Many patients who present to the Emergency Department with painful conditions have extensive delays to receive pain relief. This may result in unnecessary discomfort for patients and can also mean that patients have an extended length of stay. This study focusses on improving the pain relief given to patients who present to the Emergency Department with chest pain. The study has multiple aims. The first is to identify how long patients presenting to emergency department with chest pain wait to receive adequate pain relief. The second is to document how delays to pain relief impact on the patient and on the healthcare system (in terms of greater hospital admissions, longer length of stay and the types of cardiac testing that can be performed). The third aim is to see whether a novel education campaign highlighting the importance of providing pain relief as soon as possible after the patient presents to the Emergency Department can reduce the length of time before a patient is provided pain relief. This campaign will particularly focus on the nursing staff and will empower them to advocate for rapid pain relief. It is anticipated that this campaign will reduce the time taken to provide pain relief to patients. It is also hoped to reduce hospital length of stay and hospital admissions. This study is important for improving patient comfort and improving patient and health service outcomes.READ MORE
There is a need to focus on the vulnerable type 1 diabetes (T1D) population who represent a disproportionate burden on the Australian healthcare system and who require better standards of care. Building upon our previous work, the project is an important step in determining the supports available to patients with T1D around diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) prevention and management, outside of traditional emergency department (ED) settings and regular business hours. This is in addition to perceptions around the use of a telephone or virtual service to help prevent diabetes ketoacidosis presentations. The analysis will provide baseline comparative data for later intervention studies, and in helping to provide the evidence-based solution, perhaps in the form of clinical pathways of acute and preventative healthcare services that can be tested in later projects. We expect the impacts of this project will include: a reduction in DKA presentations (which would potentially reduce morbidity and mortality), and lessened ED presentations, workload, and both hospital admissions and economic impact. Collectively, this would attract national and international interest in Queensland emergency healthcare research.READ MORE
Consumer engagement in research is a local, national and international priority and has been described as research being carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ consumers, rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them. Our recent scoping review on patient and public involvement in international emergency care research (under review) found only two (of the 28) studies were undertaken in Australia and reported consumer engagement in Emergency department (ED) research, illustrating that the vision of integrated consumer and community engagement in research is a long way from the current reality.
Consumer engagement can improve the quality and relevance of research, identify unmet needs, reduce wasted research efforts, and improve ED services and patient experiences, particularly for vulnerable and high-risk patient groups. Whilst there has been an increase in consumer engagement in international research, opportunities for consumers to contribute to emergency care research in Australia are scarce and there are very few documented studies of consumer engagement in ED research.
This project aims to understand the current challenges and barriers to consumer engagement being undertaken in ED research, both in Queensland and nationally in Australia. The project will also identify readiness for consumer engagement, exploring the factors which influence, drive and support researchers to engage consumers in ED research. In addition, it will also scope the potential for a statewide / National Emergency collaborative network for Consumer Engagement and assess support among key stakeholders in emergency care in Queensland and nationally.READ MORE
Shock is an umbrella description for poor blood supply to vital organs, and can lead to multi-organ failure and death. Emergency department (ED) patients with shock are amongst the sickest, with 1/3 being admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). Low blood pressure, a key feature of shock which causes the poor blood supply to vital organs, can be treated with medications called vasopressors. Vasopressors traditionally have been given through a so-called 'central line'. Central lines are invasive to insert and require skill, and the actual insertion can lead to complications. More evidence has emerged that so-called peripheral lines (aka 'drip') are safe for vasopressor infusion. Randomised controlled trials (RCT) to compare the two strategies will provide high quality data to inform clinicians as to which approach is best for patients, staff and the healthcare budget. We propose a feasibility RCT to test processes and inform a large phase-III RCT to definitively answer this question.READ MORE
Communities of practice (CoP) are widely used to strengthen and enhance healthcare, by generating and sharing knowledge and improving organisational performance. In Australia CoPs have been used in fields such as healthcare improvement, mental health and mental health literacy, and workplace health and wellbeing and more recently in response to COVID 19.
