Today’s Research – Results released for RAMPART, a national research trial
Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine are actively working in Hershey, with colleagues at Penn State, University Park and other Penn State campuses, and with colleagues at various institutions across the country to conduct groundbreaking research. Their discoveries continue to contribute to the advancement of health care on all levels.
RAMPART (Rapid Anticonvulsant Medications Prior to Arrival Trial) studied whether use of one FDA-approved seizure drug administered by EMS personnel as a shot is as effective as one administered intravenously. Patients treated by Life Lion EMS and who met the study criteria were part of the research, unless they opted out after community consultation by the Medical Center.
This is a federally-regulated procedure known as exception from informed consent, since patients are unable to opt-out of a research study during an emergency. Researchers found that midazolam, delivered as a shot into the muscle, is faster and more effective than IV drug lorazepam for prolonged seizures that last more than five minutes. Midazolam is delivered through use of an autoinjector, like an EpiPen, which is used to treat serious allergic reactions. Almost 73 percent of patients who received midazolam arrived at the hospital seizure-free compared to 63 percent who received the IV drug lorazepam. Among those admitted, both groups had similarly low rates of recurrent seizures.
The Medical Center was one of seventy-nine hospitals and thirty-three emergency medical services agencies that participated in the study nationwide. More than 4,000 paramedics and 893 patients were part of the study, which was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The site investigator for this study at Penn State Hershey was Christopher Vates, M.D. The study appears in the February 16, 2012 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.