ChemCentre’s forensic toxicology specialists contribute to Emergency Medicine research

ChemCentre’s forensic toxicology specialists contribute to Emergency Medicine research

27 Jan 2021

In 2021 ChemCentre will be making an impact on Emergency Medicine research through our continuing involvement in the innovative Emerging Drugs Network of Australia (EDNA) project – a National program pioneered in WA in the Emergency Department of Royal Perth Hospital.

ChemCentre’s forensic toxicology specialists play a key role in the national network, performing rapid analysis of blood samples from patients who present unwell to Emergency Departments from the use of illicit drugs. The accurate and timely testing of the blood samples, identifying the presence of illicit drugs and new psychoactive substances helps medical practitioners in Emergency Departments with the ongoing management of these patients. The objective evidence of what illicit drugs are causing harm in the community and presentations to the EDs are key in the development of the early warning system.

This approach of collaboration between Emergency Departments and the Forensic laboratories is internationally unique, placing WA at the forefront in addressing the health impacts of illicit drug use. EDNA brings together emergency physicians, toxicologists, forensic laboratories and health authorities - in Western Australia alone the network includes the Department of Health WA, Mental Health Commission, St John’s Ambulance Service, WA Police, Peer Based Harm Reduction WA, ChemCentre, Curtin University (Health Research and Data Analytics) and the National Centre for Clinical Research in Emerging Drugs of Concern.

The analysis and research performed by ChemCentre’s forensic toxicology specialists will contribute directly to the national clinical registry that forms the core of EDNA’s purpose, identifying illicit and emerging drugs and feeding in to the development of an early warning system to facilitate rapid and targeted harm reduction responses.

Hear all about the project and ChemCentre’s involvement in this interview broadcast on ABC Radio with Professor Daniel Fatovich, spokesperson and lead investigator of EDNA, or watch this Tedx Perth talk by Dr Jessamine Soderstrom, Emergency Physician and Clinical Toxicologist at Royal Perth Hospital.

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