From the Field: Australia Visit

Karthik, Charlotte and Asish (L to R) loving the fresh air and scenery at a friend’s dairy farm in rural South East Queensland.


The Indo-Australian team started validating their needs in the Australian context, meeting healthcare personnel and visiting hospitals. One such research facility was the MERF- Medical Engineering Research Facility, Queensland University of Technology.

Research Doctor
As you can see here, we have the operating theatre for large animals such as sheep and pigs. It is almost exactly the same as a human operating theatre. We use all the same equipment.
In fact some of this equipment has been donated from the hospital. Mostly we take equipment that is perfectly functional but that is getting old.

Asish
Sir, so you even sedate the animals the same as humans?

Research Doctor
Actually, that is one thing we do differently. Humans are very good at communicating pain however this is not the case with lots of animals. Most animals do not even show pain the same way we do. In humans, you would wait to see the response to pain before reacting however with these animals we preemptively anaesthetise.

This means that if we think something will be painful we give them as much anaesthesia as we feel necessary to prevent that pain instead of waiting to see a response. Humane and ethical treatment of our animals is of the utmost importance to us.

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Learning how medical research and innovation is largely driven by animal studies as well as the standard of care, hygiene and security of these research facilities was an eye-opener as compared to the facilities we saw in primary cenntres in India.

In addition, this visit helped us understand the realities of the collaboration, the facilities we could use and scope of what could be achieved by working together.  

.....from the notebook of Charlotte Robertson & Indo-Aus Team