Taking a bite out of the ASM

With Australia still reeling from the Whitsundays shark attacks, FACEM Dr Nicholas Taylor’s presentation at November’s Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in Perth is sure to be popular.

Dr Taylor, the Senior Specialist and co-DEMT at Canberra Hospital Emergency Department and the Associate Dean Phase 2 at ANU Medical School, will present on SHARC study (Stopping Haemorrhage by Application of Rope tourniquet or inguinal Compression).

Dr Taylor is a keen surfer and had somewhat distressingly noticed that shark attacks are on the increase worldwide.

“The most common injury is severe trauma to the lower limbs. There have been multiple reports in the media of people dying from blood loss from the leg, but also of improvised leg rope tourniquets being used to assist victims.”

Dr Taylor and his colleague, FACEM Dr David Lamond, used an ultrasound to measure how much the blood flow in the artery behind the knee (popliteal artery) could be reduced after either a leg rope tourniquet was applied, or firm pressure was applied by a fist placed on the groin area. This study has shown that a simple and easily taught first aid technique of placing bodyweight pressure on the victim’s inguinal area, to compress the femoral artery, is vastly superior to using an improvised tourniquet for lower limb bleeding.

“I think the ASM is a fantastic conference to see the best of Australasian Emergency Medicine research and practice and a great chance to catch up with colleagues. I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to present our study at the ACEM ASM as Western Australia is a world hot spot for both surfing, and unfortunately, shark attacks.”

This will be Dr Taylor’s fourth ASM. He remembers at his first ASM (Gold Coast 2007) as a registrar being inspired by the quality both of the medicine, but also the people, and being certain that he had found the right home for his career.

When asked what about emergency medicine appealed to him, he noted, “It’s the teamwork, controlled chaos and the genuine opportunity to learn something new every day.”

Register now

Registration is open for the ASM, themed ‘On the Edge’. Join us 18-22 November in Perth where we explore the multiple different facets of life in emergency medicine.

Check out the program and further details on the ASM website.