New grants for ED care

December 2021

Paediatric patient transfers and emergency department treatment for drowning, pulmonary embolism, acute pain and sepsis are set to benefit from the latest Emergency Medicine Foundation grants.

Emergency department staff wellbeing is also in focus, with support for research into maintaining psychological safety of clinical teams during simulation training, and the length of time doctors or nurses can safely work in a high-risk zone.

Nine projects led by clinicians across five Queensland emergency departments (ED) were selected in the final EMF grant round for 2020, including three led by nurses.

“The challenges facing healthcare workers have been more complex than usual this year which is reflected in the innovative projects led by clinician-researchers presented for funding in the latest EMF grant round,” said EMF General Manager, Beth Chapman.

Pain management is central to two projects led by ED clinicians at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

One study will evaluate how long ED patients with chest pain wait for medication to relieve their discomfort.

Another emergency nurse-led study aims to better understand pain management in the ED using machine learning algorithms and patient-reported outcomes (known as PROMS).

For staff working with patients isolated in high-risk zones, personal protective equipment and strict infection control are vital. RBWH emergency physicians will determine how long doctors and nurses can safely work without a break, taking into consideration added mental and physical fatigue that occur while wearing PPE.

When patients present with a possible pulmonary embolism where one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot, clinicians must act quickly to prevent major harm or death. A blood test is typically used to identify whether lower risk patients require diagnostic medical imaging, and a study at Caboolture Hospital will explore the best strategy for ruling out pulmonary embolism.

Specialists at Princess Alexandra Hospital will research lamotrigine overdose and its clinical management. Lamotrigine is an antiepileptic medication used to manage seizure disorders and bipolar affective disorder.

One of Australia’s foremost experts in translational simulation at Gold Coast University Hospital will examine the psychological safety of ED doctors and nurses participating in the hyper-realistic training scenarios.

A Clinical Nurse Consultant at the same hospital will investigate whether earlier treatment with vasopressor to restore blood pressure in patients with sepsis is better compared to delayed initiation. Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide.

In one of two grants awarded to Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service researchers will create a database of patients presenting after drowning, evaluating methods to assist their breathing, and whether outcomes differ between men and women following hospital treatment.

Sunshine Coast clinician-researchers are also seeking to validate a tool measuring the needs of paediatric patients during non-urgent hospital transfer, to avoid unnecessarily sending nurse escorts and depleting hospital staff resources.

“We are extremely proud to support such diverse and high-quality research, and look forward to sharing outcomes from this work,” said Beth.

The EMF Queensland Research Program is funded by Queensland Health. Grant round 35 opens on 1 February 2021 with up to $700,000 available for research that can be translated into better emergency healthcare.


Principal Investigator (PI)
Project Title
PI Institution
Amount awarded


Dr Victoria Brazil Exploring the relationship between psychological safety in the workplace and psychological safety in simulation based educational sessions for emergency department doctors and nurses Gold Coast University Hospital (Gold Coast Health)


Ms Emily Brownlee Relief of chest pain in the Emergency Department (RELIEF) Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital (Metro North HHS)


Dr Karen Furlong D.Dimer Adjusted to Low Clinical Probability in the Diagnosis of Suspected Pulmonary Embolism- Is it safe in urban emergency department? Caboolture Hospital (Metro North HHS)


Dr Katherine Isoardi Lamotrigine Poisoning: an Australian TOxicology Monitoring (ATOM) Study Princess Alexandra Hospital (Metro South HHS)


Leading Edge
Dr Daniel Bodnar How long can a clinician wearing personal protective equipment safely work in a high-risk isolation area during one continuous shift? Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital (Metro North HHS)


Dr Michelle Davison PaNURAMA Inter-facility Transfer Tool Validation: A validation study of the Paediatric Non-Urgent, Risk Assessment, Management and nurse escort Assessment [PaNURAMA] Tool for safe children’s inter-facility Transfer Sunshine Coast University Hospital (Sunshine Coast HHS)


Ms Amanda Harley Interaction of hyperdynamic septic shock and sepsis endotypes: A new paradigm Gold Coast University Hospital (Gold Coast Health)


Dr James Hughes From Big Data to the Bedside: answering big questions in emergency department pain care using artificial intelligence and patient-reported outcomes Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital (Metro North HHS)


Dr Ogilvie Thom Emergency department treatment of the drowning victim Sunshine Coast University Hospital (Sunshine Coast HHS)




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