$10m in MRFF grants awarded to collaborators from the CICC paediatric emergency research team

The emergency medicine research team at the Royal Children's Hospital and Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI), their collaborators from other PREDICT sites (Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative), with colleagues in infectious diseases, general medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, radiology and neuropsychology  have received $10 million in the latest Medical Research Futures Fund (MRFF) round to conduct four projects.

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$1.6m for urinary tract infection randomised controlled trial

Urinary tract infections are the most common reason in the developed world for children to need antibiotics. UTIs account for 1.2 per cent of all problems managed in Australian general practice, and 12 per cent of preventable hospitalisations across all age groups. This funding is for a five year-randomised controlled trial to see whether complicated UTIs can be treated within a single day dose of intravenous antibiotics, instead of the current three- day regimen. This group of patients has been excluded from previous trials, meaning that current practice varies widely across hospitals, adding to hospitalisations as well as potentially contributing to antimicrobial resistance. The trial will be run at PREDICT network sites around Australia, led by The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

$2.5m for neck injuries study

In adults high quality clinical decision rules exist to guide the decision making in patients with possible neck injuries. 60 percent or more of children with possible neck injuries will have an X-ray, CT scan or MRI. Overall, however, less than one per cent actually have abnormalities detected on imaging. The SONIC study aims to identify whether existing decision rules or a newly developed child specific rule can reduce unnecessary imaging and the accompanying radiation exposure, time, inconvenience, patient discomfort and expense, while still ensuring optimal outcomes for these children. This five-year multi-centre study of neck imaging will involve up to 30,000 children with possible neck injuries presenting to Australian and New Zealand emergency departments.  The study will be run at PREDICT network sites around Australia and New Zealand, led by The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

$4m for child stroke study

Stroke diagnosis and management is well established in adults. In children stroke diagnosis is often delayed and there are no well established care protocols and pathways. Yet, each year up to 600 Australian children suffer a stroke; one in 20 die and more than half of survivors will experience long-term impairments. The Australian Paediatric Acute Code Stroke (PACS) study will design, develop and evaluate a national protocol to increase stroke diagnosis within 4.5 hours for infants, children and teens. The study will use clinical decision support tools and advanced brain imaging to improve stroke management in children. The study will be run at PREDICT network sites around Australia and New Zealand, led by The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

$1.975m for child concussion randomised controlled trial

Concussion accounts for more than 95 per cent of all mild traumatic brain injury, with 20 per cent of all children sustaining a concussive injury before age 10. Due to the developing brain’s immaturity, children and adolescents are uniquely vulnerable, even to mild injury, and up to 40 per cent suffer slower than average or incomplete recovery. This study will fund an RCT to develop and trial multidisciplinary, symptom-targeted treatments to reduce persisting post concussive symptoms and develop a simple blood test to identify biomarkers of persistent concussion symptoms and recovery mechanisms. This study will be conducted at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and at Queensland Children’s Hospital.

Further information

For enquiries contact fbabl@rch.org.au

More Information

Franz Babl

franz.babl@rch.org.au