Major win for cardiac study

A study evaluating a new approach to assessing chest pain in emergency departments has received a significant boost from Australia’s peak medical research funding body.

The National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has awarded $532,000 to the study led by EMF-funded researcher, Associate Professor Jaimi Greenslade.

EMF contributed a $93,240 Leading Edge grant to the collaborative project. Other partners include Queensland University of Technology, the National Heart Foundation of Australia, Metro North Hospital and Health Services, and Cairns Hospital.

The study team includes internationally renowned investigators from Flinders University, University of Sydney, Logan Hospital and the Prince Charles Hospital.

“Partnering with these peak institutions is a privilege and will greatly enhance this project,” said A/Prof Greenslade.

“Each year, more than 450,000 patients attend Australian hospitals with chest pain. It is the second most common emergency department presentation.”

While chest pain is a classic symptom of heart attack, less than 15 per cent of patients are found to be at significant risk of the life‐threatening condition.

The research team is evaluating a new pathway for assessing chest pain that aims to reduce the time and costs associated with managing patients at low risk of a heart attack in emergency departments.

Potential benefits include a shorter length of stay for patients, thereby helping to alleviate the demand on emergency departments, overcrowding and better manage limited resources.

Importantly, the pathway being evaluated may be used in rural and remote areas, allowing more patients to undergo assessment at their local hospital or health centre.

“Rural clinicians will be able to identify patients who can safely be sent home and reduce the requirement for transfer to an urban hospital setting,” said A/Professor Greenslade.

EMF is committed to improving chest pain assessment in emergency departments and has invested $1.7m in related research.

This includes studies by Professor Louise Cullen and Professor William Parsonage who are co-investigators on the NHMRC funded project led by A/Professor Greenslade.

The research resulted in two new protocols for the rapid diagnosis of chest pain in low and medium risk patients presenting to emergency departments which has been introduced to numerous public hospitals.


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