Background: Studies of therapeutic interventions and management strategies on head injured patients are difficult to undertake. BrainIT provides validated data for analysis available to centers that contribute data to allow post-hoc analysis and hypothesis testing.
Methods: Both physiological and intensive care management data are collected. Patient identification is eliminated prior to transfer of data to a central database in Glasgow. Requests for missing/ ambiguous data are sent back to the local center. Country coordinating centers provide advice, training, and assistance to centers and manage the data validation process.
Results: Currently 30 centers participate in the group. Data collection started in January 2004 and 242 patients have been recruited. Data validation tools were developed to ensure data accuracy and all analysis must be undertaken on validated data.
Conclusion: BrainIT is an open, collaborative network that has been established with primary objectives of i) creating a core data set of information, ii) standardizing the collection methodology, iii) providing data collection tools, iv) creating and populating a data base for future analysis, and v) establishing data validation methodologies. Improved standards for multi-center data collection should permit the more accurate analysis of monitoring and management studies in head injured patients.