Publications from the South Western Ambulance Service. To find out more about SWAST visit their website at https://www.swast.nhs.uk/welcome

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  • Tools to predict acute traumatic coagulopathy in the pre-hospital setting: a review of the literature

    Robinson, Simon; Kirton, Jordan (2020-12-01)
    Introduction: Recognising acute traumatic coagulopathy (ATC) poses a significant challenge to improving survival in emergency care. Paramedics are in a prime position to identify ATC in pre-hospital major trauma and initiate appropriate coagulopathy management. Method: A database literature review was conducted using Scopus, CINAHL and MEDLINE. Results: Two themes were identified from four studies: prediction tools, and point-of-care testing. Prediction tools identified key common ATC markers in the pre-hospital setting, including: systolic blood pressure, reduced Glasgow Coma Score and trauma to the chest, abdomen and pelvis. Point-of-care testing was found to have limited value. Conclusion: Future research needs to explore paramedics using prediction tools in identifying ATC, which could alert hospitals to prepare for blood products for damage control resuscitation. Abstract published with permission.
  • Design of Cervical Brace for Trauma Patients

    Torlei, Karina; Matthews, Ed; Sparke, Alison; Benger, Jonathan; Voss, Sarah; Harris, Nigel; Carter, Jane (2013-06-12)
  • How to improve patient care by learning from mistakes

    Brady, Dr Mike (2013-02)
    Mistakes made in healthcare settings and the challenges to staff that arise from them can harm service users, consume time and money, and often receive bad publicity. However, by learning from these mistakes and meeting these challenges, practitioners can improve the quality of the care they provide. This article explores what is meant by mistakes and challenges in the context of health care. It suggests that front line managers are best placed to prevent and learn from mistakes, and thereby improve care for patients. https://search.proquest.com/docview/1314303097/fulltextPDF/1B3083DD1AA04444PQ/1?accountid=48092 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/10.7748/en2013.02.20.9.32.e679
  • The nature of health and social care partnerships

    Brady, Dr Mike (2013-02)
    Partnership, often wrongly used interchangeably with ‘collaboration’ and ‘inter-agency working’, features regularly in government publications, and is often high on health and social care managers’ agendas. With an increasing emphasis on partnership in politics, society and health care, managers need to understand the concept in relation to their practice, its challenges and the most effective ways of implementing it. This article discusses the multifaceted nature of partnership, explores the benefits and obstacles to achieving successful partnerships and looks at how these can be overcome. https://search.proquest.com/docview/1285578813/fulltextPDF/5CABBFDAAF16415CPQ/1?accountid=48092 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/10.7748/nm2013.01.19.9.30.s9516
  • Randomised comparison of the effectiveness of the laryngeal mask airway supreme, i-gel and current practice in the initial airway management of prehospital cardiac arrest (REVIVE-Airways): a feasibility study research protocol

    Benger, Jonathan; Voss, Sarah; Coates, David; Greenwood, Rosemary; Nolan, Jerry; Rawstorne, Steven; Rhys, Megan; Thomas, Matthew (2013-02-13)
    Effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation with appropriate airway management improves outcomes following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Historically, tracheal intubation has been accepted as the optimal form of OHCA airway management in the UK. The Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee recently concluded that newer supraglottic airway devices (SADs) are safe and effective devices for hospital procedures and that their use in OHCA should be investigated. This study will address an identified gap in current knowledge by assessing whether it is feasible to use a cluster randomised design to compare SADs with current practice, and also to each other, during OHCA. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/2/e002467 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/10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002467
  • Glucagon treatment for symptomatic beta blocker overdose

