Clinical trials investigating therapies for acutely and critically ill and injured patients in the earliest phases of treatment often can only be performed under regulations allowing for exception from informed consent (EFIC) for emergency research. Implementation of these regulations in multicenter clinical trials involves special challenges and opportunities. The Rapid Anticonvulsant Medication Prior to Arrival Trial (RAMPART), the first EFIC trial conducted by the Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials (NETT) network, combined centralized resources and coordination with retention of local control and flexibility to facilitate compliance with the EFIC regulations. Specific methods used by the NETT included common tools for community consultation and public disclosure, sharing of experiences and knowledge, and reporting of aggregate results. Tracking of community consultation and public disclosure activities and feedback facilitates empirical research on EFIC methods in the network and supports quality improvements for future NETT trials. The NETT model used in RAMPART demonstrates how EFIC may be effectively performed in established clinical trial networks.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00809146.
© 2012 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.