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MUSC data team’s study ‘improves the lot of humankind’

Contact: Heather Woolwine

May 31, 2013                                       
CHARLESTON --  The Society for Clinical Trials has awarded the 2012 Trial of the Year to a study conducted by MUSC’s Data Coordination Unit (DCU) and sponsored by the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke.  The study, Rapid Anticonvulsant Medication Prior to Arrival Trial (RAMPART) (Silbergleit, Durkalski et al, New England Journal of Medicine, February 16, 2012) was conducted in children and adults by the NINDS-funded Neurological Emergency Treatment Trial Network (NETT). As a result of this year’s winning study, emergency medical technicians have a faster and more practical way of treating a life-threatening seizure condition before patients reach the hospital.

Each year the Society for Clinical Trials presents an award to the randomized clinical trial published in the previous year that best fulfills the following standards: improves the lot of humankind; provides the basis for a substantial, beneficial change in health care; reflects expertise in subject matter, excellence in methodology, and concern for study participants; overcomes obstacles in implementation; and, presents its design, execution, and results in a model of clarity and intellectual soundness. At MUSC, the DCU played a vital role in the statistics and data management for the RAMPART trial.

“It was a unique trial that had several challenging aspects,” said Valerie Durkalski, Ph.D., the lead biostatistician for RAMPART and DCU director. “It takes several years for a study of this magnitude to get to this stage, and we are very excited to share results that could potentially change clinical practice for the pre-hospital treatment of status epilepticus."

Lead investigators from the winning trial addressed the Society at a plenary session during the Society’s annual meeting held in Boston May 2013.
About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (one of 66 National Cancer Institute designated centers) and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit For more information on hospital patient services, visit



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