The International Trauma Research Network

Traumatic injury is responsible for a large proportion of the world’s burden of disease, with over 5 million deaths annually and an ever increasing economic and societal impact. Although recognised as a leading cause of preventable mortality, uncontrolled trauma haemorrhage accounts for approximately 40 per cent of these injury-related deaths. Beyond mortality, outcomes for critically injured patients remain poor with prolonged disability and reduced quality of life for survivors. Trauma is a healthcare field in which the uptake of new approaches can have an immediate and significant effect on patient outcomes, both in terms of survival and quality of life. The International Trauma Research Network (INTRN) is an inclusive consortium of Level 1 trauma centres that has evolved to accelerate the conduct and translation of trauma sciences research, by establishing a robust research platform supporting public-funded and commercial multi-national trials in trauma. As well as delivering impactful international translational research, INTRN continues the complimentary development of global education projects to ensure the rapid translation of its research, into clinical practice and into healthcare policy for the optimised treatment of traumatic injury and the enhancement of trauma patient outcomes.  
In 2010 the International Trauma Research Network (INTRN) was formalised as an academic collaboration of these Level-1 trauma centres, for the original purpose of:
  • Conducting fundamental, translational and clinical research in coagulation, inflammation, haemorrhage and transfusion after injury as well as other trauma related topics
  • Promoting cross-disciplinary sharing of ideas for trauma research and clinical care
  • Supporting the development of researchers in the trauma sciences
  • Developing programmes to disseminate the results of research into clinical practice
By working together as a coordinated research consortium, INTRN increases the ability to accelerate study patient recruitment to research studies and broadens the cohort diversity. The standardised collection, storage, exchanges and use of study data and samples is achieved by the implementation of study-specific protocols and consortium agreements within the Network, in accordance to institutional and ethical review board regulations and international law. Thus the Network can more quickly deliver robust clinical research data thereby accelerating the translation of scientific evidence into wider clinical practice for the benefit of the patient.  
Acute injuries research is challenging. By its very nature trauma is unpredictable and comprises many different types and mechanisms of injury. The patients to be studied present with critical injuries that require immediate, life- and limb-saving treatment by large specialist trauma teams. To understand the body’s immediate reaction to both traumatic injury and treatment itself requires research to be conducted by dedicated staff working alongside but independent of the trauma team providing care.  
The dissemination of information and results generated by the Network is pivotal to the principle aim of INTRN which is to facilitate the global optimisation of trauma patient care, thereby saving lives and resources. Effective dissemination is essential in order for us to facilitate the early adoption of evidence-based clinical practice, as well as to maximise further research opportunities for all INTRN sites and individuals. A key element of INTRNs dissemination strategy is promoting internal knowledge exchange, developing its researcher careers by creating opportunities for exchange placements. This serves not only to promote the researcher’s experience but also to standardise practice across sites and raise awareness of different regional considerations (e.g. epidemiology of traumatic injury).
To facilitate the wider clinical academic broadcasting of the Network’s activities and findings, INTRN regularly posts articles on the specialist web forum  – a non-profit clinical forum for trauma care providers. Another component of its dissemination strategy includes the organisation of the International Symposium on Critical Bleeding (ISCB) and continuous participation at relevant scientific meetings and consensus symposia across the globe.