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The role for cryopreserved platelets in Australia - a health economic program alongside the CLIP randomised controlled trial

The CLIP health economics program is evaluating the cryopreserved platelets for routine use. Platelet transfusions can be life-saving in trauma, obstetrics, haematology/oncology, and other bleeding conditions. The current shelf-life of platelets for transfusion in Australia is 7 days, making it difficult to provide platelets reliably in regional and remote areas. Such a short shelf-life can also lead to high levels of wastage. Cryopreservation can extend platelet shelf-life to 2 years, potentially solving this problem. The CLIP-II randomised controlled trial is currently evaluating the clinical non-inferiority of cryopreserved platelets in comparison to standard, liquid-stored platelets. This PhD program aims to help determine which Australian hospitals that do not currently hold platelets, or where platelet supplies are difficult, would benefit most from a cryopreserved platelet blood bank should cryopreserved platelets be shown to be non-inferior to liquid-stored platelets. The proposed project will utilise the National Transfusion Dataset containing clinical, laboratory and transfusion data from multiple hospitals to refine an existing profile of platelet use in Australia and develop a better understanding of current platelet use in different patient groups. It will involve analysis of data available at a national level to quantify platelet availability, platelet usage, wastage, and transport of platelets to and between sites. It will also involve application of a predictive model of transfusion to hospital data nationally to quantify the unmet need for platelet transfusions in outer metropolitan, regional and remote hospitals. From this project, the prospective student will gain specific clinical knowledge regarding transfusion medicine in both haematology and critical care practice, and can develop knowledge and skills in statistical modelling and health economics. This PhD research will form part of the Blood Synergy clinical research program which is focused on addressing Australia’s national transfusion priorities to deliver safer and more appropriate transfusion support for patients, to help guide better stewardship of national blood supplies, and to reduce costs to the community. The program is managed by the Transfusion Research Unit (TRU) in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, in partnership with the Australian & New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre (ANZIC RC). The prospective student will have the opportunity to work with a highly dynamic multidisciplinary group of clinicians and researchers within the ANZIC RC, TRU and CHE, all at Monash University. Candidates must have a degree or masters in a relevant discipline, with strong academic results. The project would suit candidates with prior experience in transfusion, health economics, public health or health related research.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
transfusion, platelets, haematology, intensive care, statistical modelling, health economics
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine » Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
Available options 
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Year 1: 
Year 2: 
Year 3: 
Physical location 
553 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne (adjacent to The Alfred)
Assoc Prof 
Zoe McQuilten

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