SONIC: Study of Neck Injuries in Children. A PREDICT study

Grant ID: EMPJ-233R33-2020-PHILLIPS

Project Summary

Currently in Australia, children with suspected neck injuries undergo neck scans such as x-rays, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However these scans may carry risks from radiation exposure, and are often associated with discomfort and distress for young patients and the need for sedation.

Considerable emergency department time and costs are also associated with these scans and it is unclear when it can be safely avoided. Rules and tools can help doctors decide when scans are necessary. The SONIC study aims to look at whether existing rules for adults are also appropriate for use in children, and to develop and test a specific tool to help doctors decide which children need a neck x-ray or scan. The study will involve a large number of children across multiple hospitals in Australia and New Zealand. The research is expected to help researchers learn more about looking after children with neck injuries and hopefully allow us to safely limit the number of scans that need to be done.

The SONIC study is also supported by the Commonwealth of Australia through a MRFF Grant ID1199748 administered by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.


Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Dr Natalie Phillips

Co Investigators:
Professor Franz Babl
Dr Ben Lawton
Dr Michelle Davison
Dr Katie Rasmussen
Dr Christa Bell
Prof Geoffrey Askin
Dr Emma Tavender
Dr Stephen Hearps

Associate Investigators:
Dr Sonia Singh
Mr Angus Jones


Collaborating Institutions

CONTACT US +61 7 3112 8668 Suite 1A 34 Sherwood Road Toowong, Qld 4066