News & Stories

Research project to deliver world-first data on impacts of chest infections post surgery

Research | Newsroom

New research which will deliver world-first data on the impacts of chest infections after major survey, for both patients and hospitals, has been funded through an NHMRC Investigator Grant.

Ianthe Boden, physiotherapist and senior lecturer at the University of Tasmania’s School of Health Sciences, was awarded $574,120 to investigate how best to prevent pulmonary complications after surgery.

Postoperative pulmonary complications (PCCs), such as pneumonia, can occur in one third of all patients undergoing major abdominal surgery or cardiothoracic surgery.

“Contracting a chest infection after major surgery can be catastrophic,” Ianthe said.

“Despite the seriousness of this complication, we know little about how common it is, how much it costs hospitals and how it impacts a person’s recovery.

“My research will provide world-first data on the impact of chest infections after major surgery, treatment guidelines for clinicians, and online methods to deliver breathing training before surgery – a treatment known to prevent chest infections after surgery.”

Clifford Craig Foundation CEO Peter Milne said Northern Tasmania should be very proud of this exciting work. The foundation has supported Ianthe’s research in this area for more than a decade.

“It is a wonderful achievement for a local clinician researcher to be recognised with a grant from the NHMRC,” Mr Milne said.

“This will enable Ianthe to further her research into the prevention of chest infection after surgery, which was initially made possible through a grant from the Clifford Craig Foundation.”

In addition to Ianthe’s success in NHMRC funding, Dr Dean Picone was also awarded an Investigator Grant in the latest round.

Dr Picone, from the University’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research, has been studying the effectiveness of blood pressure monitors. His research has found that there is a need to improve the accuracy of standard blood pressure measurement methods, which should lead to better management of high blood pressure.

Dr Picone received $655,000 for his project, “Saving lives with better blood pressure management”. He will examine new methods for measuring blood pressure, as well as promoting best practice techniques and further analysing the accuracy of measurements in high-risk patients.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Grants are awarded to emerging and established leaders in health and medical research across Australia.