People

The PRECRU team

Adjunct staff


Current PRECRU HDR students

Jason Belcher Masters thesis: Accuracy of call-taker assessment of patient conscious state during emergency ambulance calls in Western Australia

Qualifications

Bsc(Digital Media), Bsc (Paramedicine)

Accuracy of call-taker assessment of patient conscious state during emergency ambulance calls in Western Australia

Ellen Ceklic PhD thesis: Pre-hospital emergency medical services prioritisation of road crash victims: a retrospective study using population based linked data.

Ellen Ceklic

Qualifications

Bsc(Psych)(Hons), GCHumanFact

PhD thesis

Pre-hospital emergency medical services prioritisation of road crash victims: a retrospective study using population based linked data.

Summary

During the ‘000’ phone call, accurate description of the patients’ condition by a bystander at the scene of a road crash is important for effective prioritisation of ambulance dispatch, and also for the provision of first-aid instructions by the call-taker. Based on a series of scripted questions prescribed by the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS), the call-taker attempts to determine the severity of injury and the required ambulance priority. For road crashes, an approach for determining the need for urgent medical care could be using on-scene characteristics of the crash such as airbag deployment, involvement of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians or requirement for extrication. This research proposes to investigate the on-scene crash characteristics that are associated with patient acuity for those involved in a road crash.

Why my research is important

Through improved identification of patients requiring urgent care, the proposed research represents a potential improved efficiency in the allocation of limited ambulance resources by reducing over-triage of road crash victims. Whilst outcomes for road crash patients are unlikely to improve from this research there is indirect benefit for other patients.

Ellen has worked as an analyst for various state and federal government departments. She is skilled in the analysis of complex linked datasets.

Nicole Frances Mckenzie PhD thesis: Post-resuscitation care after out of hospital cardiac arrest: Identification of in hospital prognostic determinants

Qualifications

MPH, PG Dip (Critical Care), B Nurs, RN

Summary

Nicole Mckenzie is a PhD candidate at PRECRU and holds an Adjunct Research Associate position at Royal Perth Hospital in Western Australia.

Originally from Perth, Nicole was awarded a postgraduate qualification in clinical nursing in 2000 and completed a Master of Public Health in 2009. She has a background in critical care nursing in Australia and the Middle East, including contracts in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Nicole is an Aus-ROC PhD scholar and also holds an Australian Postgraduate Award and a Curtin University Postgraduate Scholarship (CUPS).

Why Nicole’s research is important

Nicole’s research aims to describe the in-hospital post-resuscitation care of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients. Post-resuscitation care is an important link in the chain of survival after OHCA. An observational cohort study that describes the in-hospital post-resuscitation care of OHCA patients and quantifies its association with patient outcomes will provide opportunities to improve post-resuscitation care.

Jonathon Burcham Masters Thesis: Sepsis in the Ambulance; Identification and Treatment (SAINT)

Qualifications

BSc (Nursing), PG Dip (Emergency Nursing), PG Cert (General Nursing), MPhil Candidate, MACN

Summary

Jonathon is the Clinical Nurse Manager for the Centre for Clinical Research in Emergency Medicine (CCREM) at Royal Perth Hospital. Registered in 2008, he worked on medical and surgical wards and the Intensive Care Unit at Fremantle Hospital before specialising in Emergency Nursing.

Achieving his Post Graduate Diploma in Emergency Nursing in 2016, Jonathon developed a special interest in evidence based practice and clinical research.

Jonathon is the proud husband and father of four, completing his MPhil part time at PRECRU.

Why my research is important

Sepsis causes a significant burden of death and disease throughout the world. Outside of the intensive care setting, sepsis is hard to classify and therefore epidemiological data about the incidence of sepsis in prehospital patients is lacking in Australia. What is known from large international data sets is that ambulance paramedics attend patients with sepsis more often than other common emergency conditions such as stroke and heart attack. Ambulance paramedics are strategically placed to screen patients for sepsis ahead of their transport to hospital; and thereby potentially initiate the definitive care pathway earlier. The aim of this Sepsis in the Ambulance; IdeNtification and Treatment (SAINT) study is to review the literature describing pre-hospital screening tools for sepsis identification and apply one of them to a retrospective cohort of St John WA patients, to assess its potential utility. Early recognition and treatment could save the lives of patients suffering sepsis.

 

Paige Watkins Ph.D. Thesis - The Epidemiology of Ambulance Attended Falls in Western Australia (WA).

Qualifications

B.Sc. Exercise, Sports & Rehabilitation (Hons).

Summary

Paige Watkins is a student in the Prehospital, Resuscitation and Emergency Care Research Unit (PRECRU) in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin University. This research aims to examine the factors surrounding ambulance attendance and paramedic intervention to falls in WA.

Why my research is important

Australia’s population is ageing and the risk of falling increases significantly with age. More than 40% of people ages > 65 years will experience at least one fall each year increasing the demand for Emergency Response Services (EMS). This research aims to explore The Pre-Hospital Epidemiology and management of Ambulance attended falls in Western Australia.

