• Ambulance over-conveyance to the emergency department: a large data analysis of ambulance journeys

      Miles, Jamie; O'Keefe, Colin; Jacques, Richard; Stone, Tony; Mason, Suzanne (2018-04-16)
      Over-conveyance by the ambulance service is a compounding factor of emergency department (ED) crowding. Previous solutions have focused on specific patient groups which have a limited impact when compared to the whole urgent and emergency care system. This study aims to analyse non-urgent conveyances by the ambulance service that could be suitable for discharge on-scene. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/Suppl_1/A22.3. 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 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-EMS.59
    • Ambulance over-conveyance to the emergency department: a large data analysis of ambulance journeys

      Miles, J.; O'Keeffe, C.; Jacques, Richard; Stone, Tony; Mason, Suzanne (2018-04)
      Aim Over-conveyance by the ambulance service is a compounding factor of emergency department (ED) crowding. Previous solutions have focused on specific patient groups which have a limited impact when compared to the whole urgent and emergency care system. This study aims to analyse nonurgent conveyances by the ambulance service that could be suitable for discharge on-scene. Results We analysed a dataset of 1,312,539 patient episodes which linked all pre-hospital emergency and urgent calls to subsequent ED attendance in 2014. The study was set in a large region in England (total population 5.3 million). As well as proportion of avoidable conveyances we also examined the association with patient age, time of arrival, re-attendance and initial triage code from ambulance dispatch. Results There were 4 04 348 (30.8%) patients transported to ED by ambulance and of these 66 220 (16.4%) were considered potentially avoidable. There were significantly increased odds of a non-urgent conveyance out of hours (OR 1.44, 95% CI: 1.41 to 1.46). Patients aged 16–34 had the largest proportion of avoidable conveyances with 24 500 (37%). There were 13 625 (21%) episodes that were received from another healthcare professional or urgent telephone number. When analysing ED diagnosis, the highest proportion were attending with minor injury and illness, and alcohol intoxication. Abstracts A22 BMJ Open 2018;8(Suppl 1):A1–A34 Trust (NHS). Protected by copyright. on 14 August 2019 at Manchester University NHS Foundation http://bmjopen.bmj.com/ BMJ Open: first published as 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-EMS.59 on 16 April 2018. Downloaded from Conclusion One in six ambulance conveyances to ED were deemed non-urgent. The younger population had the largest amount of preventable conveyance by ambulance with diagnoses which could be treated and discharged on-scene. Pathways and interventions would provide a larger patient benefit if they were designed around patient populations as opposed to disease specific https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/Suppl_1/A22.3 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-EMS.59
    • Bypassing nearest hospital for more distant neuroscience care in head-injured adults with suspected traumatic brain injury: findings of the head injury transportation straight to neurosurgery (HITS-NS) pilot cluster randomised trial

