Some of the brightest minds from around the globe have gathered on the Gold Coast to showcase the latest technology and techniques in the treatment of organ failure in a bid to save more lives.
Hosted for the first time in Australia, the Asia Pacific Extracorporeal Life Support Organisation (APELSO) Conference will see the collaboration of local and international physicians, nurses, patients, researchers and industry experts.
The conference will focus on the future development of the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) medical device, which utilises artificial heart-lung technology to help keep people alive.
Opening the conference today, Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the Queensland Government was committed to supporting the development of medical aids to help achieve better health outcomes for some of the state’s most critically ill patients.
“ECMO has been crucial in the survival of many patients throughout Queensland who have suffered severe illness,” Mr Dick said.
“This flu season has been our worst in the last five years, with more than 50,000 cases of influenza diagnosed in Queensland alone.
“There have been more than 5000 public hospital admissions across the state for influenza, 638 of whom required intensive care.
“While most people recover from the flu, some patients have to rely on ECMO to survive while others rely on the mechanical support system while they await lifesaving transplants.
“The use of technologies such as ECMO is rapidly expanding across the world for patients with acute and chronic end stage heart disease.
“That’s why it is important we continue to support the development of ECMO and other technologies through collaboration with our international partners, using opportunities such as the APELSO conference.
“Last month, I released Queensland Advancing Health Research 2026: a new strategy to further support and encourage health research in our State over the coming decade.
“We have committed $10 million over the next four years to implement this new strategy, on top of the significant current investments in health research across the Queensland health system each year.
“Thanks to these commitments, and the talent and dedication of the entire Queensland research community, we will continue to build an international reputation in biomedical research,” Mr Dick said
The Queensland Government had also committed $1.9 million in funding to the Critical Care Research Group at The Prince Charles Hospital to support an international research program for cardiothoracic and assist device technology.
Director of the Critical Care Research Group Professor John Fraser said The Prince Charles Hospital was the official host of this year’s APELSO Conference.
“We are honoured to host this world class event, looking into new treatments that will save countless lives,” Professor Fraser said.
“Today’s research is tomorrow’s treatment, and it’s fantastic that Queenslanders will be the first to benefit from innovations developed here, in collaboration with our international colleagues.”
Media contact: Joe Begley 0437 443 404