    Fell, Matthew (2011-10-07)
    Symptomatic beta blocker overdose is a relatively uncommon, but potentially life-threatening condition (Sheppard, 2006; Health Protection Agency, 2010). Current definitive treatment for these patients involves intravenous glucagon therapy, and as such, glucagon is considered both a first-line treatment and an antidote in cases of symptomatic beta blocker overdose (Joint Formulary Committee, 2011; National Poisons Information Service, 2011a; 2011b). This case report examines an intentional overdose of propranolol, including paramedic prehospital management, and subsequent in-hospital definitive treatment involving intravenous glucagon therapy. Paramedics have experience and knowledge of administering intramuscular glucagon as part of their formulary, and possess the necessary skills for obtaining intravenous access. Therefore, could intravenous glucagon be considered appropriate for administration by paramedics as a prehospital intervention in cases of symptomatic beta blocker overdose? Abstract published wiht permission.
  • ‘Clearing’ the cervical spine in the unconscious trauma patient

    Blackham, Julian; Benger, Jonathan (2011-01-01)
  • Recognising and managing severe sepsis in the pre-hospital environment

    Small, Mark (2012-11)
    Severe sepsis is a complex medical condition in which the immune system overreacts to an infection leading to circulatory shock and organ failure. Patients with severe sepsis are critically ill and have a high mortality rate in the absence of early aggressive treatment, however, recognition and treatment of the condition remains poor. Recent improvements in the care of patients with myocardial infarction, stroke and multiple trauma have demonstrated how pre-hospital recognition and treatment can greatly improve outcomes for patients, and paramedics are well placed to provide similar improvements to the care of patients with severe sepsis. This article will explore the pathophysiology of sepsis, the recommended treatment bundles suggested by the ‘sepsis six campaign’ and the difficulties faced in implementing such treatments. Finally, it will explore the interventions that could be undertaken by Paramedics to improve patient care. Abstract published with permission.
  • Acute exacerbation of COPD: Are we still over-oxygenating?

    Douglas, Anita (2012-11)
    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects thousands of people across the UK. It accounts for a large amount of hospital admissions, which are often seen by the ambulance service during acute exacerbations. Discussion has surrounded the amount of oxygen this type of patient should be receiving during acute exacerbations. Research to provide evidence–based practice for the use of oxygen in the hospital and pre-hospital environment has been ongoing for several years. In 2009 the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC) changed their guidance following the British Thoracic Society's (BTS) release of new guidelines in oxygen use in adult patients, thus determining that oxygen should be delivered in a more precise manner. However in light of current evidence could further changes be made in the delivery of oxygen, by using air–driven nebulisation during the delivery of drugs to patients presenting in the pre-hospital environment with an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD). This would allow patients to receive an appropriate amount of oxygen during their transfer to hospital, giving improved care and treatment of patients at risk of hypercapnic respiratory failure. This article will discuss the changes to practice which have already been identified and recommended and also discuss the potential implications these changes may have on patient care. Abstract published with permission.
  • Can emergency care practitioners differentiate between an avoided emergency department attendance and an avoided admission?

    Coates, David; Rawstorne, Steven; Benger, Jonathan (2012-10)
    After a 999 call to the ambulance service, there is no ‘gold standard’ for determining whether the actions of an emergency care practitioner (ECP) result in a patient avoiding attendance at an emergency department (ED) or avoiding an admission to hospital. Within the Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust this outcome has previously been measured using an audit form completed by the ECP. However, the accuracy of the ECP's opinion has not been assessed. https://emj.bmj.com/content/29/10/838.long 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/10.1136/emermed-2011-200484
  • Prehospital intubation in cardiac arrest: The debate continues

    Thomas, Matthew J.C.; Benger, Jonathan (2011-04-01)
  • CURE (Community Urgent Response Environment): portable work stations

