• 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.
    • Effect of a Strategy of a Supraglottic Airway Device vs Tracheal Intubation During Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest on Functional Outcome: The AIRWAYS-2 Randomized Clinical Trial

      Benger, Jonathan; Kirby, Kim; Black, Sarah; Brett, Stephen; Clout, Madeleine; Lazaroo, Michelle; Nolan, Jerry; Reeves, Barnaby; Robinson, Maria; Scott, Lauren; et al. (2018-08-28)
    • Electronic records in ambulances – an observational study (ERA)

      Porter, Alison; Black, Sarah; Dale, Jeremy; Harris-Mayes, Robert; Lawrenson, Robin; Lyons, Ronan; Mason, Suzanne; Morrison, Zoe; Potts, Henry; Siriwardena, Aloysius; et al. (2019-09-24)
      Background The introduction of information technology (IT) in emergency ambulance services to electronically capture, interpret and store patient data can support out of hospital care. Although electronic health records (EHR) in ambulances and other digital technology are encouraged by national policy across the UK, there is considerable variation across services in terms of implementation. We aimed to understand how electronic records can be most effectively implemented in a pre-hospital context, in order to support a safe and effective shift from acute to community-based care. Methods We conducted a mixed-methods study with four work packages (WPs): a rapid literature review, a telephone survey of all 13 freestanding UK ambulance services, detailed case studies in four selected sites, and a knowledge sharing workshop. Results We found considerable variation in hardware and software. Services were in a state of constant change, with services transitioning from one system to another, reverting to paper, or upgrading. Ambulance clinicians were dealing with partial or unclear information, which may not fit comfortably with the EHR. Clinicians continued to use indirect data input approaches such as first writing on a glove. The primary function of EHR in all services seemed to be as a store for patient data. There was, as yet, limited evidence of their full potential being realised to transfer information, support decision making or change patient care. Conclusions Realising the full benefits of EHR requires engagement with other parts of the local health economy, dealing with the challenges of interoperability. Clinicians and data managers are likely to want very different things from a data set, and need to be presented with only the information that they need., https://emj.bmj.com/content/36/10/e14 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/emermed-2019-999abs.32
    • An exploration of the experiences of paramedics taking part in a large randomised trial of airway management, and the impact on their views and practice

      Kirby, Kim; Brandling, Janet; Robinson, Maria; Voss, Sarah; Benger, Jonathan (2019-09-24)
      Background The participation of over 1500 study paramedics in AIRWAYS-2 provides a unique opportunity for an in depth exploration of how the views and practice of study paramedics, in advanced airway management, may have developed as a result of their participation in AIRWAYS-2, and how their experiences can inform future trials in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Future prehospital guidelines and practice will not only be shaped by the results of large trials such as AIRWAYS-2, but also by the views and attitudes of UK paramedics towards OHCA, airway management and research. This study allows an opportunity to add depth and understanding to the results of AIRWAYS-2. Study aims To explore paramedics’ experiences of participating in a large cluster randomized trial of airway management during OHCA, specifically: The challenges of enrolling patients who are critically unwell and unable to consent; Barriers and facilitators to successful research in OHCA patients; The impact on paramedics’ clinical practice and airway management during and after the trial; The role of advanced airway management during OHCA. Methods Content analysis of an online survey of 1500 study paramedics to assess their experiences of participating in the trial and to establish any changes in their views and practice. Thematic analysis of telephone interviews with study paramedic to explore the findings of the online questionnaire. Exploring any changes in views and practice around advanced airway management as a result of participating in the trial; assessing experiences of trial training and enrolling critically unwell patients without consent, and exploring the barriers and facilitators for trial participation and the views of paramedics on the future role of advanced airway management during OHCA. Results and conclusions The study is in the analysis phase and is due to complete and report by the 31st January 2019. https://emj.bmj.com/content/36/10/e12.1. 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/emermed-2019-999abs.27
    • An exploration of the views of paramedics regarding airway and resuscitation research

      Brandling, Janet; Rhys, Megan; Thomas, Matthew J.C.; Voss, Sarah; Davies, S.; Benger, Jonathan (2014-01)
    • 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.
    • Home or hospital for people with dementia and one or more other multimorbidities: What is the potential to reduce avoidable emergency admissions? The HOMEWARD Project Protocol