This project will assess the possible scope for a CoP, and the extent to which a CoP might find support among collaborating service organisations, to focus attention on issues surrounding emergency mental health presentations to hospital emergency departments (EDs) in north Queensland.READ MORE
The “Buddy Study” funded in the EMF grant round 25 showed a common type of hand fracture can be treated without a plaster – a finding that if applied broadly could result in patients returning to work faster and significant healthcare savings. However, since the study was published in 2019 it is unclear to what degree there has been a change in how clinicians actually treat this fracture.
This follow up study will explore factors related to research reach, adoption, and implementation at two hospitals in Queensland to 1) inform a strategy to implement knowledge related to hand fractures and to 2) explore how participation in research affects implementation.READ MORE
Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and underlying soft tissues and leads to redness, pain and sometimes fever. Once diagnosed, the emergency doctor needs to decide an appropriate type and dose of antibiotic and decide to give it orally (tables/capsules) or intravenously (via a drip).
Despite this being a common diagnosis in the ED, guidelines are not based on high-quality evidence making it difficult for doctors to make evidence-based choices and there is wide variation in how cellulitis is treated. This prospective cohort management study aims to describe the ED management and clinical outcomes of adult patients with cellulitis.READ MORE
Blood cultures are tests performed to identify whether patients have pathogens in their blood, such as bacteria and fungi. Emergency clinicians frequently order blood cultures to prescribe appropriate antibiotics for patients. Blood cultures are particularly important to rapidly identify and treat severe infection.
For test accuracy, the best time to collect blood cultures is before a patient has received an antibiotic. However, patients with severe infections may have multiple sets of blood cultures taken over several days. It is unknown whether taking multiple blood cultures improves patient care.
This study will investigate how many patients have repeat blood cultures and whether subsequent blood cultures yield the same result. If found to be redundant, it may be possible to avoid unnecessary blood tests, improve patient comfort, decrease costs to the health service, and reduce practitioner workloads.READ MORE
In 2018, there were 3046 deaths by suicide in Australia. Suicide was the leading cause of death among people age 15-44 in 2016-2018. In Queensland, rates remain highest in young men, particularly in rural areas.
The emergency department (ED) can be the only option for people in a mental health crisis. Presentations with self-harm and attempted suicide are recognised high-risk events for subsequent suicide.
This data-linkage study is the first of its kind in Queensland, examining ED presentations with self-harm between 2012 and 2017, utilising data from a collaboration examining broader mental health presentations. This ED data will be ‘linked’ to inpatient admissions and death records, allowing insight into the patient journey over several years.
Aligning with national and international calls to make suicide and self-harm a priority for research and policy innovation, the study will examine the demographics, co-morbidities and characteristics of these patients, and factors predictive of hospital admission to improve care and recognition around those presenting to ED with self-harm.READ MORE
Lamotrigine is an antiepileptic medication used in the management of seizure disorders and bipolar affective disorder but is being increasingly prescribed for many off-label indications including emotionally unstable personality disorder.
In overdose lamotrigine usually causes mild to moderate toxicity, however following large poisonings life-threatening cardiac and neurological effects can occur. There is limited research to guide clinicians both in the assessment and management of lamotrigine poisoning.
This is a study observing people who have taken lamotrigine overdoses and will compare the concentration of lamotrigine in their blood with the clinical effects that occur. We want to be able to know what the lowest dose is that can cause severe toxicity and also if there are treatments that we can give which can help clear lamotrigine from a person’s system more quickly.
Knowing these answers can help us better recognise which patients will have severe toxicity and better manage those patients in an effort to reduce harm and death. It is expected the results of this study will be incorporated into Poison Information Centre and national guidelines of the management of lamotrigine poisoning.READ MORE
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