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amber contains records of published research authored by staff working in NHS ambulance services in England and Scotland. amber is managed by the Library and Knowledge Services for NHS Ambulance Services in England [LKS ASE]. For more information see the About pages or contact LKS ASE.

UPDATE: amber is evolving to include the published output of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and Welsh Ambulance Service.  Starting in March 2022 colleagues at Manchester University NHS Trust Library Service will be adding publications from 2006 – to date. 

We are committed to delivering and maintaining a high quality of data.  If you are aware of any inaccuracies in the data on amber, contact us and we will correct it.  If you believe your work should be included in amber and it is currently not there please let us know.

  • Celebrating International Women's Day: where does this leave the paramedic profession?

    Wilson, Caitlin; Prothero, Larissa Stella; Williams, Julia (The College of Paramedics, 2022-03)
  • An atypical presentation of orthostatic hypotension and falls in an older adult

    Thoburn, Steve; Cremin, Steve; Holland, Mark (The College of Paramedics, 2022-03)
    Introduction: Falls are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in older adults. Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is very common in this cohort of patients and is a significant risk for falls and associated injuries. We present the case of an 89-year-old female who fell at home, witnessed by her husband. OH was identified during the clinical assessment and considered to be the predominant contributing factor, although the clinical presentation was not associated with classical symptoms. Case presentation: The patient lost balance while turning away from the kitchen sink; she noted some instability due to a complaint of generalised weakness in both of her legs. No acute medical illness or traumatic injury was identified. A comprehensive history was obtained that identified multiple intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for falling. The cardiovascular examination was unremarkable except for OH, with a pronounced reduction in systolic blood pressure of 34 mmHg at the three-minute interval and which reproduced some generalised weaknesses in the patient's legs and slight instability. Although classical OH symptoms were not identified, this was considered to be the predominant factor contributing to the fall. A series of recommendations was made to primary and community-based care teams based upon a rapid holistic review; this included a recommendation to review the patient's dual antihypertensive therapy. Conclusion: It is widely known that OH is a significant risk factor for falls, but asymptomatic or atypical presentations can make diagnosis challenging. Using the correct technique to measure a lying and standing blood pressure, as defined by the Royal College of Physicians, is crucial for accurate diagnosis and subsequent management. Ambulance clinicians are ideally placed to undertake this quick and non-invasive assessment to identify OH in patients that have fallen. Abstract published with permission.
  • A survey of ambulance clinicians’ perceptions of recording and communicating patient information electronically

    Barrett, Jack; Eaton-Williams, Peter; Mortimer, Craig; Land, Victoria; Williams, Julia (2021-06-01)
    Objective: Ambulance services are evolving from use of paper-based recording of patient information to electronic platforms and the impact of this change has yet to be fully explored. The aim of this study is to explore how the introduction of a system permitting electronic information capture and its subsequent sharing were perceived by the ambulance clinicians using it. Methods: An online questionnaire was designed based upon the technology acceptance model and distributed throughout one ambulance service in the south east of England. Closed-ended questions with Likert scales were used to collect data from patient-facing staff who use an online community falls and diabetic referral platform or an electronic messaging system to update GPs following a patient encounter. Results: There were 273 responses from ambulance clinicians. Most participants agreed that they used tablet computers and smartphones to make their life easier (85% and 86%, respectively). Most participants felt that referring patients to a community falls or diabetic team electronically was an efficient use of their time (81% and 81%, respectively) and many believed that these systems improved the communication of confidential patient information. GP summaries were perceived as increasing time spent on scene but most participants (89%) believed they enabled collaborative working. Overall, collecting and sharing patient information electronically was perceived by most participants as beneficial to their practice. Conclusion: In this study, the ability to electronically refer patients to community services and share patient encounters with the GP was predominantly perceived as both safe for patients and an effective use of the participants’ clinical time. However, there is often still a need to communicate to GPs in real time, demonstrating that technology could complement, rather than replace, how clinicians communicate. Abstract published with permission.
  • In a simulated adult trauma patient, can pelvic binders be applied accurately by paramedics and HEMS paramedics? A pilot observational study

    McCreesh, Samuel (2021-05-01)
    Pre-hospital treatment of suspected haemorrhagic pelvic fractures includes application of a purpose-made pelvic binder. Recent hospital studies identified poor accuracy of pelvic binder application, but there is little pre-hospital research to date. Abstract published with permission.
  • To collar or not to collar. Views of pre-hospital emergency care providers on immobilisation without cervical collars: a focus group study

    Thompson, Lee; Shaw, Gary; Bates, Charlotte; Hawkins, Christopher; McClelland, Graham; McMeekin, Peter (2021-05-01)
    Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a rare event, with high numbers of patients unnecessarily immobilised with no potential benefit based on limited evidence from the 1950s and 1960s. Contemporary opinion now challenges the notion that traditional immobilisation prevents movement and protects the spine. Current literature suggests that these methods which include semi-rigid collars can potentially cause more movement of the spine and harm the patient. The purpose of this study was to explore the views and perspectives of pre-hospital care providers on immobilising patients without the use of a semi-rigid collar. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/tcop/bpj/2021/00000006/00000001/art00006 This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.29045/14784726.2021. Abstract published with permission.

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