      Lecky, Fiona E.; Russell, Wanda; McClelland, Graham; Pennington, Elspeth; Fuller, Gordon W.; Goodacre, Steve; Han, Kyee; Curran, Andrew; Holliman, Damian; Chapman, Nathan; et al. (2017-10)
      Objective Reconfiguration of trauma services, with direct transport of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) to specialist neuroscience centres (SNCs)— bypassing non-specialist acute hospitals (NSAHs), could improve outcomes. However, delays in stabilisation of airway, breathing and circulation (ABC) may worsen outcomes when compared with selective secondary transfer from nearest NSAH to SNC. We conducted a pilot cluster randomised controlled trial to determine the feasibility and plausibility of bypassing suspected patients with TBI —directly into SNCs—producing a measurable effect. Setting Two English Ambulance Services. Participants 74 clusters (ambulance stations) were randomised within pairs after matching for important characteristics. Clusters enrolled head-injured adults— injured nearest to an NSAH—with internationally accepted TBI risk factors and stable ABC. We excluded participants attended by Helicopter Emergency Medical Services or who were injured more than 1 hour by road from nearest SNC. Interventions Intervention cluster participants were transported directly to an SNC bypassing nearest NSAH; control cluster participants were transported to nearest NSAH with selective secondary transfer to SNC. Outcomes Trial recruitment rate (target n=700 per annum) and percentage with TBI on CT scan (target 80%) were the primary feasibility outcomes. 30-day mortality, 6-month Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale and quality of life were secondary outcomes. Results 56 ambulance station clusters recruited 293 patients in 12 months. The trial arms were similar in terms of age, conscious level and injury severity. Less than 25% of recruited patients had TBI on CT (n=70) with 7% (n=20) requiring neurosurgery. Complete case analysis showed similar 30-day mortality in the two trial arms (control=8.8 (2.7–14.0)% vs intervention=9.4(2.3–14.0)%). Conclusion Bypassing patients with suspected TBI to SNCs gives an overtriage (false positive) ratio of 13:1 for neurosurgical intervention and 4:1 for TBI. A measurable effect from a full trial of early neuroscience care following bypass is therefore unlikely https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/7/10/e016355.full.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-2017-016355
    • Cross-sectional study of the hospital management of adult patients with a suspected seizure (EPIC2)

      Dickson, Jon M.; Dudhill, Hannah; Shewan, Jane; Mason, Suzanne; Grünewald, Richard A.; Reuber, Markus (2017-07)
      Objective To determine the clinical characteristics, management and outcomes of patients taken to hospital by emergency ambulance after a suspected seizure. Design Quantitative cross-sectional retrospective study of a consecutive series of patients. Setting An acute hospital trust in a large city in England. Participants In 2012–2013, the regions’ ambulance service managed 605 481 emergency incidents, 74 141/605 481 originated from Sheffield (a large city in the region), 2121/74 141 (2.9%) were suspected seizures and 178/2121 occurred in May 2012. We undertook detailed analysis of the medical records of the 91/178 patients who were transported to the city’s acute hospital. After undertaking a retrospective review of the medical records, the best available aetiological explanation for the seizures was determined. Results The best available aetiological explanation for 74.7% (68/91) of the incidents was an epileptic seizure, 11.0% (10/91) were psychogenic non-epileptic seizures and 9.9% (9/91) were cardiogenic events. The epileptic seizures fall into the following four categories: first epileptic seizure (13.2%, 12/91), epileptic seizure with a historical diagnosis of epilepsy (30.8%, 28/91), recurrent epileptic seizures without a historical diagnosis of epilepsy (20.9%, 19/91) and acute symptomatic seizures (9.9%, 9/91). Of those with seizures (excluding cardiogenic events), 2.4% (2/82) of patients were seizing on arrival in the Emergency Department (ED), 19.5% (16/82) were postictal and 69.5% (57/82) were alert. 63.4% (52/82) were discharged at the end of their ED attendance and 36.5% (19/52) of these had no referral or follow-up. Conclusions Most suspected seizures are epileptic seizures but this is a diagnostically heterogeneous group. Only a small minority of patients require emergency medical care but most are transported to hospital. Few patients receive expert review and many are discharged home without referral to a specialist leaving them at risk of further seizures and the associated morbidity, mortality and health services costs of poorly controlled epilepsy https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/7/7/e015696.full.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-2016-015696
    • Cross-sectional study of the prehospital management of adult patients with a suspected seizure (EPIC1)

