For 25 years, Prof. Rinaldo Bellomo, Director, Intensive Care Research Unit, has been asking questions to help the Austin Health ICU team pursue the very best care for critically ill patients. He has led or been involved in more than 1,300 research projects that have improved care for thousands of patients at Austin Health and around the world.
Why is research so important? It gives medical teams and researchers insights and breakthroughs into the treatments, therapies and medications that can be used to fight life-threatening conditions.
Prof. Bellomo and the ICU team have undertaken extensive research work in almost every aspect of intensive care. In fluid rescuscitation, antibiotic care, kidney replacement therapy, liver support therapy, glucose or sugar control therapy, to name a few.
We asked for your help to fund two projects:
Nearly half of the 2,500 patients admitted into intensive care each year need to be ventilated. Because this is an invasive and unpleasant procedure, they are first sedated and kept sedated for the duration of the time they are ventilated.
Currently there is no accurate way of measuring the level of sedation a patient is at. Too much sedation can cause agitation, confusion or delirium upon waking up. This can potentially result in longer term cognitive difficulties in patients' ability to talk, walk, socialise and be pain-free.
You helped us buy one new state-of-the-art EEG monitoring unit! Thank you.
Electroencephalography (EEG) helps to measure a patient's brain waves while under sedation to providing better monitoring of the brain.
You are helping transform intensive care by helping the ICU team better understand the effects of sedation on the brain, allowing them to bring patients out of sedation better, minimising any effects.
During cardiac surgery, research has shown that oxygen levels in the brain can drop significantly. During their recovery, patients are asked to complete simple tasks - such as to put a peg in a hole or draw a clock face - and they are unable to.
Prof. Bellomo and his team are the first in the world to research oxygen levels in the brain after cardiac surgery - seeking to understand why patients' cognitive skills are affected and impaired.
You helped us buy one new state-of-the-art EEG monitoring unit! Thank you!
This will help measure brain oxygen data from patients during their recovery from cardiac surgery, allowing the research team to collect vital data which will help patients recover well, get home sooner and have fewer longer-term effects.
How you have helped transform intensive care.
Diagnosed with sepsis, Walter was critically ill when he was admitted to the ICU.