UofL was one of only a handful of universities to participate in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Pre-hospital Air Medical Plasma trial – known as “PAMPer” – which involves infusing two units of AB universal-donor plasma into patients suffering shock during air medical helicopter transport in an effort to curb excessive hemorrhaging and to increase accident survival rates.

The trial, centered at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, hopes to show that the emergency plasma transfusions are an effective way to increase accident survival rates.

“The most acute threat to these patients is uncontrolled hemorrhage or bleeding, resulting in shock, severe complications or even early death,” UofL Director of Trauma Surgery and principal investigator Brian G. Harbrecht, MD, said. “Across the country, however, surgeons are seeing lower rates of complications, such as multiple organ failure, and increased survivorship through use of early blood product transfusion.”

The trial also will track the effects of plasma on other clinical outcomes, such as total blood transfusion requirements during the first 24 hours.

“We sought partner sites for the PAMPer trial based on their prior research experience; their expertise in trauma surgery; and whether they have busy air medical transport operations. UofL has significant expertise in each of these areas,” PAMPer principal investigator Jason Sperry, MD, said.

Knowing that some patients might not want the treatment because of religious or other beliefs, UofL has undertaken a significant public outreach campaign in regions covered by the trial: cities in Kentucky and Indiana 50 to 150 miles outside Louisville. Those wishing to opt out of the trial can get information on the trial website at http://louisvillesurgery.com/pamper.html.