Emergency Use & Device Compassionate Use

Investigators are required to report any emergency use of an investigational drug, biologic, or medical device with a human research participant.

Emergency Use may be warranted under the following circumstances:

  • Life-threatening situation or severely debilitating (diseases or conditions that cause major irreversible morbidity)
  • No standard acceptable treatment is acceptable
  • Necessitates the use of the investigational drug or biologic or device
  • Not sufficient time to obtain IRB approval

Device Compassionate Use may be warranted under the following circumstances:

  • The patient has a life-threatening or serious disease or condition;
  • There is no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy to diagnose, monitor, or treat the disease or condition; and
  • Potential patient benefit justifies the potential risks of the investigational device.

Prior FDA approval is needed before compassionate use occurs.

Emergency Use and Compassionate Use requests involving a single patient should be submitted for review via the Expanded Access Survey.

Provide the IRB with a follow-up report within 5 business days of the use by following the instructions in the Expanded Access IRB Application Quick Reference Guide, found in the Investigator Manual under “What if I need expanded access to investigational drugs, biologics, and devices?”


Use the following resources to prepare an emergency use report: