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Queensland children are set to benefit from the latest round of Health Services Research grant winners, funded by Children’s Hospital Foundation corporate partner, The Lott by Golden Casket.

The Lott by Golden Casket have granted nearly $500,000 to some of Queensland’s brightest minds in paediatric research, including two female researchers aiming to create better futures for kids across the state and beyond.

One research project is aiming to propose a state-wide process for the transfer of sick kids between care facilities, led by Sunshine Coast researcher, Dr Clare Thomas (pictured below).

Most paediatric inter-facility transfers within Australia are of unwell children who do not qualify for patient transport via specialist paediatric retrieval services but still require transfer to access specialised paediatric care not offered at their current healthcare facility.

Dr Clare Thomas has developed a strategy to improve the safe transfer of these children called Standardised Workflow for Inter-Facility Transfer of Kids (SWIFTKids), which has already been implemented within the Sunshine Coast district.

Another piece of research funded thanks to The Lott is a study that is set to reduce extravasation injuries in hospitalised children across the country, led by Griffith University Associate Professor and paediatric clinician, Dr Amanda Ullman (pictured above).

The insertion of an intravenous (IV) catheter is the most common invasive procedure in hospital. Extravasation injuries occur when IVs stop working, causing medication being infused to pool into tissue instead of entering the bloodstream. This simple malfunction can cause serious harm, often resulting in permanent scarring.

These injuries are particularly common in paediatric medicine, as children have small, fragile vessels, and are often unable to communicate to their treating team when their IV starts to hurt.

Dr Ullman recently led the development of the international guidelines on the selection and insertion of IVs for children requiring medical treatment. Known as the Michigan Appropriateness Guide for Intravenous Catheters in Paediatrics, or miniMAGIC, the goal is to ensure that the right type of IV is always inserted in the right place, at the beginning of treatment.

Her study will tailor and implement miniMAGIC to improve safe and appropriate IV selection across the Queensland Children’s Hospital. This project will minimise additional trauma, including scarring, for children seeking medical treatment.

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