Cairns Base Hospital Emergency Department is committed to attracting the best emergency physicians and trainees. Our research commitment over the years, particularly the ability to provide 4.10.70 direction and opportunities, has been recognised by our peers as significant, particularly in an environment of heavy clinical \workloads and limited funding opportunities. In the past two years the CBH executive has worked to balance this by increasing staff numbers and allowing more academic opportunities for Emergency Physician and trainees alike.
This Capacity building grant allows the Hospital to appoint, for three years, Associate Professor Jamie Seymour from the James Cook University, School of Medicine and Tropical Biology, as a Research Fellow. A/Prof Seymour has a history of involvement in research with the Hospital's ED -- primarily, but not restricted to, toxinology and advice in study design and analysis. This grant enabled the Hospital to considerably expand and formalise the collaboration.
In his role as Senior Research Fellow, A/Prof Seymour will provide the experience and expertise need to help the Department apply for successful grant applications and help attract and immerse Emergency Medicine trainees in a fertile research environment that actively encourages them with their 4:10:70 as well as research in thelr ongoing career. The department believes that this approach will also increase its attractiveness to emergency physicians in relation to job placement and has unanimous support from the consultants in the department.
The department envisages that the Research Fellow would conduct research training on a weekly basis as part of the present teaching protocol where research ideas and published studies are discussed and examined, where experimental design and statistical analysis of proposed research projects can be developed.READ MORE
The problem of box jellyfish stings is an issue of medical and commercial importance to tropical Australia, notably in Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australian coastal communities, threatening the perception of Australia as a safe destination. For example, approximately 160 people from Queensland resorts, including many international visitors, were hospitalized following envenoming during the summer of 2001-02 closing much of the frequented north Queensland coastline.
Fatalities from Irukandji and Chironex box jellyfish stings and the loss of tourism to affected areas present both a medical and economic challenge. Although cubozoan envenoming in Australia may be seen as a minor "medical" concern (compared to other tropical diseases), it represents a major cost to northern Australian communities in terms of public health, leisure and tourism
We aim to
i) produce dose response curves for various concentrations of cubozoan venoms (namely Chironex fleckeri and the irukandji jellyfish, Carukia barnesi) on human cardiac myocytes.
ii) to determine the lipid solubility of Chironex and Irukandji venom in ILE and its effectiveness in decreasing the lethality of these venoms in human cardiac myocytes assays.
iii) to test the hypothesis that irukandji venom is heat labile and can be de-activated at thermal loads that do not cause permanent damage to the tissues of envenomed victims.
These aims will be achieved by testing jellyfish venoms on human heart cells, to determine the relationship between the concentration of jellyfish venoms to death rate of the cells. Using this data we will then be able to determine if new and novel approaches to treatment, i.e. the use of heat and intralipids, may benefit jellyfish envenomed patients.
Queensland is currently recognised as the leader in the field of jellyfish envenoming treatment. Many of the treatments for jellyfish stings are not evidence based and data is emerging that suggests that some of the treatments may do more harm to jellyfish sting victims than good.
This project will investigate three major areas of present contention:
• Is vinegar a suitable first aid for jellyfish stings?
• Can the survival rate of victims stung by big box jellyfish be increased by simply continuing CPR for extended periods?
• Can readily available and used drugs be the answer to the ever-increasing Irukandji Syndrome?