Anaesthesia and pain research

Our unit is a leading research site in Western Australia for multi-centre clinical trials and guidance in anaesthesia, pain and perioperative medicine. We are committed to finding innovative ways to improve our clinical practices and ensure patients receive effective and compassionate care. 

Our research is undertaken at St John of God Subiaco Hospital. The hospital partnered with the University of Notre Dame Australia in 2015 to appoint Professor Eric Visser as the inaugural Churack Chair of Chronic Pain Education and Research.

  • Pain is one of the most common reasons for people consulting their doctor in Australia. An estimated 1 in 5 adult Australians suffer from chronic pain.
  • Chronic pain is estimated to cost the Australian economy more than $34 billion each year.
  • Every year in Australia, millions of children and adults undergo anaesthesia in relation to surgery. Anaesthesia plays a crucial role in the optimisation of patient outcomes after surgery. 
  • Our unit conducts anaesthesia and pain research focused on improving patient-centered outcomes – this is known as clinical effectiveness research (CER). 
  • We perform high-quality, world-leading CER trials, primarily co-ordinated by the Clinical Trials Network of Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA). 
  • Our researchers specialise in the following areas:
    • Clinical A/Prof Nolan McDonnell ,Senior Research Fellow, is focused on research in obstetric anaesthesia and anaesthesia for gynaecological and gynaecological-oncology surgery. He is involved in a large number of single and multi-centre research projects that focus on improving outcomes for mothers, their babies and women undergoing major gynaecological surgery. 
    • Clinical Prof Tomas Corcoran, Associate Research Fellow, is focused on perioperative outcomes research as the Chief Investigator of several clinical trials.
    • As the inaugural Churack Chair for Chronic Pain Education and Research, Dr Eric Visser is tasked with reducing the impact of chronic pain in our community through research and the education of medical students in the area of chronic pain management.

Senior Research Fellow
Clinical A/Prof Nolan McDonnell

Associate Research Fellow
Clinical Prof Tomas Corcoran

Churack Chair for Chronic Pain Education and Research, in partnership with The University of Notre Dame 
Professor Eric Visser
Elspeth Shipton, PhD

Senior Research Nurse
Yvonne Buller

Research Nurse
Natalie Hird

Research Nurse
Nisha Sikotra

Nurse Practitioner, Acute Pain Service 
Jill Kelly

Buller Y, Sims C, ‘Prolonged Fasting of Children before Anaesthesia is common in Private Practice’, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Journal, 2016, 2016/44:1

Corcoran TB, ‘Controlled moderate hypovolaemia in healthy volunteers is not associated with the development of oxidative stress assessed by plasma F2-Isoprostanes and Isofurans’, Prostalandins and Other Lipid Mediators, Ms. No. PRO-D-16-00018R1, 1 July 2016

Corcoran TB, Edwards T, ‘A survey of antiemetic dexamethasone administration-frequency of use and perceptions of benefits and risks’. Anaesthesia Intensive Care 2015;43:167-74.

Corcoran TB, Mas E, Barden AE, Roberts LJ, 2nd, Mori TA, O'Loughlin E, ‘Controlled moderate hypovolaemia in healthy volunteers is not associated with the development of oxidative stress assessed by plasma F2-isoprostanes and isofurans’, Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat 2016;124:34-8.

McDonnell NJ, Knight M, Peek MJ, Ellwood D, Homer CS, McLintock C, Vaughan G, Pollock W, Li Z, Javid N, Sullivan E15,16; ‘Amniotic fluid embolism: an Australian-New Zealand population-based study’, The Australasian Maternity Outcomes Surveillance System, BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, December 24 2015.

McDonnell NJ, Percival V, Paech MJ. Amniotic fluid embolism: a leading cause of maternal mortality yet still a medical conundrum. Int J Obstet Anesth. 2013 Aug 15

O'Loughlin E, Ward M, Crossley A, Hughes R, Bremner AP, Corcoran TB, ‘Evaluation of the utility of the Vigileo FloTrac, LiDCO, USCOM and CardioQ to detect hypovolaemia in conscious volunteers: a proof of concept study’, Anaesthesia 2015;70:142-9.

Silbert BI, Ho KM, Lipman J, Roberts JA, Corcoran TB, Morgan DJ, Pavey W, Mas E, Barden AE, Mori TA, ‘Determinants of Urinary Output Response to IV Furosemide in Acute Kidney Injury: A Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Study’, Critical Care Medicine 2016.

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