Older patients with minor head injury routinely get a head scan in emergency departments due to the risk of a brain bleed. Recent studies have suggested that some of these patients may not need a head scan. However, doctors do not currently have an accurate method to identify those patients who do not need a scan.
This research aims to identify a subgroup of older patients with minor head injury who do not have a brain bleed and can be safely managed without a head scan. As there are no known Australian studies in this area, this innovative project addresses a common problem in a vulnerable group of patients with several potential benefits.
The study will inform emergency doctors about the feasibility of larger Australian studies to develop a reliable and accurate method to identify older patients who do not have a brain bleed and do not need a head scan. Such a method could benefit patients by reducing transfer from rural and remote communities to bigger hospitals for a head scan, reducing waiting times in emergency departments and reducing exposure to radiation. Such a method could also have significant cost savings to the Australian healthcare system by reducing costs associated with patient transfers, head scans and prolonged emergency department wait times.READ MORE
Queensland’s dispersed population poses significant challenges to emergency trauma system design, requiring both road and aeromedical retrieval services, trauma outreach services and specialist transfer protocols for time critical injuries to maximise survival.
Road trauma is one of the main mechanisms causing traumatic brain injury (TBI). Pinpointing geographic regions with significant disadvantage for timely access to neurosurgical services is needed for targeting education, treatment and outreach services to Queensland regions most in need.
The Injury Treatment and Rehabilitation Accessibility Queensland Index (iTRAQI) is a tool being developed by this team, and piloted for TBI. iTRAQI maps aeromedical/road transport access routes and uses travel time to acute neurosurgical and rehabilitation services to rank accessibility among Queensland localities under realistic scenarios.
This project will map actual pathways to definitive neurosurgical care for moderate-to-severe road trauma-related TBI and compare them to modelled iTRAQI pathways using linked prehospital, emergency, hospitalisation and compensation data.READ MORE