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Emergency

The Emergency Research Group is located at The Royal Children's Hospital Emergency Department, which provides urgent medical care to children and adolescents. The department deals with about 82,000 children a year, ranging from newborns to teenagers. The hospital is a paediatric tertiary referral centre and provides the only paediatric trauma service for Victoria.

The research group has a very strong commitment to clinical research across a broad range of topics. It provides research opportunities for medical and nursing students, paediatric and emergency trainees and higher degree students (MD, PhD) in emergency related topics.

The research group is a member of PREDICT (Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative) emergency research network. This network provides a research platform for achieving multicentre acute care research in Australia and New Zealand. PREDICT recently won a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Research Excellence grant. The research group is also part of PERN (Pediatric Emergency Research Networks), which combines the efforts of research networks on several continents to investigate global acute care questions.

Group Leaders: 
Group Members: 
Ms Jennifer Nazareth
Role: 
Research Manager
Ms Amanda Williams
Role: 
Research Coordinator
Dr Eva Alisic
Role: 
Honorary Fellow
Dr Peter Barnett
Role: 
Honorary Fellow
Dr Silvia Bressan
Role: 
Honorary Fellow
Dr Alicia Jones
Role: 
Honorary Research Fellow
Dr Jeremy Kam
Role: 
Honorary Fellow
Assoc. Prof. Simon Young
Role: 
Honorary Fellow
Dr Ajay Kevat
Role: 
Honorary Fellow
Dr David Krieser
Role: 
Honorary Fellow
Dr Dominic Cincotta
Role: 
Research Associate
Dr Stuart Lewena
Role: 
Research Associate
Dr Adam O'Brien
Role: 
Research Associate
Dr Amanda Stock
Role: 
Research Associate
Dr Elliot Long
Role: 
Research Associate
Ms Dianne Crellin
Role: 
Research Associate
Mr Samuel Barnett
Role: 
Research Associate
Ms Caitlin Arthur
Role: 
Research Associate
Ms Anna Barrett
Role: 
Research Associate
Ms Prue Dunstan
Role: 
Research Associate
Dr Joanne Grindlay
Role: 
Research Associate
Dr Scott Mcdonald
Role: 
Research Associate
Dr Claire Hoysted
Role: 
Research Associate
Dr Sandy Hopper
Role: 
Research Associate
Miss Jasmine Loo
Role: 
Research Associate
Dr John Cheek
Role: 
Research Associate
Dr Vi Chong
Role: 
Research Associate
Ms Amy Baylis
Role: 
Research Nurse
Ms Triona Stephens
Role: 
Research Nurse
Mr Joseph Mabuti
Role: 
Research Nurse
Miss Davina Buntsma
Role: 
Research Administrator
Ms Wendy Conrad
Role: 
Administrative Assistant
Ms Charlotte Molesworth
Role: 
Research Assistant
Ms Cathriona Clarke
Role: 
Data Entry Assistant
Ms Jane Mavoa
Role: 
Data Entry Assistant
Ms Melissa Doyle
Role: 
Data Entry Assistant
Ms Naile Alangor
Role: 
Volunteer
Ms Caitlin Bishop
Role: 
Volunteer
Ms Chloe Bradford
Role: 
Volunteer
Ms Lucy Davenport
Role: 
Volunteer
Ms Diana Dionisio
Role: 
Research Assistant
Ms Shaminka Gunartnam
Role: 
Volunteer
Ms Maggie Lam
Role: 
Volunteer
Ms Monica Nixon
Role: 
Volunteer
Ms Vanessa Rausa
Role: 
Volunteer
Mr Brendan Stevenson
Role: 
Volunteer

Paediatric Emergency Medicine Centre for Research Excellence (PEM CRE): This is a centre for research into common and important paediatric emergency conditions including head injury, epilepsy, stroke and infection. The centre brings together researchers across Australian and New Zealand emergency departments in the PREDICTnetwork, to collaborate in the completion of high-quality multi-centre clinical studies. A key focus of the centre is to generate new evidence and translate it into clinical practice. The PEM CRE aims to build capacity for future research through supporting higher degree projects (PhD, MD/MDSci and masters) in multicentre acute care studies. For more information contact the CRE Network Coordinators, Associate Professor Ed Oakley and Associate Professor Franz Babl.

