Monday, 8 August 2016

RACS Scholarship win for SPHPM trauma research

Deputy Head of SPHPM’s Prehospital, Emergency and Trauma Research, Dr Ben Beck was recently awarded the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Foundation for Surgery Brendan Dooley/Gordon Trinca Trauma Research Scholarship, for his project ‘Trauma deaths in Victoria, Australia – Epidemiology and preventability’.

This $10,000 scholarship has been established to encourage research into the prevention and treatment of trauma injuries in Australia and New Zealand – it is one of the few scholarships awarded by the College that is open to medical researchers working outside the field of surgery.

“Our project will focus on trauma deaths in the prehospital phase, that is, those who die at the scene and do not make it to hospital,” said Dr Beck.

“Relative to in-hospital deaths, we know that the proportion of trauma patients who died at the scene is increasing over time. While the development of the Victorian State Trauma Service has led to significant improvements in outcomes for patients who survive to hospital, little research has been conducted on those patients who die at the scene.”

The study aims to firstly provide an epidemiological overview of the specific causes of death in trauma, and secondly use expert panel reviews of individual cases to identify components of the current clinical pathways where current best evidence care was not delivered.

This information will then be used to determine whether any of these deaths may have been prevented throughout the chain of survival, such as bystander assistance, faster ambulance response, shorter paramedic scene times and specific clinical managements.

“We also plan to identify cases where novel prehospital therapies may improve outcomes. It is envisaged that this work will lead to the identification of targeted interventions that may improve survival in these patients.

The financial support from the Brendan Dooley/Gordon Trinca Scholarship will be used to fund an expert to code injuries detailed in coronial findings; a critical component of the project as it ensures that injuries are quantified in an internationally-recognised coding system, known as the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS), which will enable the identification of patients whose injuries may have been survivable.

Gordon Trinca was a trauma surgeon who was instrumental in the introduction of the Early Management of Severe Trauma Program and Brendan Dooley is a retired Orthopaedic Fellow who contributed greatly to the work of the RACS Road Trauma Committee. Dr Ben Beck is a Research Fellow with the Australian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (Aus-ROC) and the Victorian State Trauma Outcomes Registry Monitoring Group (VSTORM).

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