This study will collect information from the records of 3000 children from 30 hospitals presenting after a head injury in 2016 and will interview staff to look at different factors influencing the care provided. APHIRST-Gap is expected to provided crucial information on scan rates and inform strategies, including national guideline development to standardise and improve the care of children with head injury across Australia and New Zealand.
Head injury is a common reason children present to Emergency Departments in Australia and New Zealand. While most are minor the important issue for emergency clinicians is to determine whether a particular child is at risk of a serious head injury such as a bleed on the brain. A computerised tomography(CT) scan is the investigation of choice to look for these injuries. Its use is not without risks though, including those of sedation, and radiation induced cancer.
Several “rules” have been designed to guide doctors in the decision between risk of injury and risk of scan. The recently published Australasian APHIRST study examined three of these rules in our context. It found that all three rules performed well, clinicians made good judgements on who to scan, and the overall rate of CT scan use was low(10%). APHIRST was limited to 10 large metropolitan, and predominately children specific hospitals. Most children in Australia are not seen in these hospitals. Further research is required to determine whether there is a large variation in scan use between different hospitals and how best to apply these findings to a broader range of hospitals.
This trial is being run by the PREDICT network and the Principal Investigator is A/Prof Franz Babl.READ MORE
Life threatening bacterial infections such as sepsis are a leading cause of childhood mortality. International authorities recognise the urgent need for better recognition, diagnosis, and management of children with sepsis. Children in regional and remote settings are at particular risk for late or inaccurate diagnosis resulting in worse outcomes.
In this study, we are testing the feasibility, performance, time-to-diagnosis, and cost impact of applying the most advanced genomics-based sepsis diagnostic tools. This could lead to better treatment of infections, reduce unnecessary antibiotic use, shorten hospital length of stay, improve patient outcomes, and allow patients and families to be managed closer to home, with the aim to provide the same care for all children around the state. We are recruiting acutely ill children presenting with suspected sepsis to Emergency Departments, including regional and remote centres in Queensland.READ MORE
Worldwide, the respiratory distress associated with pneumonia and other causes remains the leading cause of death in children. In Australia 39% of intensive care admissions for children are due to respiratory disease, with bronchiolitis/viral infection representing 17%, asthma 7% and pneumonia 7%. There is an emerging trend to support respiration with methods other than oxygen, particularly in the early stage of disease process aiming to prevent the progression of disease. In under resourced countries children presenting to hospitals with severe pneumonia have a mortality rate between 13-20% and most deaths occur with hypoxemia before therapeutic benefit of antimicrobials. High flow nasal cannula (HFNC) therapy is a new promising mode of respiratory support as an alternative to non-invasive ventilation, which is poorly tolerated by a sick child. HFNC therapy can be used very early in the disease process and requires little cooperation
This study aims to develop a multi-centre trial and to assess which infants and children with acute respiratory failure benefit using HFNC therapy. For this purpose we will perform a randomised controlled trial comparing current best practice (standard oxygen delivery via subnasal prongs, facemask, venturi mask) versus HFNC therapy. With the introduction of this simple to use respiratory system administered earlier in the disease process, we aim to investigate if HFNC therapy has a lower treatment failure rate in comparison to standard oxygen delivery, and to investigate if there is a reduction in the need for transfer of these patients to a tertiary hospital or admission to intensive care.READ MORE
Children rarely break their necks but if they do, they can risk spinal injury or death. Many more children present for assessment of possible cervical spine (neck) injuries than are subsequently diagnosed with cervical spine injury. The challenge for the emergency doctor is to identify the rare cases without subjecting too many children to unnecessary tests.
These tests, x-rays and scans, have risks including exposure to radiation and associated danger of long term cancer development, as well as the possible need for sedation to perform the scan in young children. Awaiting these tests is often a time of prolonged distress for the patient and family as the child needs to be kept lying flat and still without moving their neck. Considerable staff time and Emergency Department costs are associated with these tests. Rules have been proposed to assist doctors in deciding whether tests are needed. This study seeks to look at all children presenting to the ED over a 12 month period for the assessment of possible cervical spine injury to better understand how children are treated in hospital and how further investigation into the use of these rules can be undertaken.READ MORE