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The treatment of upper limb injuries in emergency departments could soon be enhanced thanks to a new study at Redland Hospital.
A $90,000 research grant was awarded to Dr Henry Tsao and a small team of Bayside clinicians who will embark on a study to compare two different methods used to numb the arm to treat fractures and/or dislocations.
The Emergency Department (ED) Staff Specialist said the ‘SUPERB’ (SUPraclavicular block for Emergency Reduction of upper limb injuries vs Bier block) study was a randomised control trial launched in March this year that would run for the next 12-18months.
“The study aims to compare the efficacy and safety of two methods of regional anaesthesia for upper limb injuries: ultrasound-guided supraclavicular block versus Bier Block,” Dr Tsao said.
“I have been interested in the use of nerve blocks in the ED ever since I was a junior registrar.
“The current accepted standard of care here at Redland ED is the Bier Block, which involves injecting local anaesthetic around a nerve to numb the injured or painful part.
“A second type of nerve block - the Supraclavicular block is gaining interest amongst many emergency physicians but there is little research to demonstrate its efficacy or safety when performed in the ED.
“Therefore, I was keen to conduct a study of the two.”
Dr Tsao and his team hoped to publish their findings in an international peer-reviewed journal and were optimistic the study would improve patient outcomes.
“The project will also provide solid foundations for future research at Redland ED through enhancing awareness amongst staff on the importance of clinical research,” he said.