7-SIGMA Study

Project Details


7-SIGMA –St John Severe Sympathomimetic Associated Serotonin Syndrome Study

A case series of pre-hospital management and outcomes in music festival patrons presenting with drug-induced hyperthermia.

Consumption of recreational drugs is common at music festivals in Victoria. One type of drug that is frequently consumed are the so-called “uppers”. The desired effect of these drugs is to stimulate the release of certain chemicals from the brain that result in emotional euphoria, and a feeling of wellbeing and friendliness. However, the effect of these drugs is also highly unpredictable, and is dependent on the amount and purity of the substance consumed, the inherent (genetic) ability of the patient to break down (metabolise) the drug, and the ambient weather conditions at the time of the event. In the event that an excess of the drug is inadvertently consumed, then a number of life-threatening side effects can occur, the most serious of which is a very high body temperature(drug-induced hyperthermia).Over the last 12 years, St John Ambulance Australia (Victoria) has acquired significant experience in the management of these patients at the events at which the drug was consumed.

The 7-SIGMA study has been designed to better describe the pattern of how these patients present with drug-induced hyperthermia, the effectiveness of pre-hospital management strategies currently employed, and collect data on the outcomes of those patients who require hospital care.


Principal Investigator
Dr Lachlan Miles

Ms Kristy Austin
Dr Martin Dutch
A/Professor Alan Eade
Dr Shaun Greene
Dr Anthony Rotella

Site investigators
Dr David Anderson, Alfred Health
Dr Jacqualine Maplesden, Ste Vincent's Health
A/Professor Forbes McGain, Western Health


St John Ambulance Australia
Victorian Poisons Information Centre (Austin Toxicology Service)
Better Care Victoria
Alfred Health
Monash Health
St Vincent's Hospital
Western Health

Research Group

Toxicology Anaesthesia, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

School Research Themes

Critical Care

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Critical Care

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