    Hignett, Sue; Fray, Mike; Benger, Jonathan; Jones, Andrew; Coates, David; Rumsey, John; Mansfield, Neil (2012-06-01)
    The Community Urgent Response Environment (CURE) concept is a new technology system developed to support the work of Emergency Care Practitioners with portable pods and packs and mobile treatment units. This paper describes a project to transfer research outputs from an academic setting into practice through collaboration between two universities, two manufacturers and the United Kingdom (UK) National Health Service. An iterative prototyping process was used with 12 Emergency Care Practitioners evaluating prototypes in two user trials by carrying out four clinical scenarios in three simulated environments (confined domestic, less confined public space, and vehicle). Data were collected with video recording, field notes and post-trial debriefing interviews and analysed thematically. The final prototypes (pod/pack 1.3 and vehicle 1.6) have potential to support a new way of working in the provision of non-critical, pre-hospital care. The user trials also identified possible efficiencies through the use of CURE by providing support for a wider range of assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Abstract published with permission.
  • Blurring boundaries

    Gregory, Pete; Mursell, Ian (2006-12)
  • Reflex anoxic seizure: an important diagnosis to remember

    Prosad Paul, Siba; Zengeya, Stanley; Blaikley, Sarah; Powell, Leanne (2012-07)
    Children may present with a sudden collapsing episode, and the paramedic team is often requested to attend such emergencies. It is important that these episodes are correctly categorised as being either epileptic or non-epileptic events. A reflex anoxic seizure (RAS) is one such presentation. RAS is a paroxysmal, spontaneously-reversing, brief episode of asystole triggered by pain, fear or anxiety. RAS occur due to a brief stoppage of the heart caused by overactivity of the vagus nerve. This is usually triggered by an unpleasant stimulus, following which the child may appear pale and lifeless. The diagnosis is usually made by a paediatrician but it is important that the paramedic team are aware of this condition. A child with a diagnosis of RAS may be managed by reassurance from paramedic practitioners if the child is judged to be well after an episode. https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/full/10.12968/jpar.2012.4.7.409 Abstract published with permission.
  • Development and pilot of clinical performance indicators for English ambulance services

    Siriwardena, Aloysius; Shaw, Deborah; Donohoe, Rachel; Black, Sarah; Stephenson, John; National Ambulance Clinical Audit Steering Group (2010-04-12)
    Introduction There is a compelling need to develop clinical performance indicators for ambulance services in order to move from indicators based primarily on response times and in light of the changing clinical demands on services. We report on progress on the national pilot of clinical performance indicators for English ambulance services. Method Clinical performance indicators were developed in five clinical areas: acute myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest, stroke (including transient ischaemic attack), asthma and hypoglycaemia. These were determined on the basis of common acute conditions presenting to ambulance services and in line with a previously published framework. Indicators were piloted by ambulance services in England and results were presented in tables and graphically using funnel (statistical process control) plots. Results Progress for developing, agreeing and piloting of indicators has been rapid, from initial agreement in May 2007 to completion of the pilot phase by the end of March 2008. The results of benchmarking of indicators are shown. The pilot has informed services in deciding the focus of their improvement programme in 2008–2009 and indicators have been adopted for national performance assessment of standards of prehospital care. Conclusion The pilot will provide the basis for further development of clinical indicators, benchmarking of performance and implementation of specific evidence-based interventions to improve care in areas identified for improvement. A national performance improvement registry will enable evaluation and sharing of effective improvement methods as well as increasing stakeholder and public access to information on the quality of care provided by ambulance services. https://emj.bmj.com/content/27/4/327. 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. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emj.2009.072397
  • Research paramedics’ observations regarding the challenges and strategies employed in the implementation of a large-scale out-of-hospital randomised trial