Dr David Majewski PhD Thesis: The epidemiology of out of hospital cardiac arrests in Western Australia

Qualifications

DPM, Grad Dip, BSc, Dip

PhD Thesis

The Epidemiology of Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests in Western Australia

Summary

This research aims to examine the factors that influence short and long term survival in OHCA.

Why my research is important

Out of hospital cardiac arrest is a major global health concern that results in substantial loss of life. Despite many improvements in patient care, survival remains low, with approximately 10 per cent of patients surviving to hospital discharge. One potential way to reduce mortality is to identify those populations at greatest risk for OHCA. However, our current understanding of chronic health conditions and their effect on OHCA is limited. This research therefore aims to develop a better understanding of the epidemiology of OHCA patients before cardiac arrest in order to gain a greater appreciation of what health factors are associated with OHCA and their relation to survival.

David has been awarded a Research Training Program (RTP) stipend, Curtin Research Scholarship (CRS) and a PRECRU Scholarship to fund his research.

PRECRU affiliated HDR students

Elaine Schneiker PhD Thesis: Communication factors and triage accuracy in emergency calls to ambulance services for suspected Stroke

elaine

Qualifications

BSc (Hons1st), GradDip. PH, Certified Practicing Speech Language Pathologist (CPSLP)

PhD Thesis

Communication factors and triage accuracy in emergency calls to ambulance services for suspected Stroke

Summary

The emergency call is the ‘first link in the chain of survival’ for patients with time-critical conditions, yet there is a lack of research on this link. My PhD will investigate how communication factors during emergency calls may impact the accuracy of triage in suspected stroke cases.

Why my research is important

If a patient’s condition and severity is underestimated during an emergency call they may miss out on the timely arrival of critical care; alternatively, if a patient’s condition and severity is overestimated, this means that fewer ambulances are available for other patients in greater need. Identifying and describing communication difficulties within an emergency call can assist in managing over- and under- triage. This information can potentially improve patient outcomes, training for Communications Officers, and overall system efficiency.

Completed PRECRU HDR students

Milena Talikowska PhD Thesis: The relationship between the quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performed by paramedics and survival outcomes from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).

milena

Qualifications

MPhil, BEng (Hons), BSc

PhD Thesis

The relationship between the quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performed by paramedics and survival outcomes from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).

Thesis can be found here

Summary

Milena’s doctoral research sought to quantify the relationship between CPR quality and survival outcomes in OHCA patients attended by St John Ambulance (SJA) paramedics in Perth, Western Australia.

Data on CPR quality including compression rate, depth, and fraction, was collected using the Philips HeartStart MRx Monitor/Defibrillator which features the Q-CPR™ measurement/feedback tool.

Patient outcome data was obtained from the SJA-WA OHCA database which contained information from SJA-WA Patient Care Records for OHCAs attended by SJA-WA paramedics and is linked to the WA death registry and supplemented by hospital medical record review.

Statistical analysis was performed using STATA to determine whether a relationship existed between CPR quality and survival outcomes in the study population.

Why my research is important

Cardiac arrest (CA) is a significant global health issue, yet survival rates remain low (often less than 10%). CA is managed, in the first instance, using cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation. Over the past decade there has been an increased emphasis upon CPR quality. This study aimed to quantify the relationship between CPR quality and patient outcomes, and in doing so identified new ways by which to increase survival rates.

Milena was an Aus-ROC PhD scholar (https://www.ausroc.org.au/) and was also awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and a Curtin University Postgraduate Scholarship (CUPS) to fund her research.

Elizabeth Brown The Epidemiology of Trauma Patients Attended by a Paramedic Staffed Emergency Medical Service in Perth, Western Australia

elizebeth

Qualifications

BSc(Hons), MSc(Paramedical Science)

PhD thesis

The Epidemiology of Trauma Patients Attended by a Paramedic Staffed Emergency Medical Service in Perth, Western Australia

Copy can be found here

Summary

Trauma is a leading cause of death worldwide; including the leading cause of death in persons aged 15-44 years. The aim of this research is to describe the epidemiology of trauma patients that are attended by a paramedic staffed Emergency Medical Service, in the metropolitan area of Perth, Western Australian (WA). The specific objectives of this study are: 1. to describe the characteristics of patients with trauma; 2. to discuss the clinical interventions performed by paramedics for patients with traumatic injuries in the pre-hospital environment and 3. to explain the pre-hospital factors associated with 30-day mortality.

An understanding of the epidemiology of traumatic injuries that occur within the Perth, WA metropolitan region, can inform appropriate pre-hospital management that can lead to improved patient-centred outcomes. Improving patient outcomes is likely to reduce the burden of illness associated with traumatic injuries and improve the life-span and productivity of trauma patients. In addition, this research will provide evidence to inform policy makers and enable the specific demands of the trauma seen in WA to be met. Ultimately, the outcome of the study will enable the opportunity for improving patient outcomes through changes in the pre-hospital management of trauma.

Elizabeth is a paramedic currently employed by St John Ambulance Western Australia.  Previously she worked as a paramedic with the London Ambulance Service in the UK.