The UC Davis Department of Emergency Medicine has served the medical center and surrounding community since 1973. Prior to 1990, the Department's primary focus was the education of medical students/residents and patient care. However, over the past eighteen years the Department of Emergency Medicine has increasingly contributed to the growing body of medical research in the field of emergency medicine.

Recent grants that have been awarded to the Department of Emergency Medicine include awards of $2.4 million for a pediatric emergency medicine network (PECARN), $3.7 million to study the causes, consequences and prevention of violence, and $745,000 to study brain injury in older adults taking anticoagulants. Another $16 million worth of grants is pending review.

As the number of publications has increased, so has the breadth of research topics. This sharp increase in the number of publications clearly illustrates the intensifying faculty interest in conducting research.  

The PROMPT BOLUS Research Study

There are approximately 75,000 children with sepsis each year in the U.S. Sepsis is a dangerous infection that can be life threatening. Sepsis can affect many different parts of the body including the heart, lungs, liver, kidney, blood, and brain. Sepsis can cause damage to any of these organs and can prevent a person from returning to school or work or from functioning independently. Sepsis can cause permanent organ damage or even death. Quick recognition and treatment of sepsis with IV fluids and antibiotics can help to improve survival.

Prompt Bolus LogoPROMPT BOLUS is an emergency medicine study designed to compare two different commonly used treatments to see if one is safer and more effective than the other.

Emergency department care of these patients is not the same everywhere in the US, but always involves a combination of antibiotics and IV fluids. Doctors use their judgment about which type of IV fluid is best for sepsis, but a definite answer is not known. The PROMPT BOLUS study plans to look at two commonly used IV fluid types given in emergency departments and intensive care units to treat sepsis to determine which one is most effective. These two fluid types are Normal Saline (NS) and Balanced Fluids (BF, including lactated Ringer’s and Plasma-Lyte). Although all study patients will receive a fluid type that is effective, safe, and recommended for treatment of sepsis, the reason for this study is to determine which fluid may be the most effective and safest. Therefore, if there are differences in effectiveness and safety, then length of stay in hospital may be different between groups and one fluid type may have higher mortality than the other. Whenever possible, researchers get permission before a person can be included in a study. But when a person has sepsis, it can be difficult to give consent. Also, since sepsis must be treated quickly, there is often not be enough time to locate and talk to the person’s parent or guardian about the study. So, we expect that most patients will be enrolled in the study without his/her parent or guardian’s consent. This is called “Exception from Informed Consent” (EFIC). Once the parent or guardian is located or the patient improves, they will be told about the study and asked to give their permission to continue in the study.

We are not aware of any reason, at this time, why anyone with sepsis would not choose to participate if awake and able to take part in decisions about their care. All patients enrolled in the study will receive one of the two commonly used IV fluid types to treat sepsis along with the best locally available medical care available for their symptoms.

The purpose of this handout is to notify our community about this trial, to provide contact information and resources where you can learn more, including an option to decline participation.

PROMPT BOLUS Contact Information:
Site Principal Investigator: Cheryl Vance, MD
Email: promptbolus@ucdavis.edu
Website: https://promptbolus.research.chop.edu

The UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) is a multi-disciplinary program of research and policy development focused on the causes, consequences, and prevention of violence. Learn more about the Violence Prevention Research Program

Education Programs

The UC Davis Department of Emergency Medicine offers a two-year Emergency Medicine Research Fellowship. The program combines training in clinical emergency medicine research with graduate level training at UC Davis leading to either a Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology or Masters in Public Health.

The Department of Emergency Medicine can always use additional help with its research projects. If you are interested in learning more about emergency medicine research opportunities for undergraduate students, medical students, or residents, please contact the the research director Dr. James Holmes for more information. Undergraduates can learn more about our unique Emergency Medicine Research Assistant Program (EMRAP) here.

The emergency department has multiple research projects and many areas of research interests. Current research projects include:

General Emergency Medicine

  • Computational modeling of emergency services
  • Video-assisted laryngoscopy in emergencies
  • Ventilator asynchrony in critically ill or injured patients
  • Early treatments for patients with septic shock
  • TXA for non-traumatic hemorrhage
  • Coagulation studies for new oral anticoagulants
  • Methods to improved ED flow

Adult trauma

  • Airway management in patients with traumatic brain injury
  • Sedation monitoring in patients with traumatic brain injury
  • Biomarkers for traumatic brain injury
  • Prehospital guidelines for anticoagulated trauma patients

Pediatric Trauma

  • Utility of the FAST examination in children with blunt torso trauma
  • Implementation of a neuroimaging decision rule for childhood head trauma
  • TXA for Pediatric trauma

Pediatric Emergency Medicine

  • Cerebral edema in pediatric diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Improving the care of acutely ill and injured children in rural emergency departments with telemedicine
  • Biosignatures in young febrile infants
  • Medications for seizures

Emergency Department Epidemiology

  • Emergency department frequent users: community solutions
  • Use of firearms in youth suicides
  • Case control study of firearms retailers in California
  • Gun Violence in California
  • Impact of ambulance diversion on resident education study
  • Can patient centered outcome measures be used to predict length of stay? 

Infectious Diseases

  • Early detection of pathogens at triage
  • Antibiotic stewardship in the ED
  • Identification of rhinovirus via novel methods
  • Ultrasound for peritonsillar abscess

Cardiology

  • Cardiac resuscitation at STEMI versus non-STEMI centers
  • Gender differences in acute coronary syndrome
  • PET scan for cardiac risk stratification