Partnership successes

In-flight blood transfusions for rural patients

Patients in rural and remote communities of Western NSW will now receive life-saving blood transfusions thanks to a partnership between NSW Ambulance, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and NSW Health Pathology (Western NSW team).

Royal Flying Doctor ServiceNSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant (pictured at left) welcomed the collaborative approach when he helped officially launch the partnership in July 2015.

Blood and blood products can now be stored on RFDS planes, allowing flight nurses and retrieval doctors to perform blood transfusions on patients with persistent life-threatening bleeding, all whilst in the air.

This partnership is about delivering out-of-hospital emergency intensive care treatment directly to patients at the time they need it most.

This type of emergency care is critical for people in remote areas who may have severe bleeding from incidents such as car crashes, farming accidents or complications during childbirth. The blood products are monitored daily and regularly rotated with blood stores by the NSW Health Pathology Dubbo team to maintain quality and minimise waste.

Visit here for more on how we support the critically ill


Partnering with police to speed up drug analysis 

Between 2010 and 2014, there were more than 10,059 methamphetamine-related hospitalisations in NSW.

TruNarcNSW Police and NSW Health Pathology aimed to reduce this burden by introducing a device to analyse drugs at a crime scene. This reduces the need to send smaller quantities (less than trafficable) to NSW Health Pathology’s forensic laboratories for analysis. It also frees up staff to focus on analysing larger quantities in the lab setting.

The Illicit Drugs Analysis Unit trialled the TruNarc device in 2013. A partial rollout to police in Newcastle and Lidcombe followed in 2014, with more devices to follow this year.

As a result, a backlog of 2,500 unstarted cases in 2013 was reduced to less than 300 by the end of 2014. 

Visit here for more on how we help solve crime


Using genetic screening to understand hereditary conditions

Through ongoing relationships with partners such as the Wolper Jewish Hospital and the NSW Board of Jewish Education, we've been able to help at-risk families in Sydney’s Jewish population reduce new cases of Tay-Sachs disease, an untreatable and fatal disorder in children.

Wolper-Next-Gen-analyser-600x350We operate a national reference centre for diagnosing and screening of reproductive and pre-natal conditions in at-risk population groups. 

The screening (some of which is carried out in schools) is funded by NSW Health Pathology.  It means those who have an increased risk of having children with certain hereditary conditions can increase their knowledge about those conditions and their risk factors.

This information can help those who want to become parents and may encourage them to seek out genetic counselling and other services to ensure they are prepared for any potential challenges. 

Over the past 15 years of annual community screening, there has not been a single new case of Tay-Sachs disease in any family we’ve worked with that undertook genetic testing for this incurable childhood condition.

Visit here for more on how we partner in patient care.


Partnering with Garvan Institute to advance genome sequencing  

Our Genomics Steering Committee is working with the Garvan Institute to explore ways that genome sequencing can benefit patients.

The cost-effective, high-throughput whole genome sequencing capability of the Garvan’s HiSeq X Ten Massively Paralleled Sequencers can help improve patient care for a range of inherited diseases.

Genetic pathologists based in our South Eastern Sydney team are sharing their knowledge and experience of the diagnostic environment with the Garvan Institute.

We are also planning to work with the Garvan and a Hunter-based cardiac clinic to assess whether screening the whole genome of cardiac patients is an effective way to identify mutations associated with inherited cardiac disorders.

Visit here for more on how  we partner in patient care.

For more information contact Cliff Meldrum, Genomics Project Manager.