Grass pollen is the major outdoor allergen globally and grass pollen exposure has an important measurable and manageable impact on the medical burden of asthma. We propose investigating the role of allergy status on triggers for asthma in patients visiting hospital emergency departments in two regions of south east Queensland over a two year period, coinciding with NHMRC and ARC funded environmental health research led by collaborator CI Davies.
Data on weather and pollen exposure will be integrated with direct assessment of specific IgE profiles and respiratory viral triggers of asthma. Patients, including children over 12 years, presenting with primary diagnosis of asthma to a major urban hospital in a subtropical region and rural hospitals in the temperate regions of the Darling Downs will be recruited with informed consent.
Outcomes of this study are expected to inform need for utilising local current pollen exposure information to manage emergency department demand surges and underpin better management of pollen allergies outside of hospital by allergy physician and general practice.READ MORE
Every second counts when a patient’s heart stops and critical to this is restarting the heart and maximising blood flow to the brain. Without adequate blood flow to the brain, eventual survivors can be left with a devastating brain injury and be forced to live for their remaining years with severely reduced quality of life. The rapid delivery of adrenaline to restore cardiac function and deliver blood to the brain is critical to improving survival. Current techniques for delivering adrenaline focus on cannulating a vein. This can take many of those crucial seconds and more frequently several minutes, as the collapsed veins post cardiac arrest are extremely difficult to find and access. If the cannula is successfully inserted, the lack of blood flow within them prevents rapid delivery of adrenaline back to the heart.
This research team is developing a device with the potential for safe, rapid adrenaline delivery directly to the lungs with each breath without the need for venous cannulation. This rapid delivery of adrenaline to the lungs, and subsequent absorption to the blood and then the heart, may change the outcome from a brain injury rendering a previously fit person unable to walk, to 100% recovery.READ MORE
Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) is defined as a collapsed lung with air in the pleural cavity that occurs in the absence of clinically apparent underlying lung disease. PSP is a significant global health problem affecting adolescents and young adults. Throughout the 20th century the treatment of PSP was predominantly bed rest, with invasive treatment reserved for severely symptomatic episodes. A study in 1966 suggested that managing large and small PSP in the community was safe. Despite this, rates of intervention have steadily increased over the decades. The reasons for this are unclear and this approach has recently been questioned in the scientific literature. Preliminary data suggests that a conservative approach to management may allow faster healing and reduce the risk of recurrence from around 25 per cent to 5 per cent in the first year. Conservative management is also likely to reduce the risks of prolonged admission due to persistent leak from approximately 30 per cent to less than 10 per cent and of other complications related to interventional management. Clinicians are, however, unlikely to change a practice entrenched for decades and re-enforced by current international guidelines without robust evidence.
If allowing the lung to remain collapsed initially does improve healing of the pleural defect and lower recurrence rates, then this study will contribute to improved outcomes and a reduction in the morbidity associated with current treatment. This would mean a major change in current medical practice and international consensus guidelines. It would also be of substantial economic benefit due to reduced hospital admission rates on first presentation and also a reduction in the risk of subsequent recurrences, admissions and associated procedures.READ MORE