Initial destination hospital of paediatric prehospital patients in rural Victoria

Paramedics are required to make a variety of decisions regarding their patient, not only on the patient’s condition and course of treatment but also on the destination medical facility for further care.

The objective of this study by Kate Kloot was to describe the initial destination hospital of paediatric patients transported by Ambulance Victoria paramedics within the South Western area of Victoria to determine the proportion of patients that bypassed their closest hospital.

It found that almost 20% of paediatric patients were not transported to the closest hospital,  paramedics focused on patient condition and the distance to a larger hospital when choosing destination, and uncertainty regarding 24 hour availability of resources at smaller hospitals contributed to longer transports.

Access article on publisher site

Kloot K, Salzman S, Kilpatrick S, Baker T, Brumby SA. Initial destination hospital of paediatric prehospital patients in rural Victoria. Emerg Med Australas. 2016;28(2):205-10.

Last drinks: A study of rural emergency department data collection to identify and target community alcohol-related violence

Alcohol-related violence and injury is a significant public health problem and a substantial burden on hospital EDs, especially on weekends during ‘high-alcohol hours’.

In this study by Peter Miller and Nic Droste, from Deakin School of Psychology, and Tim Baker from CREM, all patients aged 15 years or older presenting to a regional emergency department  were asked whether alcohol was consumed in the 12 hours prior to injury, how many standard drinks were consumed, where they purchased most of the alcohol and where they consumed the last alcoholic drink.

The study found that this ED data collection was feasible, alcohol injuries were linked to identifiable venues and public areas, and packaged liquor sales substantially contribute to emergency department attendances.

Access article on publisher’s site

Miller P, Droste N, Baker T, Gervis C. Last drinks: A study of rural emergency department data collection to identify and target community alcohol-related violence. Emergency Medicine Australasia 2015, Jun;27(3):225-31.

Small rural emergency services still manage acutely unwell patients

Australian small rural emergency services need to be prepared to manage diverse problems and urgent patients.

Dr Tim Baker and Samantha Dawson conducted a study that collected 12-months worth of episode-level data from 6 small rural emergency departments in Victoria’s south-west.

They found that a wide range of problems presented and that most of the common procedures were performed. Most importantly, almost 6% of 14318 emergency patients were in the two most urgent triage categories.

Read more: Access article on publisher’s site

Baker T, and Dawson SL. Small rural emergency services still manage acutely unwell patients: A cross-sectional study [Internet]. Emergency Medicine Australasia. 2014;26(2):131-138.Available from:

Point of Care Troponin (POCT) Brief

February 2012

The Department of Health with South West Healthcare Warrnambool support have engaged on a six month pilot study followed by evaluation to trial Point of Care Troponin ( POCT) testing in emergency departments or urgent care centres in seven health services. Heywood, Portland, Moyne, Warrnambool, Camperdown, Terang and Timboon are the pilot sites.
POCT testing hopes to improve outcomes for patients by:

  • Faster results
  • Faster treatment
  • Better patient flow

The overall aim is to introduce an acute coronary syndrome pathway to Southwest Victoria and evaluate its impact by improving access to evidence-based acute and follow-up cardiac care through the provision of:

  • Agreed clinical pathway for chest pain
  • Introduce POCT testing
  • Improved access to a specialist cardiology advice line
  • Education for medical and nursing staff
  • Adherence to cardiac guidelines
  • Cardiac nurse facilitator

Project Lead:  Dr. Tim Baker
Project Coordination:  Integrated Cardiovascular Clinical network. Dr. Phil Tideman as Clinical Director and Rosy Tirimacco as the Network Operations and Research Manager.
Clinical Support:  Geelong Hospital Cardiology Dr. Sandy Black.
Project Support:  Victorian Cardiac Clinical Network

Margaret Bull. Cardiac Clinical Facilitator