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A/Professor Franz Babl
A/Professor Franz Babl is the Group Leader of Emergency Research at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. He works as a paediatric emergency physician at The Royal Children's Hospital and is affiliated with the University of Melbourne. He studied in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and trained in the USA as a paediatrician, emergency physician and infectious diseases physician.
He is the co-founder and founding chair of the Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) network in Australia and New Zealand. This network involves all major tertiary paediatric hospitals in Australia and New Zealand, with an annual census of half a million paediatric presentations. This collaboration is uniquely placed to conduct multicentre trials.
He has conducted a number of collaborative studies within the PREDICT network. He is currently a mentor and supervisor to advanced trainees, PhD students and early career researchers at the Royal Children's Hospital and within PREDICT. He is Chief Investigator on a number of National Health and Medical Research Council funded studies.
- Director of Emergency Research, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne
- Researcher, National Trauma Research Institute
- Associate Professor, University of Melbourne
2000: Howard H. Kass Award for Clinical Excellence, Massachusetts Infectious Disease Society
2010: Career Development Grant, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
2010: Victorian Health Care Awards (Innovation) Runner up
2011: Emergency Care Institute Evidence into Action Best Paper Award: 'Can parents recognise a tight plaster?' International Conference for Emergency Nurses, Hobart, Tasmania
2012: Best original research award International Conference on
2013: Emergency Medicine 2012 Dublin Ireland: 'Prospective randomised trial comparing nasogastric with intravenous hydration in children'
2013: Best research award. Australasian College of Emergency Medicine Annual Scientific Meeting 2013, Adelaide: 'Topical lignocaine to improve oral intake in children with painful infectious mouth ulcers: a blinded randomised placebo-controlled trial.'
2013: John Gilroy Potts Award for best published research by a fellow Australasian College of Emergency Medicine: 'Prospective randomised trial comparing nasogastric with intravenous hydration in children'
A/Professor Babl's main focus and interest include:
Head Injury research:
The research team is conducting a number of head injury related studies:
- To externally validate clinical decision rules for the management of head injuries in children (PREDICT network, PhD thesis Dr Silvia Bressan)
- To validate the SCAT3 and SCAT3 child assessment tool after concussion (with Prof Gavin Davis, Austin Hospital)
- To investigate the role of biomarkers with the Department of Neuropsychology at the Royal Children's Hospital (Prof Vicki Anderson) and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto Canada.
- To investigate the cognitive effects of exercise after head injuries (PhD thesis Ms Vicky Manikas)
- To investigate the role of fatigue after head injuries (PhD thesis Dr Ali Crichton)
Brain attacks and stroke in children
In conjunction with the Department of Neurology at The Royal Children's Hospital (Dr Mark Mackay) and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health (Professor Leonid Churilov) the research team is conducting studies:
- To better define the differences in symptoms between brain attacks/mimics and strokes in children.
- To develop an assessment tool to improve early recognition of stroke
Large randomised-controlled trials
A/Professor Babl is the Chief Investigator on two randomised controlled trials:
- Paediatric Intravenous Maintenance Solution Study (PIMS)
A single centre NHMRC funded RCT comparing IV maintenance fluids with different sodium content.
- Convulsive Status Epilepticus (CSE)
A double blind, placebo controlled RCT at 10 PREDICT sites to investigate whether levetiracetam or phenytoin is better at stopping status epilepticus in children.
