Skip to main content

Appropriate Emergency Care pillar

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 the following completed projects:

•         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

In the last 12 months until early 2020, our pillar had various successes. Specifically, we became involved in >15 active projects, with our grants totalling approximately AUD $4 Million AUD. The group was involved with > 20 peer reviewed papers, and we supported a research registrar, several junior medical staff and over 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 Amy Sweeny Research development, Manager & Nurse Researcher
Ms Emma Hall Research Nurse
Ms Rachael Dunning Nurse Unit Manager
Dr Philip Jones Research Fellow
Dr Rachael Nightingale Current Research Registrar
Dr Laura Hamill Prior Research Registrar
Ms Amanda Harley Research Nurse
Dr Richy Pellatt Research Fellow
Mr Hugo Evison Queensland Ambulance Service Officer
Dr Kerina Denny Registrar & Queensland, Junior Doctor
Scholarship recipient
Ms Brittany Skelsey Department Support Officer

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.
          This includes support for clinical decision making (including the DECIDE
          application -
•         Hemodynamic resuscitation in patients with sepsis.
•         Appropriateness of peripheral intravenous cannulae (PIVC) insertions in
          the emergency setting.
•         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:
•         Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group (ANZICS CTG)
•         Bond University
•         Centre for Clinical Research in Emergency Medicine Perth (CCREM)
•         Griffith University
        - Vascular Biology, Biochemistry and Imaging/Experimental Laboratory Science
          (XLabS) research group
        - AVATAR group
•         The University of Queensland

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

Last updated 22 Feb 2023