There is a need to focus on the vulnerable type 1 diabetes (T1D) population who represent a disproportionate burden on the Australian healthcare system and who require better standards of care. Building upon our previous work, the project is an important step in determining the supports available to patients with T1D around diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) prevention and management, outside of traditional emergency department (ED) settings and regular business hours. This is in addition to perceptions around the use of a telephone or virtual service to help prevent diabetes ketoacidosis presentations. The analysis will provide baseline comparative data for later intervention studies, and in helping to provide the evidence-based solution, perhaps in the form of clinical pathways of acute and preventative healthcare services that can be tested in later projects. We expect the impacts of this project will include: a reduction in DKA presentations (which would potentially reduce morbidity and mortality), and lessened ED presentations, workload, and both hospital admissions and economic impact. Collectively, this would attract national and international interest in Queensland emergency healthcare research.READ MORE
Shock is an umbrella description for poor blood supply to vital organs, and can lead to multi-organ failure and death. Emergency department (ED) patients with shock are amongst the sickest, with 1/3 being admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). Low blood pressure, a key feature of shock which causes the poor blood supply to vital organs, can be treated with medications called vasopressors. Vasopressors traditionally have been given through a so-called 'central line'. Central lines are invasive to insert and require skill, and the actual insertion can lead to complications. More evidence has emerged that so-called peripheral lines (aka 'drip') are safe for vasopressor infusion. Randomised controlled trials (RCT) to compare the two strategies will provide high quality data to inform clinicians as to which approach is best for patients, staff and the healthcare budget. We propose a feasibility RCT to test processes and inform a large phase-III RCT to definitively answer this question.READ MORE
Pulmonary embolism (PE) is the third most common presenting acute cardiovascular syndrome behind myocardial infarction and cerebral vascular event, resulting in significant harm and death. Different clinical decision-making rules exist to guide clinicians investigating PE, to risk stratify patients based on presenting signs and symptoms; into low, moderate or high-risk. This helps direct further investigations and imaging, such as blood tests (D.dimer), computed tomography pulmonary angiogram (CTPA), and ventilation/perfusion scan (V/Q).
Currently, a blood test is a first line test used to help identify which lower risk patients might require further investigation with medical imaging. Medical imaging adds cost, prolongs hospital stay and exposes the patient to radiation and IV contrast. This retrospective study will determine in the Australian context, whether applying a higher cut off D.dimer to low risk patients who present to an urban emergency department is a safe strategy in ruling out PEs. An Australian study is important due to significant contextual issues in the D.dimer testing across different countries despite decision rules currently available.READ MORE
People with type 1 diabetes (T1D) require ongoing insulin administration. Insufficient administration results in hyperglycaemia and then diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) which, if not treated urgently, can lead to death. It is vital that all people with T1D have timely access to acute care advice and service delivery.
Across Australia, DKA is the cause of a significant and increasing number of hospitalisations, especially when considering socioeconomic disadvantage. This 2-phase project first collected retrospective data from clinical record to identify which factors are associated with poor outcomes for people with T1D presenting Caboolture Hospital ED with DKA. The research team then conducted semi-structured interviews with four patients with type 1 diabetes and 18 healthcare professionals to describe current barriers and enablers; to inform intervention development.READ MORE
In Australia, the existing model of emergency department care is struggling to cater for the needs of the older population. A large proportion of older patients arriving at emergency departments are from residential aged care facilities (RACFs). Nursing staff in RACFs often participate in decision making pertaining to transfer of residents to the emergency department, but very little research has been done on the decision making involved in this process.
The mixed methods study will engage with RACF nursing staff to understand their decision to transfer a resident, their perception of communication with the emergency department, and the services that influence the decision.READ MORE
Peripheral intravenous catheters (PIVC) are the most common invasive device utilised in health care, yet have very high failure rates because of infection, phlebitis, occlusion or dislodgement. Previous EMF-funded research (IVL-GONE: Intravenous Lines – Glue or Not Experiment, Bugden et al., 2015) has shown that the addition of two drops of medical grade superglue in addition to standard dressings at the insertion site of PIVCs can reduce the failure rate from 27% to 17% over 48 hours. Reduction in failure rates is expected to have beneficial effects on patient comfort and outcomes, along with hospital flow and costs. Uptake of these results globally will rely on cost-effectiveness evaluation, which is currently not available. This is preventing translation from research to practice.
To determine if this alternative method for PIVC securement is viable, we propose conducting an economic evaluation of the IVL-GONE findings. In order to do this, the value that patients place on avoiding IV catheter failure will be determined alongside health service delivery cost-effectiveness measures. This has never been done before in this setting for this specific outcome.
Thus the research questions are:
1. What is the value that patients place on the prevention of IV catheter failure?
2. Is superglue cost effective for the securement of IV catheters in the Emergency Department?
If the answers to these questions support the use of superglue to reduce IV catheter failure then it will enable implementation of this intervention in hospitals worldwide.READ MORE
Intravenous lines are placed in the majority of patients admitted to hospital. Unfortunately they often fall out, become infected, cause irritation & pain or become blocked. Occasionally this can cause a life threatening illness. Blood can leak from the intravenous line onto the patient’s skin, clothing or bed linen. This causes patient distress. It can also be dangerous for hospital staff if they accidentally come into contact with the blood.
The insertion of a replacement intravenous line is generally regarded as an unpleasant experience that would be nice to avoid. The IVL-GONE research team are researching the use of common skin glue (think super-glue) to ‘stick-on’ the intravenous line. Other benefits are thought to include keeping the bugs out, improving patient comfort & helping to protect hospital staff from blood. If the skin glue works as well as preliminary studies indicate, this could be a simple solution for a worldwide problem; Queensland research leading the world.READ MORE