      Dickson, Jon M.; Taylor, Louise H.; Shewan, Jane; Baldwin, Trevor; Grünewald, Richard A.; Reuber, Markus (2016-02)
      Objectives: Suspected seizures are a common reason for emergency calls to ambulance services. Prehospital management of these patients is an important element of good quality care. The aim of this study, conducted in a regional ambulance service in the UK, was to quantify the number of emergency telephone calls for suspected seizures in adults, the associated costs, and to describe the patients’ characteristics, their prehospital management and their immediate outcomes. Design: Quantitative cross-sectional study using routinely collected data and a detailed review of the clinical records of a consecutive series of adult patients (≥16 years). Setting: A regional ambulance service within the National Health Service in England. Participants: Cross-sectional data from all 605 481 adult emergency incidents managed by the ambulance service from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013. We selected a consecutive series of 178 individual incidents from May 2012 for more detailed analysis (132 after exclusions and removal of non-seizure cases). Results: Suspected seizures made up 3.3% of all emergency incidents. True medical emergencies were uncommon but 3.3% had partially occluded airways, 6.8% had ongoing seizure activity and 59.1% had clinical problems in addition to the seizure (29.1% involving injury). Emergency vehicles were dispatched for 97.2% of suspected seizures, the seizure had terminated on arrival in 93.2% of incidents, 75% of these patients were transported to hospital. The estimated emergency management cost per annum of suspected seizures in the English ambulance services is £45.2 million (€64.0 million, $68.6 million). Conclusions: Many patients with suspected seizures could potentially be treated more effectively and at lower cost by modifying ambulance call handling protocols. The development of innovative care pathways could give call handlers and paramedics alternatives to hospital transportation. Increased adoption of care plans could reduce 999 calls and could increase the rates of successful home or community treatment. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/6/2/e010573.full.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-2015-010573
    • Thinking on scene: using vignettes to assess the accuracy and rationale of paramedic decision making

      Miles, Jamie; Coster, Joanne; Jacques, Richard (2018-04-16)
      Paramedics make important decisions on-scene as to whether a patient requires transport to hospital, referred, or discharged on scene. Research shows that nearly 20% of patients brought to ED by ambulance, could be treated elsewhere. This study aims to investigate the accuracy of conveyance decisions made by on-scene paramedics. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/Suppl_1/A23.3 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: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-EMS.62.
    • Thinking on scene: using vignettes to assess the accuracy and rationale of paramedic decision making

      Miles, J.; Coster, Joanne; Jacques, Richard (2018-04)
      Aim Paramedics make important decisions on-scene as to whether a patient requires transport to hospital, referred, or discharged on scene. Research shows that nearly 20% of patients brought to ED by ambulance, could be treated elsewhere. This study aims to investigate the accuracy of conveyance decisions made by on-scene paramedics. Method Individual real-patient vignettes were created using linked ambulance, ED and GP data and used in an online survey to paramedics in Yorkshire. Half the vignettes were categorised as clinically necessary attendances at the ED and the other half were categorised as clinically unnecessary. Vignettes were validated by a small expert panel. Participants were asked to determine the appropriate conveyance decision and to explain the rationale behind their decisions using a free text box. Abstracts BMJ Open 2018;8(Suppl 1):A1–A34 A23 Trust (NHS). Protected by copyright. on 13 August 2019 at Manchester University NHS Foundation http://bmjopen.bmj.com/ BMJ Open: first published as 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-EMS.62 on 16 April 2018. Downloaded from Results 143 paramedics undertook the survey and 858 vignettes were completed. There was clear agreement between paramedics for transport decisions (k=0.63) and for admission prediction (k=0.86). Overall accuracy was 0.69 (95% CI: 0.66 to 0.73). Paramedics were better at ‘ruling in’ the ED with sensitivity of 0.89 (95% CI: 0.86 to 0.92). The specificity of ‘ruling out’ the ED was 0.51 (95% CI: 0.46 to 0.56). Text comments were focused on patient safety and risk aversion. Conclusion Paramedics make accurate conveyance decisions but are more likely to over-convey than under-convey, meaning that whilst decisions are safe they are not always appropriate. Some risk-averse decisions were made due to patient and professional safety reasons. It is important that paramedics feel supported by the service to make non-conveyance decisions. Reducing over-conveyance is a potential method of reducing ED demand. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/Suppl_1/A23.3 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-EMS.62