Advanced-dressing trial shares in $6.5 million of WA Health funding

Profile image of Professor Toby Richards
Fiona Stanley Hospital surgeon, Professor Toby Richards, has been awarded funding in the latest round of the Medical and Health Research Infrastructure Fund
June 23, 2020

A Fiona Stanley Hospital researcher who is leading a project that will assess the effectiveness of “advanced dressings” in healing high-risk surgical wounds is among 120 local researchers sharing in $6.5 million of State Government research funding.

FSH surgeon and recently appointed Michael Lawrence Brown Chair of Surgery at the University of WA, Professor Toby Richards has been awarded funding in the latest round of the Medical and Health Research Infrastructure Fund.

The grant will support his work in leading the WA arm of SUNRISE, an international clinical trial that will determine whether patients whose incisions are dressed with negative-pressure bandages – which use a suction device to draw fluid away from the wound – experience lower rates of infection than those whose wounds are dressed with conventional bandages.

Infection is one of the most common complications of emergency surgery, occurring in 20 to 30 per cent of cases and putting patients at increased risk of potentially devastating consequences.

In what is thought to be a first for WA, the project is also giving university medical students and junior doctors the opportunity to be part of an international randomised controlled trial.

Local hospitals participating in SUNRISE are Fiona Stanley, Sir Charles Gairdner, Joondalup Health Campus and St John of God Subiaco.

MHRIF grants are available only to high-performing researchers who have been successful in securing funding for their research from the National Health and Medical Research Council or a funding body of similar standing.

The grants are used to help cover indirect expenses associated with their projects, which could include the costs of general utilities or administrative support.

On top of the $6.5 million in MHRIF, WA’s six medical research institutes will share in $2.8 million under the State Government’s Research Institute Support program. The allocation of RIS funding is based on each Institute’s’ success in obtaining competitive grant income. It enables them to buy resources essential for supporting quality research.

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