$4.6 million grant awarded to RPH anaesthetist

November 17, 2014

Professor Tomas Corcoran, Director of Research in the Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine has received $4.6 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council, the largest research project grant awarded in the 2014-2015 round.

Professor Corcoran is the Chief Investigator for the Perioperative Administration of Dexamethasone and Infection (PADDI) trial. He and his colleagues will conduct a major international study investigating the safety of dexamethasone, a commonly prescribed drug used to prevent post-operative nausea and vomiting.

“The aim of this research is to establish the safety of using dexamethasone as a nausea preventative during surgery, and to determine whether there are any associated risks,” said Professor Corcoran.

“Our current data suggests that the drug may be given to almost one million surgical patients every year. The concern is that it may increase the risk of serious infection following surgery since it also can suppress many functions of the immune system.”

The study will provide strong evidence for health professionals to make more informed decisions when administering the drug.

The five-year study will involve 9,000 patients from countries including Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, with four Western Australian hospitals participating.