Research Projects

Research

SAEMF is dedicated to medical research. The focus is on treatment in the emergency department of hospitals. SAEMF will evaluate whether the current treatment, or standard of care, of specific medical conditions is appropriate given the local context and whether an alternative treatment to the standard of care is necessary. Volunteer researchers from the United States travel to the developing country to conduct the research.

Past Accomplishments

Publications
Tebb Z, Talley B, Macht M, Richards D. An Argument for the Conservative Management of Small Traumatic Pneumothoraces in Populations with High Prevalence of HIV and Tuberculosis: An Evidence Based Review of the Literature. Int J Emerg Med. 20th of August 2010.

Richards D. Drowning. African Journal of Emergency Medicine. Accepted for publication 11 January 2011.
Johnson A, Miller M, Richards D. Review of measurement of optic-nerve sheath diameter by ultrasound as proxy for intracranial pressure. African Journal of Emergency Medicine. Submitted for review 20th of January, 2011.

Abstracts and Conference Proceedings
Abbott K, Lieurance R, Stokke M, Richards D. Morbidity of Tube Thoracostomy for Trauma in South African Tuberculosis Patients. Presented at 3rd Global Health Symposium on HIV/AIDS at Home and Abroad. Denver, Colorado. 15 October 2010.
Jacquet G, Whiteside L, Levenberg W, Richards D. Final results of "Resource Allocation in the Public Health System of the Western Cape, South Africa". Presented at 6th INDO-US Emergency Medicine Summit.  Gujarat, India. 8 October 2010.

Township area near GF Jooste Hospital, one of the main hospitals associated with SAEMF. GF Jooste is the only inpatient hospital for 1.3 million people living with one of the highest incidences of HIV and TB in the world.

Macht M, Tebb Z, Talley B, Richards D. "Conservative Management of Small Traumatic Pneumothoraces". Presented at Emergency Medicine in the Developing World. Cape Town, South Africa. November, 2009.
Jacquet G, Whiteside L, Levenberg W, Richards D. Final results of "Resource Allocation in the Public Health System of the Western Cape, South Africa". Presented at Emergency Medicine in the Developing World. Cape Town, South Africa. November, 2009.
Richards D. Initial results of "Resource Allocation in the Public Health System of the Western Cape, South Africa". Presented at Emergency Medicine in the Developing World inaugural meeting. Cape Town, South Africa. October 4, 2007.

Current Projects and Future Plans

Active Research Projects 
Morbidity and Mortality of Tube Thoracostomy for Trauma in South African Tuberculosis and/or HIV patients. A study looking at the complications associated with tube thoracostomy for trauma in patients with pre-existing tuberculosis and/or HIV. Bedside experience has shown increased complications in these patients. Our goal is to assess the incidence of complications and develop a clinical decision rule to improve the management of these patients.

Ultrasound for Penetrating Trauma in Resource Limited Environments. A study assessing the utility of ultrasound for penetrating trauma in settings where management of trauma patients is complicated by a lack of readily available advanced radiology and operating theater capability.

Measurement of Optic Nerve Sheath Diameter by Ultrasound as Proxy for Intracranial Pressure before Lumbar Puncture in Patients with Suspected Tuberculosis Meningitis. Providers in South Africa estimate that three to four pediatric patients a week are dying as a result of unrecognized elevated intracranial pressure before lumbar puncture. This study serves to assess a method for measuring intracranial pressure reliably in a resource limited environment in order to decrease this mortality.

Geographic Information System (GIS) Mapping of Trauma Demographics in Cape Town. A study of the demographics of trauma in Cape Town to develop primary prevention strategies.

Effect of Physician Assistants on the Quality and Efficiency of Care in the Public Health System of the Eastern Cape. Physician assistants were recognized as a distinct specialty by the Health Professions Council of South Africa in December of 2010. That same month Walter Sisulu University graduated the first group of physician assistants. Quality and efficiency of care measures will be compared before and after introduction of physician assistants.