• Health Services 

  • Neuroscience 

  • Paediatrics 


Queensland Children's Hospital 

Type of student: Volunteer/extra-curricular (this would be similar to an Honours project)

Type of work: 

  • Literature review 
  • Secondary data analysis 

Brief synopsis:

This retrospective review will focus on children with congenital cardiac disease presenting with acute arterial ischemic stroke.

The research question is: what proportion of children (with underlying congenital cardiac disease) present with seizures and what are the risk factors for seizures.

Research aim: to describe risk factors for seizures in children with congenital heart disease presenting with acute ischemic stroke.

This would aid early identification of high risk patients that require EEG monitoring.

The student will have the opportunity to learn basics of statistical analysis under the supervision of the lead clinician and the study statistician. There will be opportunities to use descriptive statistics and parametric and non-parametric statistical analyses including predictive modelling using SPPSS version 18.0.

Variables to be analysed may include:

·         Age at time of stroke and gender

·         Stroke aetiology

·         PedNIHSS/ stroke severity

·         Modified pediatric ASPECTS score

·         Stroke location on neuroimaging

·         Presence of acute clinical, subtle or sub-clinical seizures

·         Acute seizure burden

·         Co-morbidities

·         Stroke recurrence

·         Occurrence of remote seizures and epilepsy, seizure frequency and treatment

·         Paediatric Stroke Outcome Measure (PSOM)

·         Results of neuropsychological outcome assessments and questionnaires

·         PICU admission and length of stay

·         Hospital length of stay

·         Mortality

·         Functional Status Score (FSS), Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category (PCPC) and Pediatric Overall Performance Category (POPC)


The student will have the opportunity to work closely with clinical researchers in the paediatric intensive care unit.


This project could be considered as a mandatory project (4 weeks, 80 hours). The research goals including a literature review (systematic review), retrospective analysis of the congenital cardiac surgery database (4 years), descriptive statistical analysis and preparation for presentation and publication.


This research project has a broad scope and will give the student a wide range of opportunities to undertake clinical research, learn data interpretation techniques. It is ideally suited to a student who is considering entering an acute care or surgical training program in future and will prepare the student for the physician-scientist pathway following graduation.

Prerequisite skills: Excel

Time frame

Start ASAP, timeframe approximately 8 weeks

Website:  N/A


Dr Michaela Waak

Fellow PICU
Queensland Children's Hospital