Critical burns victims at Queensland’s Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH)
have a better chance of survival due to ground-breaking clinical research conducted by
the hospital’s Burns, Trauma & Critical Care Research Centre.
The Research Centre, which is a collaboration of RBWH and The University of
Queensland and funded by the RBWH Foundation, combines the medical expertise of
the hospital’s burns, intensive care and trauma units and is the first of its kind in
Fire protection specialist Wormald is a major supporter of the RBWH Foundation and
has donated $250,000 towards the Centre’s clinical research over the past five years.
“At RBWH, patients with 75% burns to their body have an incredible 50% chance of
survival; a result which is amongst the highest in the world”, said Mark Gowans,
Managing Director of Wormald. “The great work of the Burns, Trauma & Critical Care
Research Centre has helped achieve this and we are proud to be involved with this
According to Professor Jeffrey Lipman, Director of ICU and Director of the Burns,
Trauma & Critical Care Research Centre, the Centre’s collaborative approach is an
important contributor to its success.
“Serious burns are devastating injuries and a person’s complete physiology can take a
very long time to recover. Drawing resources and expertise from the three hospital units
has resulted in an increased survival rate for patients with very severe burns. Over the
last ten years, burn mortality rates at RBWH have been reduced by 33% - this is
amongst the best results in the world.”
The clinical research conducted by the Burns, Trauma & Critical Care Research Centre
is centred on a solid base of multidisciplinary expertise including burns surgeons,
anesthetists, cardiologists, neurosurgeons, scientists, pathologists, nutritionists,
physiotherapists and intensive care nurses. The Centre’s research is focused on
improving resuscitation, improving skin coverage through enhanced methods and
techniques and controlling infection by optimising antibiotic therapy.
The importance of antibiotic therapy was highlighted recently by the European Society of
Intensive Care Medicine when it recognised Professor Lipman for his research in
defining antibiotic levels in intensive care unit patients.
”Infection in a burn victim remains a challenging concern for any burns team and the
focus on antibiotic therapy is an important one of the Burns, Trauma & Critical Care
Research Centre”, said Michael Muller, Senior Burns Surgeon at RBWH. “Everyone at
RBWH is dedicated to saving and restoring lives to the best of our ability and this vital
research assists us in achieving this.”
Speaking of Wormald’s involvement with the RBWH Foundation Mark Gowans added,
“As an industry leader, it is not only important to provide effective fire safety solutions
which prevent fire and save lives, we must also provide support to those affected by fire.
Our involvement with the Foundation helps doctors in accessing resources and research
tools vital to assisting burns survivors and making sure they get the treatment they so