Ms Leonie Calver
(CNS: Research, Clinical Toxicology )

DepartmentClinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
Research AreasMental Health, Supportive Care, Emergency
Research TopicsSide Effects / Adverse Reactions / Poisoning, Envenomation, Sedation
Research TypesClinical Trials, Survey / Observational Research, Dissemination / Implementation, Translational

Leonie Calver has been conducting a safety study research project in the Emergency Department at Calvary Mater Newcastle since 2007. Leonie's main interest is to identify the best and safest medication to be used when patients present to the Emergency Department in a violent or agitated state.


  • Isbister GK, Calver  LA. Page CB, Bryant JL, Downes  MA. Randomised controlled trial of intramuscular droperidol verses midazolam for violence and acute behavioural disturbance: the DORM study.Annals of Emerg Med.56(4):392-40. Oct 2010.
  • Isbister GK, Calver L, van Gorp F, Stokes B, Page CB. Inter-rater reliability of manual QT measurement and prediction of abnormal QT,HR pairs. Clin Tox. Nov. 47(9);884-888 Sep 2009.
  • Calver LA, Downes MA, Bryant JL, Page CB, Isbister GK. The impact of a trial of intramuscular sedation for violence and acute behavioural disturbance in the emergency department. Bio Med Central: Emergency Medicine 10:14,  2010.
  • Page  CB, Calver LA, Isbister GK. Risperidone overdose causes extrapyramidal effects but not cardiac toxicity.  Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 30 (4):387-90 August 2010.
  • Calver LA, Stokes B, Isbister GK. The Dark Side of the Moon. Med J Aust. 191 (11\12) Dec 2009.
  • Calver L, Stokes B, Isbister GK. The Sedation Assessment Tool to score acute behavioural disturbance in the emergency department Emergency medicine Australasia: EMA. Dec 23(6): 732-40. 2011.
  • Calver L, Isbister GK. Dexmedetomidine in the emergency department: assessing safety and effectiveness in difficult-to-sedate acute behavioural disturbance. Emergency  Medicine Journal EMJ.Dec 2011.doi:10.1136/emermed-2011-200849.
  • Berling I, Isbister GK, Calver LA, Clunas S. Digital Holter measurement of QT prolongation in ziprasidone overdose. Clinical toxicology .49(7):694-6. August 2011.
  • Calver L, Dunlop AJ, Isbister GK. Individual Patient Assessment of Methadone-Induced QT Prolongation With Digital Holter Recording. J Addict Med. March Vol 6(2):92-3. 2012.
  • Isbister GK., Calver LA. Managing aggressive and violent patients. Australian Prescriber. 34(6) pp167. 2011.
  • Calver LA, Isbister GK Parenteral sedation of elderly patients with acute behavioural disturbance in the emergency department American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2013 (in press).

Conference  Presentations and Publications


  • Oral Presentation: The AustralianCollege for Emergency Medicine Darwin June 2009
  • Grand Rounds Toxicology Calvary Mater Newcastle. Tele-conference Hunter New England Health
  • Acknowledgement by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards Quality improvement awards 2009


  • Poster presentation: International conference of Emergency medicine ICEM Singapore June
  • Oral presentation: Critical care conference. HunterValley April 2010-11-09
  • Oral presentation: Improving the Delivery of Emergency Care Seminar Gold Coast August 2010
  • Oral presentaion: Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. 36th International conference , Hobart  August 2010
  • Oral presentation:  Grand Rounds teleconference Hunter New England  Mental Health. June 2010
  • Finalist for the Hunter New England Health Quality Awards. 2010
  • Acknowledgement by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards Quality Improvement Awards 2010


  • Oral presentation: Hunter New England Managers' forum March
  • Oral presentation: Hunter New England Mental Health Grand Rounds March 2011
  • Oral presentation: Primary and Community Network Manager Development Forum May 2011
  • Oral presentation: NSW Drug and Alcohol Annual Conference 2011
  • Oral Presentation: ACEM Autumn Symposium Brisbane May 2011
  • Oral presentation for Current and Proposed Seminar University of Newcastle
  • Poster presentation XXXI International European Association of Poison Centers and Clinical Toxicology Dubrovnik Croatia May 2011. Calver LA, Downes MA, Isbister GK Assessment of QT prolongation in High-Dose Droperidol Administration Using Continuous 12-lead Holter Recording.Clinical Toxicology, Vol4 (3) March 2011


  • Poster presentations Academic Emergency Medicine Chicago. USA. Calver LA, Page C, Downes MA, Chan B, Isbister GK. Safety of Droperidol for sedation of Acute Behavioural Disturbance Vol 19, (4), p.S370. 2012
  • Calver LA, Page C, Downes MA, Chan B, Isbister Droperidol for Sedation of Acute Behavioural Disturbance Vol 19, (4), p.S365. 2012
  • Oral presentation: Grand Rounds teleconference Hunter New England Mental Health. June 27th 2012.


Getting to know you

When did you start doing research?

In 2007 by implementing a drug verses drug randomised controlled trial in the Emergency Department.

What research projects are you currently working on?

  • MULTICENTRE TRIAL: RAVE II (Redback Spider Antivenom Evaluation)
  • DORM II OBSERVATIONAL SAFETY STUDY : Sedation of Acute behavioural disturbance in the Emergency Department
  • MULTI-SITE OBSERVATIONAL SAFETY STUDY : Sedation of Acute behavioural disturbance in the Emergency Department DORM II: Extension to Rural, Regional and Metropolitan Hospitals

What research achievement are you most proud of?

Changing practice in the Emergency Department by implementing a strategy to effectively and safely manage these difficult and often dangerous patients. 

What did you do before coming to work at Calvary Mater Newcastle?

Nurse manager and specialist in critical care areas. 

What has helped you the most in your research at Calvary Mater Newcastle?

The Clinical Toxicology Department. 

Who are your main collaborators at Calvary Mater Newcastle?

The Emergency Department and the Calvary Mater Mental Health Centre.

What made you decide to do research?

A chance to co-ordinate a trial which used droperidol verses Midazolam.

What was your first / worst / best / strangest / memorable /etc job in research?

Presenting at national and international conferences. Also presenting at forums, symposiums and in-services informing clinicians of the great outcomes and importance of this research to help the staff and patients.

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