    Green, Jonathan; Robinson, Maria; Pilbery, Richard; Whitley, Gregory; Hall, Helen; Clout, Madeleine; Reeves, Barnaby; Kirby, Kim; Benger, Jonathan (2020-06-01)
    Introduction: AIRWAYS-2 was a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing the clinical and cost effectiveness of the i-gel supraglottic airway device with tracheal intubation in the initial airway management of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). In order to successfully conduct this clinical trial, it was necessary for research paramedics to overcome multiple challenges, many of which will be relevant to future emergency medical service (EMS) research. This article aims to describe a number of the challenges that were encountered during the out-of-hospital phase of the AIRWAYS-2 trial and how these were overcome. Methods: The research paramedics responsible for conducting the pre-hospital phase of the trial were asked to reflect on their experience of facilitating the AIRWAYS-2 trial. Responses were then collated by the lead author. A process of iterative revision and review was undertaken by the research paramedics to produce a consensus of opinion. Results: The main challenges identified by the trial research paramedics related to the recruitment and training of paramedics, screening of eligible patients and investigation of protocol deviations / reporting errors. Even though a feasibility study was conducted prior to the commencement of AIRWAYS-2, the scale of these challenges was underestimated. Conclusion: Large-scale pragmatic cluster randomised trials are being successfully undertaken in out-of-hospital care. However, they require intensive engagement with EMS clinicians and local research paramedics, particularly when the intervention is contentious. Feasibility studies are an important part of research but may fail to identify all potential challenges. Therefore, flexibility is required to manage unforeseen difficulties. Abstract published with permission.
  • ECPs: avoiding emergency department attendance or hospital admission?

    Coates, David (2010-04)
    The aim of the literature review was to identify and appraise studies that have compared the effectiveness and decision-making of emergency care practitioners with other health professionals. There is no ‘gold standard’ for determining whether the actions of an emergency care practitioner (ECP) results in a patient avoiding attendance at an emergency department (ED) or hospital admission. Consequently, reporting on the cost effectiveness of ECPs is potentially spurious, especially as the cost difference between ED attendance and hospital admission is considerable. Medline and EMBASE databases were searched for publications relevant to the study area. Additional searches were carried out using the online search function offered by the Cochrane Library and the Emergency Medicine Journal. Twenty-nine publications met the inclusion criteria. Nineteen of these papers were considered suitable for background information only. Ten studies were analyzed in further detail and three main themes identified: non-conveyance rates, decision-making and admission avoidance. Studies show that patients assessed by ECPs are less likely to be conveyed to the ED, than when attended by a traditional ambulance response. The Department of Health (DH, 2005) refer to a traditional ambulance service response to a 999 call as sending a double-crewed paramedic ambulance to the patient, provide any necessary life support to stabilize the patient and transport to the ED. The decision-making of ECPs compares favourably with other health professionals when deciding whether a patient can be treated at home, or requires ED attendance or hospital admission. No studies were found that determined whether an ECP is able to accurately decide whether their intervention results in patients avoiding ED attendance or admission. There is a need to evaluate the validity of data collection methods which differentiate between emergency department and admission avoidance as a result of the actions of ECPs. Abstract published with permission.
  • Acute stroke life support: a United States based training course; is it appropriate for and transferable to the English health care setting?

    Davis, David; Crook, D.; Hargroves, D.; Miller, G.; South, A.; Jenkinson, D.; Smithard, D. (2009-12-01)
  • The new coronavirus disease: what do we know so far?

    Tang, Sammer; Brady, Mike; Mildenhall, Joanne; Rolfe, Ursula; Bowles, Alexandra; Morgan, Kirsty (2020-05-05)
    View Article Abstract Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel coronavirus that causes the new disease COVID-19. Symptoms range from mild to severe with a higher incidence of severe cases in patients with risk factors such as older age and comorbidities. COVID-19 is mainly spread through the inhalation of respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing or via contact with droplet-contaminated surfaces. Paramedics should be aware that some aerosol-generating procedures may put them at a higher risk of contracting the virus via possible airborne transmission. Use of remote triage clinical assessment is likely to increase as a result of the pandemic. There is no curative drug treatment for the virus and some medications may exacerbate its effects or make patients more susceptible to it. Evidence and guidelines are evolving on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Paramedics should keep up to date with the latest clinical guidance from their employers. Abstract published with permission.

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