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West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute - WASDRI

The West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute (WASDRI) is a non-profit organisation devoted to the improvement of knowledge and understanding of sleep-related disorders through clinical, teaching and research activities.

WASDRI is a major centre for the investigation and management of breathing disorders of sleep including snoring, sleep apnoea and sleep-related hypoventilation. The Institute consists of a 9 bed sleep investigations unit (7 clinical, 2 research), several research laboratories, an extensive library, lecture facilities and office space. It accommodates about 70 staff members – scientists, clinicians, technologists and secretarial staff. The Institute has excellent in-house expertise in engineering (its chief technologist) and mathematics/computing (its computer/network manager), and operates with the support of several Departments of the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.The Institute is extremely well equipped with state-of-art data acquisition and analysis hardware and software, and first class computing facilities. It has a strong commitment to clinical and fundamental research, which is orientated to the clinical problems with which it is engaged.

The Institute is located in G block at the QEII Medical Centre, Nedlands. It is a separate entity from the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, with which it is co-located, and finances its clinical, teaching and research activities independently.

The clinical arm of the Institute, the Respiratory Sleep Disorders Clinic, arranges investigation and management of breathing disorders of sleep on referral. All patients referred to this Clinic are assessed by the Clinic's medical staff. If appropriate, an overnight sleep study is arranged. In most cases, the sleep study involves the measurement of airflow, chest wall motion, arterial oxygen saturation and brain activity during sleep. These measurements provide detailed information about breathing during sleep and about sleep itself. The results of these investigations determine the type of treatment recommended. The prescribed treatment is supervised by staff of the Institute.

The Institute undertakes research in three main areas:

  • Upper airway physiology/respiratory muscles - Drs David Hillman and Peter Eastwood
  • Diaphragm/Control of Breathing - Drs Bhajan Singh and Bill Finucane
  • Airway remodelling and inflammation - Dr Alan James

The Institute runs numerous training programs including undergraduate teaching programmes for medical, dental and technology students, and advanced training in sleep and physiology for technologists, nurses, and physician and anaesthetic trainees, including overseas graduates.

TSANZ and ASA Accredited