Research dollars for rural trauma care

Queensland’s rural doctors, nurses, paramedics and allied health practitioners are urged to apply for research funding of more than $85,000 to enhance the emergency care of road trauma patients in regional, rural and remote Queensland.

Professor Hugh Grantham, Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF) Board Chair said the grant scheme would yield significant gains in emergency care knowledge, including better management of bleeding, improved pain relief, and reducing unnecessary transfer of patients.

“We are looking for innovative and workable solutions to overcome barriers to optimal emergency care outside Queensland’s metropolitan areas, and to build the research capacity of clinicians,” Prof Grantham said.

Two scholarships for professional development in emergency care research are now on offer to clinicians without any prior research experience as part of EMF’s Trauma Care in Regional, Rural and Remote Queensland grants program.

Recipients can attend a selected university course for training in emergency healthcare research. Thirteen experienced health researchers from the Jamieson Trauma Institute, including data analysts, biostatisticians and health economists will mentor novice researchers wanting to start their research journey.

Research grants in the Trauma Care program will open on 7 May and fund research projects by frontline healthworkers to the tune of $15,000 to $40,000.

In the last grants round, Queensland Ambulance Service’s (QAS) Retrieval Services Queensland (RSQ) Clinical Director and Staff Specialist in Emergency Medicine, Dr Eleanor Kitcatt, received funding to lead a team of prehospital and retrieval clinicians to study improved management of bleeding in remote and rural trauma patients.

The team involved clinicians from QAS, including RSQ, LifeFlight Retrieval Medicine and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

The study is the first of its kind in evaluating the effectiveness of early administration of fibrinogen—which is vital in forming blood clots—to treat bleeding trauma patients in the aeromedical pre-hospital and retrieval setting.

“If we find a significant benefit in early administration of fibrinogen it will result in improved outcomes for trauma patients and may modify medical practice worldwide,” Dr Kitcatt said.

“Fibrinogen is an expensive therapy with a single dose costing $2500. It has traditionally been available in major hospitals but has only recently been introduced into Queensland’s aeromedical pre-hospital and retrieval services.”

Dr Kitcatt’s research aims to ensure the therapy benefits patients and is provided to those who need it, without exposing patients to unnecessary risk and with consideration to best use of resources.

“Queensland is the first state in Australia to use this innovative approach,” Dr Kitcatt said.

“Research validating the indications for and use of fibrinogen for trauma patients will allow this innovation to be adopted by Queensland Hospital and Health Services (HHS) in rural and remote locations, and elsewhere, improving outcomes for trauma patients.”

EMF is partnering with the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) to deliver the special grants program.

MAIC Insurance Commissioner Neil Singleton said a dedicated stream of funding for regional, rural and remote areas improved equity in healthcare.

“Given Queensland’s vast geographic spread, road trauma patients in rural and remote areas often need to be transferred to metropolitan hospitals, which can delay or complicate their treatment and recovery,” Mr Singleton said.

“It is critical that emergency teams in these areas are equipped and empowered to explore improvements in local clinical care so patients can be treated close to home, reducing transport costs and above all – saving lives.

“MAIC is proud to be working with EMF in supporting these important clinician-led research projects to enhance clinician expertise and improve patient care and outcomes.”

Find out more at EMF » Trauma Care in Regional, Rural and Remote Queensland (


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