Investigating a new method of intubation to reduce the risk of low oxygen levels in the blood and also prevent low blood pressure associated with the procedure.

Grant ID: EMPJ-362R25-2016

Lay Summary

Children may present to an emergency department with life threatening conditions that require immediate treatment to support their breathing to allow enough oxygen to be supplied to the body. In these circumstances a child is given medication to put them to sleep and the airway is secured with the insertion of a tube into the windpipe. This transition from spontaneous breathing awake to controlled respiration under anaesthetic via a breathing tube is called intubation and is associated with a high risk for low oxygen levels in the body or low blood pressure.

Newer methods to avoid these risks are currently the subject of many trials. In our study we investigate a new approach to prevent a drop in oxygen levels during intubation using high flow oxygen delivery. We have tested this method in children with healthy lungs undergoing anaesthesia for elective surgery and we found that we can maintain oxygen levels more than twice as long as using standard intubation methods. These findings would allow the operator in emergency settings more time and a safer condition to secure the airway in a sick child.

Therefore, we aim to compare this new oxygenation method with the current standard practice to intubate a child in an emergency situation. We aim to demonstrate that the new method will reduce the risk for low oxygen levels in the blood and also prevents low blood pressure associated with intubation.

Leveraged Funds

- Thrasher Research Foundation: US$370,000 (~AU$500,000) [George S, Schibler A, Humphreys S, Gibbons K, Gannon B, Gelbart B. (2018) Nasal High Flow Apnoeic Oxygenation during Paediatric Emergency Intubation: A Randomised Controlled Trial.]
- Gold Coast Health and Gold Coast Hospital Foundation: $75,410 [Weir K, George S, Reilly S, Grimwood K, Moloney S , Hong T, Chauhan M, Canning A, Oorloff R, Ware R, Frakking T (2018). Oral feeding safety and aspiration risk in infants and children receiving nasal high flow nasal ventilation support.]


Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Dr Shane George

Co Investigators:
A/Prof Andreas Schibler
Dr Katie Rasmussen
Dr Luke Burman
Dr Scott Simpson
Dr Susan Humphreys
Ms Kelly Foster


Collaborating Institutions


  • EMF media release
  • The Courier-Mail, 4 November 2016
  • CONTACT US +61 7 3720 5700 Suite 1B, Terraces, 19 Lang Parade, Milton Qld 4064