When things go wrong: when and how to report an event to a UNF research integrity committee
After you have obtained IRB, IACUC and/or IBC approval for a research project, there is always a possibility problems will arise during study implementation that may need to be reported to the appropriate committee. Reporting can be done via the UNF research integrity unit within the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Depending on the type of project and the type of event, different information might be needed. Please see the information below to ensure you are up to date on both reporting requirements and procedures for submitting a report if necessary.
Adverse Event - this is a broad term for any unfavorable occurrence in a human subject, including any abnormal sign (e.g., abnormal physical exam or laboratory finding), symptom or disease, temporally associated with the subject’s participation in the research, whether considered related to the subject’s participation in the research. Adverse events encompass both physical and psychological harms. Adverse events are not always reportable.
Unanticipated Problem Involving Risk- this includes any incident, experience or outcome that meets all of the following criteria:
An unanticipated problem involving risk is usually an adverse event. However, an adverse event may not be an unanticipated problem involving risk. To determine whether an adverse event is an unanticipated problem, the following questions should be asked:
If the answer to all three bulleted questions is yes, then the adverse event is an unanticipated problem and must be reported. If an investigator determines that an event represents an unanticipated problem involving risk, the investigator must report it promptly to the IRB (45 CFR 46.103(b)(5)) by utilizing the Event Report Form that can be found on the UNF IRB Website or within the Forms and Templates Library in IRBNet. Please complete an Event Report Form and submit it for review though IRBNet. If the project was submitted and approved prior to IRBNet, please submit the Event Report Form to firstname.lastname@example.org. All event reports should be submitted within three business days of the event. However, if the event is severe or pertains to risk, the report should be submitted immediately or as soon as practicable.
In addition to reporting any unanticipated problems involving risks to subjects or others, the regulations also require prompt reporting of any serious or continuing noncompliance with the regulations or the requirements or determinations of the IRB. Noncompliance can take many forms. However, the most common examples are as follows:
If you have questions about whether your proposed activities constitute research involving human subjects that must be reviewed by the UNF IRB or if you are concerned that your activities may be a protocol deviation or other noncompliance, please contact a research integrity administrator to discuss your project. You can do so by calling (904) 620-2455 or e-mailing email@example.com.
Please complete an IACUC event form in the case of a serious adverse event or protocol deviation. An adverse event is any occurrence that has a negative impact on animal welfare (e.g., pain, distress or death of an animal) when the possibility of this occurrence was either not described in the IACUC protocol or unexpected in terms of magnitude, frequency, or scope. An IACUC protocol deviation is any departure from methods approved in an IACUC protocol. In an emergency, please contact at UNF’s veterinarian immediately. Due to extenuating circumstances, the event report form is not currently available on the UNF IACUC website at this time. In the meantime, to receive a copy of the event reporting form, please contact a research integrity staff by calling (904) 620-2455 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following examples of reportable situations were taken from the NIH Guidance on reporting:
conditions that jeopardize the health or well-being of animals, including natural disasters, accidents and mechanical failures, resulting in actual harm or death to animals;
Examples of situations not normally required to be reported:
In the event of a medical emergency, please first seek appropriate immediate medical attention. IBC researchers must promptly report any significant problems pertaining to operating and implementation of containment practices and procedures, violations of the NIH Guidelines, or any significant research-related accidents and illnesses to the UNF IBC, Biological Safety Officer and other appropriate authorities. In some cases, events must be reported to the Office of Biotechnology Activities (e.g., adverse event pertaining to human gene transfer trial).
If there has been an accident on campus, please report the event by completing the UNF Environmental Health and Safety Accident form. Please follow-up that report by contacting the UNF IBC Biological Safety Officer Brandon Smith by calling (904) 620-1172 or e-mailing Brandon.email@example.com. Safety hazards can be submitted by completing a safety hazard report form. If you have questions about whether an event requires reporting, please contact Brandon via one of the above listed methods.
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