My Phd is titled 'Diagnosis and Management of Increased Intracranial Pressure in teh treatment of head injury patients within paramedic practice'. I have recently completed a progression viva for yr1 of the 3yr programme of study which is great news and as this suggests the research is going well. However my previous funding was part of my employment as an academic; now I have left this post and returned to clinical practice I no longer have tuition funding.
I was challenged once to sum up my PHD and specialist area in one sentence that would be suitable for the ‘dinner table’ conversation, that for me was simple; “my research is to ensure more lives are saved, after a head injury”. A simple but powerful statement and one that normally attracts quite some interest there after. This interest has arisen from various parts of the UK and from amongst some of the leading clinicians in this field.
Why does my research create such interest at national level this early on? Head injury is the most common cause of death and disability in people aged 1-40 years of age in the United Kingdom (UK). Monitoring and management of intracranial pressure (ICP) is now a recognised and common medical practice however the most recent clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for the management of traumatic brain injury (TBI) were published in 2007, although there has been a more recent guidance on the assessment and early management of head injuries from the National Institute of Health and excellence in 2014 1. Although there have been advances in medical devices to help monitor and record ICP and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP),to date there has been no evidence from randomised controlled trials to support specific treatment and no significant developments in the treatment of TBI fordecades 2. In paramedic practice the ability to assess and manage increased ICP is limited if available at all. The impact of this PHD work has the potential to lead to post-doctoral work in the leadership of a national multi-centreclinical trial and ultimately save many lives.