Paediatric Emergency Medicine Centre for Research Excellence (PEM CRE)
This is a centre for research into common and important paediatric emergency conditions such as head injury, epilepsy, stroke and infection. The centre brings together researchers across Australian and New Zealand emergency departments in the PREDICT network, to collaborate in the completion of high quality multicentre 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 Coordinator: email@example.com (A/Professor Ed Oakley and A/Professor Franz Babl)
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 determine the best way of determining which children should receive a CT scan. 20,000 children presenting to 10 PREDICT emergency departments with head injury will be investigated. (PREDICT research network, A/Professor Ed Oakley, Dr Silvia Bressan, Dr John Cheek, A/Professor Franz Babl)
Brain Attacks: Stroke in children can cause long term disabilities or can be fatal yet is these attack are often not recognised or treated quickly. Together with the Department of Neurology we aim to better define and identify brain attacks – acute neurological changes, including strokes. (Dr Mark Mackay, A/Professor Franz Babl)
Concussion Study: Diagnostic tools are important to assess concussion in children. We will validate the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (Child version) (ChildSCAT3) and develop a better system of care after concussion. (Prof Gavin Davis, Prof Vicki Anderson, Dr Silvia Bressan (PhD student), A/Professor Franz Babl)
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. (Dr Sarah McNabb (PhD student), A/Professor A Davidson, A/Professor Simon Young, A/Professor Franz Babl)
Babl FE, Goldfinch C, Mandrawa C et al. Does Nebulized Lidocaine Reduce the Pain and Distress of Nasogastric Tube Insertion in Young Children? A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Pediatrics 2009;123:1548-1555.
Babl FE, Belousoff J, Theophilos T, Hopper S, Deasy C. Paediatric Procedural Sedation Based on Nitrous Oxide and Ketamine: Data from an Australian Sedation Registry. Emergency Medicine Journal 2010 Aug;27(8):607-12.
Yock-Corrales A, Mackay M, Mosley I, Maixner W, Babl FE. Acute Childhood Arterial Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke in the Emergency Department. Annals Emergency Medicine 2011;58(2):156-63
Crowe LM, Catroppa C, Babl FE, Anderson V. Intellectual, behavioural, and social outcomes of accidental traumatic brain injury in early childhood. Pediatrics 2012;129(2):e262-8
Crowe L, Catroppa C, Anderson V, Babl FE. Head injuries in children under 3 years. Injury 2012;43(12):2141-5.
Oakley E, Borland M, Neutze J, Acworth J, Krieser D, Dalziel S, Davidson A, Donath S, Jachno K, South M, Theophilos T, Babl FE. Nasogastric hydration versus intravenous hydration for infants with bronchiolitis: a randomised trial. Lancet Respiratory Medicine 2013; 1:113
Orme LM, Babl FE, Barnes C, Barnett P, Donath S, Ashley DM. Quality of life: Outpatient versus inpatient IV antibiotic management for pediatric oncology patients with low risk febrile neutropenia: A randomised trial. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2014 Mar 6. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25012. [Epub ahead of print]
Hopper SM, McCarthy M, Tancharoen C, Lee KJ, Davidson A, Babl FE. Topical lidocaine to improve oral intake in children with painful infectious mouth ulcers: a blinded, randomized placebo–controlled trial. Annals Emergency Medicine 2013 Nov 7. doi:pii: S0196-0644(13)01335-8. 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2013.08.022. [Epub ahead of print]
Mackay MT., Chua ZK., Lee M., Yock-Corrales A., Churilov L., Monagle P., Donnan GA., Babl FE. Stroke and nonstroke brain attacks in children. NEUROLOGY 82 (16) : 1434 - 40(2014) PubMed
Babl FE, Lyttle M, Bressan S et al. A prospective observational study to assess the diagnostic accuracy of clinical decision rules for children presenting to emergency departments after head injusries (protocol) : the Australian Paediatric Head Injury Rules Study (APHIRST). BMC Pediatrics 2014 Jun 13;14:148. doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-14-148
- National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grants
- 2014 NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence grant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine
- Health Research Council, NZ
- A+ Trust Research Grant, Auckland, NZ
- Auckland Medical Research Foundation, Auckland, NZ
- Perpetual Philanthropic Services, Melbourne, Australia
- Queensland Emergency Medicine Research Foundation, Brisbane, Australia
- Victorian Managed Insurance Authority, Melbourne, Australia
- Foundation for Children, Melbourne, Australia
- National Stroke Foundation, Melbourne, Australia
- Collier Charitable Fund, Melbourne, Australia
- Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative, Melbourne, Australia