Major funding for respiratory care for kids

Research to improve support for children presenting to rural and remote emergency departments with respiratory illness received $1,630,153 from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) in May 2022.

This prestigious national grant is the latest chapter in the success story of the Paediatric Acute Respiratory Intervention Studies (PARIS). PARIS trials were awarded seed funding from EMF since their first study into treating bronchiolitis in infants with high flow nasal cannula (HFNC).

Since then, EMF seed funding has allowed the research team led by Dr Andreas Schibler and Dr Donna Franklin to collect robust data before seeking further competitive grants from major national funding bodies.

PARIS II is a study on HFNC treatment for children aged 1-4 years in 14 hospitals across Australia and New Zealand. Remote PARIS took learnings from these studies to three remote and rural centres in Far North Queensland: Cooktown, Weipa and Thursday Island. Also funded by EMF, this trial is led by nurse and PhD candidate Sally West and aims to reduce transfer rates out of these hospitals to Cairns and Townsville.

PARIS on Country extended to a further 18 centres across Northwest, Torres and Cape, Cairns and Hinterland and Townsville Hospital and Health Services in Queensland. Using a Respiratory Care Bundle, PARIS on Country provides local teams with evidence based methods, knowledge and skill to care for infants and children presenting to the ED with a respiratory illness.

The aim is to allow vulnerable young patients to remain in the care of their local service, reducing the need for transfer away from their family and community.

It was the only Queensland based project out of just 10 research projects nationally to receive a share of $24 million from the MRFF to explore better ways to reduce wait times for Australians presenting to EDs.

To date, EMF funded clinician-researchers have leveraged at least $37 million collectively from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and MRFF.

From EMF 2021-2022 Annual Report.

Findings from the PARIS II study were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on 18 January 2023 – read the publication on the JAMA website.


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