We are pleased to announce that Austal is supporting a component of Dr Sarah McGarry’s research, investigating stress in burns patients. This project forms part of the Fiona Wood Foundation’s flagship research project – The Impact of Burn Injury on the Nervous System.
Burn injuries have been described as one of the most painful injuries an individual can sustain. As research in the area of stress advances it is increasingly documented that long term stress is associated with a range of diseases and illnesses including cancer and cardiovascular disease. Currently there is no objective measure to assess and monitor stress in burn patients. Such an assessment would allow monitoring of stress in burns patients, an increased understanding of the effect of stress on healing, rehabilitation and long-term outcomes for patients, and will identify appropriate and successful management strategies.
We are utilising a world first method of taking hair samples to measure cortisol as a measure of stress. This method is objective and non-invasive and as well as recording individuals current stress levels it is unique in that provides retrospective data of an individual’s stress levels pre-injury, a phenomenon never previously recorded.
Not only are Austal providing financial support for this project, volunteers from their work force will participate in the study as a control group for our research analysis. With the support from Austal this project is well positioned to make a difference to the lives of those who sustain burn injuries.