      Voss, Sarah; Black, Sarah; Brandling, Janet; Buswell, Marina; Cheston, Richard; Cullum, Sarah; Kirby, Kim; Purdy, Sarah; Solway, Chris; Taylor, Hazel; et al. (2017-04-03)
      Introduction Older people with multimorbidities frequently access 999 ambulance services. When multimorbidities include dementia, the risk of ambulance use, accident and emergency (A&E) attendance and hospital admission are all increased, even when a condition is treatable in the community. People with dementia tend to do poorly in the acute hospital setting and hospital admission can result in adverse outcomes. This study aims to provide an evidence-based understanding of how older people living with dementia and other multimorbidities are using emergency ambulance services. It will also provide evidence of how paramedics make decisions about taking this group of patients to hospital, and what resources would allow them to make more person-focused decisions to enable optimal patient care. Methods and analysis Phase 1: retrospective data analysis: quantitative analysis of ambulance service data will investigate: how often paramedics are called to older people with dementia; the amount of time paramedics spend on scene and the frequency with which these patients are transported to hospital. Phase 2: observational case studies: detailed case studies will be compiled using qualitative methods, including non-participant observation of paramedic decision-making, to understand why older people with multimorbidities including dementia are conveyed to A&E when they could be treated at home or in the community. Phase 3: needs analysis: nominal groups with paramedics will investigate and prioritise the resources that would allow emergency, urgent and out of hours care to be effectively delivered to these patients at home or in a community setting. Ethics and dissemination Approval for the study has been obtained from the Health Research Authority (HRA) with National Health Service (NHS) Research Ethics Committee approval for phase 2 (16/NW/0803). The dissemination strategy will include publishing findings in appropriate journals, at conferences and in newsletters. We will pay particular attention to dissemination to the public, dementia organisations and ambulance services. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/7/4/e016651. 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/bmjopen-2017-016651
    • How do people with dementia use the ambulance service? A retrospective study in England: the HOMEWARD project

      Voss, Sarah; Brandling, Janet; Taylor, Hazel; Black, Sarah; Buswell, Marina; Cheston, Richard; Cullum, Sarah; Foster, Theresa; Kirby, Kim; Prothero, Larissa; et al. (2018-08)
      https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/7/e022549 Objectives An increasing number of older people are calling ambulances and presenting to accident and emergency departments. The presence of comorbidities and dementia can make managing these patients more challenging and hospital admission more likely, resulting in poorer outcomes for patients. However, we do not know how many of these patients are conveyed to hospital by ambulance. This study aims to determine: how often ambulances are called to older people; how often comorbidities including dementia are recorded; the reason for the call; provisional diagnosis; the amount of time ambulance clinicians spend on scene; the frequency with which these patients are transported to hospital. Methods We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study of ambulance patient care records (PCRs) from calls to patients aged 65 years and over. Data were collected from two ambulance services in England during 24 or 48 hours periods in January 2017 and July 2017. The records were examined by two researchers using a standard template and the data were extracted from 3037 PCRs using a coding structure. Results Results were reported as percentages and means with 95% CIs. Dementia was recorded in 421 (13.9%) of PCRs. Patients with dementia were significantly less likely to be conveyed to hospital following an emergency call than those without dementia. The call cycle times were similar for patients regardless of whether or not they had dementia. Calls to people with dementia were more likely to be due to injury following a fall. In the overall sample, one or more comorbidities were reported on the PCR in over 80% of cases. Conclusion Rates of hospital conveyance for older people may be related to comorbidities, frailty and complex needs, rather than dementia. Further research is needed to understand the way in which ambulance clinicians make conveyance decisions at scene. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6074617/pdf/bmjopen-2018-022549.pdf 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/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022549
    • 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
    • Identification of characteristics of neighbourhoods with high incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and low bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation rates

      Brown, Terry P.; Hawkes, Claire A.; Booth, Scott; Fothergill, Rachael; Black, Sara; Bichmann, Anna; Pocock, Helen; Soar, Jasmeet; Mark, Julian; Benger, Jonathan; et al. (2017-09)
    • The impact of working shifts: exploring the views of UK paramedics

      Kirby, Kim; Moreland, Stephanie; Pollard, John (2016-05-11)
      There is limited research within the UK investigating the effects of shift work on paramedics. Paramedics have relatively high rates of sickness levels and there are links between shift work and health. This study explores UK paramedics’ perceptions of the impact of working shifts. Methods: Exploratory qualitative research was utilised to investigate the perceptions of UK paramedics on the impacts of working shifts. Two focus groups were completed involving 11 paramedics. The transcriptions were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Paramedics described factors associated with working shifts that mirror research already completed within different occupations: effects on physical health, fatigue, family life, safety and performance; but paramedics additionally described factors that are more limited to working in the paramedic profession such as a broader range of psychological stressors and organisational factors. The theme of psychological health was a wider theme that went beyond shift work and encompassed the overall paramedic role and the unique and stressful nature of the work. Conclusions: This research has allowed an insight into the perceived effects of shift work on UK paramedics and exposes the challenges paramedics face in their working environment. There is a suggested link between the relatively high rates of sickness and the effects of shift work and paramedics’ overall working environment. Further exploration and recognition of the effects of shift work on UK paramedics is recommended. Abstract published with permission.
    • Improving data quality in a UK out-of-hospital cardiac arrest registry through data linkage between the Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcomes (OHCAO) project and NHS Digital

