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Appropriate Emergency Care

Our overarching aim is to challenge established ideas and to investigate interventions that may lead to: 

  • better patient outcomes
  • greater staff satisfaction
  • better health economic outcomes. 

Our key is to search for the most appropriate care. We research acute clinical conditions in the Emergency Department, where doing less may be better. The overarching theme aligns with the ‘Deliberate Clinical Inertia’ concept.

Some examples of this research focus are: 

  • conservative treatment for primary spontaneous pneumothorax (air leakage between the lungs and chest) rather than inserting a drain
  • finding the best balance for fluid resuscitation in sepsis
  • treating boxers’ fractures with a buddy strap rather than plaster
  • avoiding unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions
  • treating intoxicated patients with observation alone, rather than intravenous fluids.

In 2018, our pillar had various successes. Specifically, we became involved in 15 active projects, with our grants totalling over A$400,000. We also published 20 papers, and we supported a research registrar and 10 medical students to become involved in projects.

Pillar aims

We encourage staff and students to challenge current practice and seek improvement areas, avoiding unnecessary treatments that are without evidence or may even cause harm.

These research questions aim to result in: 

  • increased junior researcher numbers
  • multi-centre and multi-disciplinary collaborations.

Our team

Name Job title/s
Ms Amanda Harley Research Nurse
Ms Amy Sweeny

Research development

Manager and Nurse


Dr Laura Hamill Research Registrar
Dr Katya May Nurse Researcher
Dr Kerina Denny

Registrar and Queensland

Junior Doctor Scholarship



Research themes

Our research focuses on themes including:

  • appropriate overall use of antibiotics but also for subgroups such as urinary tract infections, skin infections, dog bites, and otitis media in children
  • fluid resuscitation in sepsis
  • respiratory studies about dyspnoea (breathing difficulties), management of pneumothorax (collapsed lung), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma.

Our partners

We collaborate with several partners, including:

Our pillar also collaborates with seventy other Emergency Departments throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Last updated 14 Nov 2019