Celebrating five years

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Research Update Breakfast 2018

In 2018 Chevron Australia celebrates five years of partnership with the Fiona Wood Foundation. This partnership supports cutting edge research, education and training in burn care technology.

At our recent Research Update breakfast our stakeholders heard updates on three projects that have been supported by our partnership with Chevron Australia.
The presentations included a talk by Dr Andrew Stevenson who spoke about the results of a topically applied drug that contains Lysyl Oxidase inhibitor (LOXi), which in the laboratory is showing signs of improving wound healing and scar outcomes. The team is continuing to work on other properties relating to the stability of the drub and are keen to move to clinical trials.

Karol Karnowski, Research Fellow at the Optical & Biomedical Engineering Laboratory at UWA, talked about the assessment of the upper airway geometry using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). The scanner that was designed in this project uses catheter probe and infrared light to measure the airway lumen. Safe measurement and monitoring of patients with serious burn injuries is important to ensure sufficient fluid resuscitation and to reduce tissue swelling, also prioritising resources in terms of assessing patients who require incubation. The study of healthy volunteers revealed that body position is an important factor influencing airway volume, and that the ideal body positioning to sustain breathing and airway function is upright.

The final talk provided by Paul Gittings, one of our senior physiotherapists and clinical researchers, spoke about the use of resistance training in acute burn injury. The research in this area is a world first and shows early signs of effectiveness in improving muscle strength and function after burn injury. Participants commence the resistance training program within 72 hours of a burn injury, commit to 3 sessions of training per week for four weeks and are assessed at various timepoints post burn. A handheld muscle strength dynamometer has been validated for use in patients with a burn injury as part of this project and is proving to be a clinically effective and reliable tool to measure muscle strength. Full analysis of the final results is a month away and we look forward to updating you on the results.

A great way to conclude our event and start the morning, was with a cheque presentation from Count Charitable Foundation (CCF). WA representative, Helen Tasker presented Fiona with a terrific cheque for $15,000. CCF have been proud supporters of the Foundation for the last three years.

From the lab to the development of innovative biomedical technology to the bedside in the clinical environment of the Burns Unit, we hope to improve outcomes for our patients across the continuum. Our research work is not possible without the support of partnerships such as Chevron Australia, CCF and all the other relationships we have in place. We value the support we receive from all in the community and appreciate the opportunity to present our work to those who have made it possible – thank you.

 Photos below: 1. Chevron Ambassadors; 2. (L-R): Paul Gittings, Karol Karnowski, Andrew Stevenson & Fiona; 3. Helen Tasker (CCF) with Fiona



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