The development of a register of randomized controlled trials in prehospital trauma care
Objectives. To establish a register of randomized controlled trials of interventions in the prehospital care of trauma patients. Methods. A systematic search was conducted for all randomized controlled trials of interventions in the prehospital care of trauma patients. The search included the Cochrane Controlled Trial Register, the Cochrane Injuries Group Specialised Register, Medline, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Science Citation Index, National Research Register, Dissertation Abstracts, and PubMed for the time period 1966-2000. There were no language restrictions. In addition, full-text hand searching of a range of relevant journals was done, and the authors of included trials were contacted. Results. The combined search strategy identified 16,037 potentially eligible records, of which 28 were reports of randomized controlled trials evaluating prehospital trauma care interventions. After excluding duplicate reports, there were 24 separate randomized controlled trials including 6,806 patients. The largest and smallest trials involved 1,309 and 30 trauma patients, respectively. Conclusions. This register will facilitate the conduct of systematic reviews of the effectiveness of interventions in prehospital trauma care. However, despite the extensive searching, very few randomized trials in this area were found. In view of the absence of evidence for the effectiveness of many of the interventions that are used in the prehospital care of trauma patients, further randomized controlled trials are required.