People

The PRECRU team

Adjunct staff


Current PRECRU students

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

Masters

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

Elizabeth Brown PhD thesis: The Pre-Hospital Management of Major Trauma in Western Australia

elizebeth

Qualifications

BSc(Hons), MSc(Paramedical Science)

PhD thesis

The Pre-Hospital Management of Major Trauma in Western Australia

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.

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

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 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.

Dr David Majewski The epidemiology of out of hospital cardiac arrests in Western Australia: A population-based linked data study

Qualifications

DPM, Grad Dip, BSc, Dip

PhD Thesis

The Epidemiology of Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests in Western Australia: A Population-based Linked Data Study

Summary

This research will utilize linked health data from a number of WA health agencies to profile the characteristics of OHCA patients and describe the relationship between pre-existing health conditions and outcome of OHCA.

The linked health data will be obtained from the St John Ambulance WA OHCA database, the hospital morbidity database, emergency department databases and the WA death registry.

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 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.

Previous PRECRU 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).

Summary

Milena’s doctoral research seeks 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, will be collected using the Philips HeartStart MRx Monitor/Defibrillator which features the Q-CPR™ measurement/feedback tool.

Patient outcome data will be obtained from the SJA-WA OHCA database which contains 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 will be performed using STATA to determine whether a relationship exists 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 aims to quantify the relationship between CPR quality and patient outcomes, and in doing so may identify new ways by which to increase survival rates.

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