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Lodge Foelsche, No. 211 SA&NT

Septic Shock Clinical Research Fund

How you can help

Lodge Foelsche has undertaken a major medical research fundraising project for the coming Masonic year.

Each year the Royal Darwin Hospital treats more than 150 patients with severe infections including tropical diseases such as melioidosis and memingococcal disease, and despite the use of all available treatments the mortality in this group of patients remains high.

Since December 1998 a drug called G-CSF, which boosts the immune system, has been used in addition to other conventional therapies for patients with severe infections and shock. The hospital has noted improved survival in these patients compared to patients with severe infections prior to the introduction of the drug. In particular the improved survival in meliodosis has been dramatic. In the 10 years prior to the introduction of G-CSF there was only one survivor out of 21 patients with meliodosis septic shock, but since December 1998 there have been 16 survivors out of 18 patients with this condition.

In cooperation with the Menzies School of Health Research, the Intensive Care Unit hopes to explore further ways to improve patient survival from severe infections. The directions for this research include:-

  1. Research into ways to more quickly diagnose severe infections, and thus provide correct treatment earlier
  2. Research into why G-CSF works in particular subgroups of patients, and identify which patients will benefit from this therapy
  3. Research into prevention of diseases such as meliodosis
  4. Research into other treatments which will further improve patient survival from severe infections

The Menzies School of Health Research is a prominent research body with a reputation for excellent research in infectious diseases. It has a strong publication history and attracts many of the brightest medical researchers from around the world to work on infectious diseases in Darwin and the Northern Territory. The funding of a research officer in the Intensive Care Unit will enable ICU to undertake projects to find ways in which to save more lives of people with severe infections. The research officer will also work closely with the Menzies experts to produce world class research results.

Darwin is in a unique position to undertake this important work and discover ways of saving lives of critically ill patients with severe infections. Severe infections don't discriminate and could affect any one of us or our families. Research relies on external funding and any help you can give will go towards improving the outcome for all Territorians.

© Lodge Foelsche, No 211 SA&NT.