frequently Asked Question:

Q. Do patients involved in the trial have to stay in hospital for 48 hours?
A. No. Patients should be discharged as soon as they are ready. If this is before the end of the trial infusion, the infusion should simply be stopped.


CRASH Trial Co-ordinator, Nin Ritchie

CRASH Co-ordinating Centre, FREEPOST LON 14211, LONDON WC1N 1BR

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7299 4684 Fax: + 44 (0)20 7299 4663 email:

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