      Rajagopal, Sangeerthana; Booth, Scott; Brown, Terry P.; Ji, Chen; Hawkes, Claire A.; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Kirby, Kim; Black, Sarah; Spaight, Robert; Gunson, Imogen; et al. (2017-09)
    • 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
    • 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.
    • A pilot of the Paramedic Advanced Resuscitation of Children (PARC) course

      Ennis, Paddy (2019-11-05)
      Paramedics are the primary providers of prehospital care to children in an emergency. However, they deal with children's emergencies infrequently, and consistently report a lack of confidence in this area. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health standards state that clinicians with Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) training or equivalent must be available at all times to deal with emergencies involving children. While APLS is widely recognised as the gold standard in paediatric training, it focuses on in-hospital providers of paediatric life support, so may not adequately meet the needs of prehospital providers. The Paramedic Advanced Resuscitation of Children (PARC) course attempts to condense the most important aspects of APLS for paramedics into a simulation-based programme that is practical and cost effective. Evaluation of the views of the eight paramedics who took part in the pilot revealed that they felt more confident in managing children's emergencies after attending the course. The PARC course may be a simple, cost-effective method to improve paramedics’ confidence in dealing with emergencies involving children. Abstract published with permission.
    • PRe-hospital Evaluation of Sensitive TrOponin (PRESTO) Study: multicentre prospective diagnostic accuracy study protocol

      Alghamdi, Abdulrhman; Cook, Eloïse; Carlton, Edward; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Hann, Mark; Thompson, Alexander; Foulkes, Angela; Phillips, John; Cooper, Jamie; Steve, Bell; et al. (2019-10-07)
      Introduction Within the UK, chest pain is one of the most common reasons for emergency (999) ambulance calls and the most common reason for emergency hospital admission. Diagnosing acute coronary syndromes (ACS) in a patient with chest pain in the prehospital setting by a paramedic is challenging. The Troponin-only Manchester Acute Coronary Syndromes (T-MACS) decision rule is a validated tool used in the emergency department (ED) to stratify patients with suspected ACS following a single blood test. We are seeking to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the T-MACS decision aid algorithm to ‘rule out’ ACS when used in the prehospital environment with point-of-care troponin assays. If successful, this could allow paramedics to immediately rule out ACS for patients in the ‘very low risk’ group and avoid the need for transport to the ED, while also risk stratifying other patients using a single blood sample taken in the prehospital setting. Methods and analysis We will recruit patients who call emergency (999) ambulance services where the responding paramedic suspects cardiac chest pain. The data required to apply T-MACS will be prospectively recorded by paramedics who are responding to each patient. Paramedics will be required to draw a venous blood sample at the time of arrival to the patient. Blood samples will later be tested in batches for cardiac troponin, using commercially available troponin assays. The primary outcome will be a diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, established at the time of initial hospital admission. The secondary outcomes will include any major adverse cardiac events within 30 days of enrolment. Ethics and dissemination The study obtained approval from the National Research Ethics Service (reference: 18/ES/0101) and the Health Research Authority. We will publish our findings in a high impact general medical journal.Abstract, URL 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: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032834
    • Pre-hospital lactate testing in the identification of patients with sepsis: a review of the literature

      Kirby, Kim (2014-04-16)
      Sepsis is increasingly common and has a high mortality rate. Sepsis can be difficult to identify and patients with severe sepsis often initially present to the ambulance service. Lactate testing has been utilised successfully in other healthcare settings to assist with the identification of septic patients and stratification of illness severity. A focused literature review has revealed that pre-hospital lactate testing has shown benefits to clinicians pre-hospitally in the identification of septic patients presenting to the ambulance service. Only four pieces of primary research were identified and small sample sizes and variability of lactate testing limit the generalisation of the findings. Further research is required to fully investigate the potential benefits of using pre-hospital lactate testing to identify those patients with sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock presenting to the ambulance service. Abstract published with permission.