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Earlier this year, the Coalition for National Trauma Research submitted a request to Congress for $1.9 million in community project funding for a data project crucial to fulfilling the promise of the National Trauma Research Repository (NTRR). The NTRR provides the means for storage, aggregation, investigation and analysis of clinical study data.

If the project is funded, CNTR will be able to curate and upload into the repository some 30,000 datapoints from 64 legacy military and civilian trauma studies. The project cleared the Appropriations Defense Subcommittee markup this week and is prioritized for funding by Representative Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD-2), a long-time champion of the trauma community since a near-fatal car crash decades ago. Doctors at Baltimore’s Shock Trauma saved his life.

With a robust, fully operational NTRR, trauma investigators at Level 1 centers like Maryland’s R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Ruppersberger’s district will be able to conduct a vast array of unique analyses. This data project certainly won’t eliminate the need for original research at such teaching hospitals, but it will enable trauma investigators to glean all the knowledge they can from existing research by facilitating retrospective studies and secondary analyses that can advance the field, prevent deaths, and improve outcomes for the more than 2.4 million Americans severely injured every year.

Injury is one of the most significant contributors to preventable morbidity and mortality—from motor vehicle crashes, falls, firearms, home fires and more. The cost to our society of both fatal and nonfatal injuries amounts to more than $671 billion in hospital and emergency department charges as well as lost productivity every single year. With the goal to facilitate analyses that result in new knowledge, treatments, and procedures that can save lives and result in better long-term outcomes for survivors, the National Trauma Research Repository will be a valuable resource for trauma researchers who aim to ease the burden of injury for all Americans.

Prioritized community project funding requests are next taken up in full Appropriations Committee deliberations later this month.

UPDATE 7/14/21: Read Representative Ruppersberger’s press release on the results of the full Appropriations Committee markup.