Research Governance

The GSA-HEMS Research committee is chaired by Dr. Brian Burns. The committee is comprised of GSA-HEMS consultants, CCPs and Ms. Sandra Ware (Acting Director of Research, NSW Ambulance).

Research governance follows the NSWA operating procedure and follows NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and best practice.

The research committee has been fallow for last 9 months, reactivating in August 2020, with bimonthly meetings. The GSA-HEMS staff specialist meeting receives monthly research reports. Both NSWA CEO and the Director of Aeromedical Operations receive an annual research report.   

Research Collaboration

1. PATCH trial. NHMRC Grant. PI for NSW: B.Burns. n=1120 (85%). Liverpool area road ambulances involved. German sites on-boarding. Completion March 2021. 

2. Evidence to change policy and improve health outcomes in children suffering major injury. Curtis K, Holland A, Mitchell R, Black D, Gruen R, Jan S, Foster K, Duflou J, Rigby O, Burns B; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Partnership Projects. Paper 3 of 5 in process. 3rd paper under review. Will frame discussion for adult aeromedical teams taking over  inter-hospital paediatric major trauma transfer. 

3. “Bstreetsmart and beyond” – an outcome evaluation for behaviour change in adolescents transitioning to driving. CI- Dr. Lisa Sharwood. Injury Epidemiologist. 

4. Description and prediction of outcome of drowning patients in New South Wales: protocol for a data-linkage study. CI- Amy E Peden. Royal Life Saving Society, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine,UNSW Sydney, NSW Institute of Trauma and Injury Management, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney.

5. IMPACT study (linking NSW Trauma Registry, APDC and Death registry, 2012-2016).This will look at injury profiles, severity, ICU, comorbidities including mental health dx and outcomes trends across 5 years. study (linking NSW Trauma Registry, APDC and Death registry, 2012-2016). We will look at injury profiles, severity, ICU,comorbidities including mental health dx and outcomes trends across 5 years.

6.  Accuracy of prehospital EFAST (Liverpool, Westmead). (Partyka, Bliss, Burns).

7. Feasibility study of prehospital fibrinogen concentrate in aeromedical environment. Collaborative research seeking to partner with LifeBlood and HealthANSWERS (ANU). 

8. RESUscitation of Refractory cardiac aRrest with Ecmo and End tidal CO2 – Cohort Study (RESET trial). Collaborative project led by Sydney ECMO Research Group. SVH, RPA, Liverpool, RNSH, Westmead, NSW Ambulance. $400k direct seed funding by Minster of Health. TRGS grant application submitted. 

Research Collaboration (in hibernation)

Trends in paralytic agent used in Prehospital Rapid Sequence Intubation: an Australian Perspective. Greater Sydney Area HEMS, NSW Ambulance. MedStar, South Australia Ambulance Service.

Review of shark bites treated by Australian HEMS. Greater Sydney Area HEMS, Northern

NSW Retrieval Service, Lismore Base Hospital, Gold Coast Hospital, John Hunter Hospital.    

Research (in hibernation) 

Characteristics associated with mortality in an Australian aeromedical service.

Description of doctor and paramedic fatigue management system by an Australian HEMS. 

Descriptive Factors Associated with Shock in AustralianPrehospital HEMS Trauma Patients.

Review of IO blood transfusion by an Australian HEMS.

Oesophageal intubation rate in prehospital anaesthesia by an Australian HEMS.

C2T2C2 Study. Comparison of accuracy of transcutaneous capnometry with EtCO2

and PaCO2 in critically ill intubated patients.

Review of winch operations by an Australian HEMS. 


Current Research Projects

Prehospital delayed sequence intubation by an Australian HEMS. 

GSA-HEMS Airway Research Database Project (I.Ferguson)

2020/STE01616 – A review of video laryngoscopy recordings entered into clinical data records for prehospital rapid sequence intubations at Sydney HEMS. (C.Hayes-Bradley)

Case series of paediatric intubations using VL. (J.Andrew,Ed Christensen,Miller, CHB)

The topicalisation study. (Miller,CHB)

Reliability of prehospital thromboelastography. Healthy volunteer study. (Scott, Burns)

Cadaveric Research Programme

This research is carried out by GSA-HEMS specialists (Burns, Ferguson, Healy, Partyka, Bliss) who are Faculty on STRESS.ME procedures course. Active programme in progress:

  1. Reliability of bougie hold-up in tracheal intubation.
  2. Pelvic binder vascular access.
  3. Creation of pericardial tamponade training model

Research Grants

2019/STE10462 – New South Wales Trauma Care Data-linkage Project (M. Miller). 20k

2020/STE00879 Prehospital code crimson activation – the initial experience from the Greater Sydney Area. (C.Partyka) 50k

External Research Supervision

No current research students under supervision. 

Research Guideline and Pathway

Our Research Guideline is available here.

The Pathway is as shown below:

This process will be adapted as we refine it, and the latest version uploaded.

We are in the process of developing research-design specific protocols (observational study, case series) based on the recently changed Australian ethics forms to make our process flow better.

We are happy for anyone to use and adapt our process, but please give us feedback on what you found good and bad and what you changed. Also, an acknowledgment in your protocol would be nice : ) .

Some helpful papers can be found here.

Previous Sydney HEMS publications can be found here.