OHSU physician explores method to reduce blood-clot risk in trauma patients

03/02/11  Portland, Ore.

Grant worth nearly $700,000 from the National Trauma Institute will fund the study

Martin Schreiber, M.D., of Oregon Health & Science University, received a research grant worth nearly $700,000 from the National Trauma Institute (NTI) to study a method that could more accurately determine how much blood-clot prevention medication to give critically ill or obese trauma patients. Schreiber’s study is one of nine that received grants this year from NTI, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding trauma research in the United States in an effort to reduce death and disability, and the associated costs, related to trauma injury.

Schreiber, OHSU’s chief of trauma, critical care and acute care surgery and a professor in the Department of Surgery, will explore whether Thrombelastography (TEG) can guide physicians to a better dosing formula for Lovenox. TEG is a method for testing the efficiency of coagulation in the blood. The standard dose for this drug may not fully prevent the development of clots, especially in critically ill or obese patients. The risk of developing a blood clot occurs in up to 60 percent of all critical care patients. Schreiber and his team will compare the development of blood clots in patients receiving a standard dose of the medicine to patients receiving a dose guided by TEG.

“Complications from clotting are a major cause of morbidity and mortality after trauma and our current methods of preventing these complications are not very effective, especially because we currently use a one-dose-fits-all philosophy,” Schreiber said. “This funding from the National Trauma Institute will enable us to study tailoring the dose of Lovenox to each individual using the TEG. We believe we will be able to substantially decrease the risk of clotting after trauma using this technology.”

NTI is committed to facilitating translational research, the results of which may affect the practice of medicine and patient outcomes in the near term. Schreiber’s study and the other eight funded by NTI in this cycle will get under way this year and may be completed within one year. Preliminary results from the principal investigators may be presented at the NTI’s Annual Trauma Symposium in 2012. To sign up to receive announcements related to research funding opportunities, visit the NTI website at www.nationaltraumainstitute.org and go to the research page.


Martin Schreiber is Oregon Health & Science University’s chief of trauma, critical care and acute care surgery and a professor in the Department of Surgery. Along with his role at OHSU, he is a reservist in the U.S. Army and has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, most recently as the Joint Theater Trauma System Director. Schreiber leads an active trauma research laboratory at OHSU that has been federally funded for the past decade. The laboratory focuses on research that is relevant to combat-casualty-care topics such hemostasis, resuscitation and the patient’s response to trauma. Schreiber has authored more than 100 publications on trauma related topics.

About the National Trauma Institute

The National Trauma Institute (NTI) is a nonprofit organization that assembles public and private resources to support trauma research across the country, sets a national trauma research agenda, and supports military and civilian innovation and collaboration in trauma care and research. This year, NTI will distribute $2.46 million in grants to nine important studies. Since 2008, the organization has awarded $4 million to 16 studies taking place in 20 states. Learn more about NTI at www.nationaltraumainstitute.org.

About OHSU

Oregon Health & Science University is the state’s only health and research university, and Oregon’s only academic health center. OHSU is Portland's largest employer and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government). OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. It serves patients from every corner of the state, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to every county in the state.