Dr Simon Craig’s research seeks to build a foundation for developing knowledge in acute paediatric asthma care.
The 2020 Asthma and Airways Career Development Fellowship recipient is working to establish a set of global standards for the way outcomes are measured in clinical trials involving children with acute severe asthma.
It is an ongoing project through the Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) Network and its counterparts around the world.
“We initially set out to answer a ‘big’ question in emergency medicine – which is the best intravenous treatment for acute severe asthma,” Dr Craig says.
“However, as we reviewed the literature, it rapidly became apparent that pretty much every previous trial on acute severe asthma in children has used different outcome measures. This makes it really hard to compare results between studies.”
Dr Craig’s work in medical education and research draws on his background as an emergency physician.
“Thousands of children present to emergency departments (EDs) with acute respiratory illnesses each year,” he says.
“The ED is the place where treatment is initiated, and where many decisions about ongoing management are made.”
Dr Craig says there are several unanswered questions that are relevant to acute paediatric care.
“Apart from the established ‘basics’ of acute asthma care (inhaled beta-agonists and systemic steroids), there is very little evidence to guide treatment, and most of the existing studies are small and/or have outcome measures which are difficult to compare,” he says.
“At the end of this project, we will have laid the foundations for a series of effectiveness trials examining different aspects of acute severe asthma treatment.”
Opportunities like the Fellowship offer recipients welcome recognition and valuable time to devote to research, he says.
“One of the most precious things to a researcher is time – particularly time within normal working hours!”
The National Asthma Council offers the Asthma and Airways Career Development Fellowship in partnership with the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.
It is one of several NAC awards to foster asthma research. Read more about our research awards.