Centre for Trauma Care, Prevention, Education and Research

Scientific director

Overview

The Centre for Trauma Care, Prevention, Education and Research (CTCPER) is the core centre for trauma services at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Its mission is to provide high quality services to children and adolescents injured due to traumatic events, to play a leading role in the prevention of injury among children and adolescents, and to conduct groundbreaking research in trauma care, prevention and education.

The Centre also plays an important role in training health professionals in trauma-related clinical skills and in providing safety information and education to the public.

Research achievements

CTCPER is a member of a large research consortium investigating the causes of car crash-related injuries among young drivers in NSW. A large-scale study in which more than 20,000 young drivers were followed for three years after obtaining their provisional licences has just been completed and the research team is conducting data analyses currently.

Earlier research into the factors that put young people at risk of motor vehicle accident injuries identified the number of passengers carried by drivers under the age of 25 as a significant risk factor. These results, together with those of subsequent research, led to road and traffic authorities in New Zealand and Australia implementing legislation to restrict the number of passengers carried by these drivers. Recent road statistics indicate a decline in motor vehicle-related crashes and injuries.

Results obtained from CTCPER's school bus-related injuries study were instrumental in the implementation of 40 km/h zones around school areas during the time of day when most school children arrive at and leave from school.

There is an on-going research program into ways to improve the care and management of traumatically injured children admitted to hospital. A study on the transfer of paediatric trauma patients provided evidence for the Statewide Trauma Management Committee as a base for changing the statewide trauma transfer policy.

The centre has also developed a state wide network to investigate preventive factors for children falling out of residential buildings. A state wide intergovernmental working task force has been established and has also been officially launched by the NSW Health Minister to tackle this specific issue of childhood injury.

Concurrently, the centre has developed a collaborative group to examine ways of preventing off-road motor cycling injuries among children and adolescents. A symposium has been held to discuss potential research directions for the prevention of this particular problem.