Asia Pacific Extracorporeal Life Support Organisation Conference being held in Australia for the first time
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, Minister for Health 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,” he 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, the government released Queensland Advancing Health Research 2026: a new strategy to further support and encourage health research in the 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,” Dick said.
“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.”
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.
“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,” Professor Fraser said.