The Take CARe Study: The Take CARe (Concussion Assessment and Recovery Research) pilot study is an innovative joint clinical and research project to improve the care of children who sustain a concussion and to identify predictors of delayed recovery following concussion.

Australian Paediatric Head Injury Rules Study (APHIRST): Computed tomography (CT) scans of the head provide rapid identification of intracranial injuries but are resource-intense investigations with radiation-related risks and the potential for anaesthetic complications in young or uncooperative children. The APHIRST study aims to discover the best way of determining which children should receive a CT scan. Twenty thousand children presenting to 10 PREDICT EDs with head injury will be investigated.

Biomarkers Study: Funded by the Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative/Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, this study will assess child and family function pre and post head injury as well as brain specific proteins in peripheral blood.

Concussion Study: Diagnostic tools are important to assess concussion in children. The researchers will validate the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool, Child version (ChildSCAT3).

Sedation and Analgesia:  Children undergo many procedures which can cause pain and distress. This project is developing a better way of measuring pain and distress in pre-verbal and early verbal children.

Brain Attacks: Stroke in children can cause long term disabilities and can be fatal, yet is often not recognised or treated quickly. Together with the Department of Neurology the group aims to better define and identify brain attacks - acute neurological changes, including strokes.

The Urine Clean Catch Collection in the Paediatric Emergency Department (U3C in ED): Urine samples in infants and young children can be difficult to obtain and time consuming. We are conducting a series of studies to improve the way we obtain urine samples in young children.

Psychosocial care for injured children: The ED research group collaborates with the Trauma Service and the Trauma Recovery Lab at Monash University to find out how to best support injured children and their families from a psychosocial perspective.

Cellulitis treatment at Home Or Inpatient in Children presenting to ED (CHOICE): The ED in collaboration with Hospital-In-The-Home (HITH) at the Royal Children's Hospital is conducting a series of studies to investigate if children with cellulitis can be safely treated with intravenous (IV) antibiotics at home.

Large randomised controlled trials:

  • PIMS Paediatric Intravenous Maintenance Solution study: A double blind placebo controlled randomised controlled trial to determine whether an intravenous fluid with 140mmol/L of sodium is safer than our currently recommended fluid (77mmol/L of sodium) when used for maintenance hydration in paediatric patients. This is in response to ongoing concerns regarding hyponatraemic encephalopathy occurring in association with fluids containing low sodium concentrations.
  • Treating infant colic with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri: The team helped conduct a double blind placebo controlled randomised trial to determine whether a probiotic reduces crying or fussing in infants with colic.
  • Convulsive Status Epilepticus (CSE): A double blind, placebo controlled randomised clinical trial at 10 PREDICT sites to investigate whether the medications levetiracetam or phenytoin is better at stopping status epilepticus – a condition in which the brain is in a constant state of seizure - in children. 
Funding: 

Additional funding:

  • Murdoch Children's Research Institite
  • A+ Trust Research Grant
  • Auckland Medical Research Foundation
  • Perpetual Philanthropic Services
  • Queensland Emergency Medicine Research Foundation
  • Victorian Managed Insurance Authority
  • Foundation for Children
  • National Stroke Foundation
  • Collier Charitable Fund
  • Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative
Collaborations: 

Campus

  • Neuropsychology: Prof V Anderson; Dr A Crichton; Ms V Manikas-PhD head injury
  • Neurology: Dr M Mackay; A/Prof S Harvey
  • General Medicine/Hospital in the Home: Dr S McNab, Prof T Duke, Prof M South; Dr P Bryant
  • Intensive Care: Dr B Gelbart
  • Anaesthesia/Pain Service: Dr S Sabato, A/Prof G Palmer

State

  • Austin Hospital; Prof G Davis
  • Florey Institute & National Stroke Institute; A/Prof L Churilov
  • National Trauma Research Institute; Prof R Gruen
  • Monash University; Dr E Alisic; Dr S Craig
  • Paediatric Emergency Research Group Victoria

National

  • PREDICT
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, Paediatric Specialty Writing Group
  • Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists/Faculty of Pain Medicine

International

  • PERN (Pediatric Emergency Research Network)
  • Starship Children's Hospital, NZ; Dr S Dalziel
  • Royal Bristol Hospital, UK; Dr M Lyttle
  • Hospital for Sick Children, Canada; Dr S Schuh
  • Cork University Hospital, Ireland; Prof R O'Sullivan