• Ambulance attendance at diabetes or diabetes-related emergencies in care homes – cross sectional database study

      Siriwardena, Aloysius; Law, Graham; Smith, Murray D.; Iqbal, Mohammad; Phung, Viet-Hai; Spaight, Anne; Brewster, Amanda; Mountain, Pauline; Spurr, Keith; Ray, Mo; et al. (2019-09-24)
      Background Diabetes, which affects over 1 in 5 nursing or care home residents, may lead to diabetes-related emergencies with ambulance call-outs and hospitalisation. Our aim was to investigate the epidemiology of diabetes-related emergencies in care home residents which involved an ambulance attendance. Methods We used a cross-sectional design to investigate emergency ambulance attendances to people in nursing and residential care homes presenting with diabetes-related emergencies across the East Midlands between January 2012 and December 2017. We used clinical and dispatch data from East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) and care home data from the Care Quality Commission, including call category, timing, location, place of residence, clinical or physiological status, treatments, outcome (conveyance) and costs in the analysis. Results Overall 219722 (6.7% of 3.3 million) attendances were to care home residents of which 12080 were for diabetes-related emergencies. Of 3152 care home patients categorised as having a ‘diabetic problem’ 1,957 (62.1%) were conveyed to hospital. This was not significantly different to the rate for other patients, taking into account other factors, despite access to trained staff in care homes. Statistically significant factors associated with conveyance included reduced consciousness level (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.87–0.95), elevated heart (1.01, 1.01–1.02) or respiratory rate (1.08, 1.06–1.10), no treatment for hypoglycaemia (0.54, 0.34–0.86) or additional co-morbid medical (but not psychiatric) problems. Cost to EMAS was significantly lower when a patient was conveyed, by some £18 (95% CI £11.94–£24.12), but this would not outweigh downstream NHS costs arising from hospital care. For the simulation in which all trusts mean NHS Reference Costs were used, conveyance was no longer significant in the cost model. Conclusion Conveyance to hospital was common for care home patients with diabetes-related emergencies and more likely when conscious level was impaired, certain physiological measures abnormal or treatment for hypoglycaemia was not given. https://emj.bmj.com/content/36/10/e8.3 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/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2019-999abs.18
    • Barriers and facilitators for people in BME groups accessing pre-hospital care and causes and consequences of any differences in delivery: systematic review and narrative synthesis

      Windle, Karen; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Barot, Mukesh; Essam, Nadya; Johnson, Mark; Kai, Joe; Ortega, Marishona (2015-05)
      Introduction Research addressing inequalities has focused predominantly on primary and community care; few initiatives relate to the pre-hospital environment. We aimed to identify in the literature barriers or facilitators experienced by patients from BME communities in accessing pre-hospital care and to explore the causes and consequences of any differences in delivery. Methods We conducted a systematic literature review and narrative synthesis. Electronic and journal hand searches from 2003 through 2013 identi fied relevant evaluative studies (systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials, quasi-experimental, case and observational studies). A researcher extracted data to determine characteristics, results and quality, each checked by a second reviewer. The main outcome measures were delays in patient calls, mortality rates and 30-days survival post discharge. Results Eighteen studies met criteria for the review: two concerned services in England and Wales and 15 were United States based. Reported barriers to accessing care were generic (and wellknown) given the heterogeneity of BME groups: difficulties in communication where English was the patient ’s second language; new migrants ’ lack of knowledge of the health care system leading to inappropriate emergency calls; and cultural assumptions among clinical staff resulting in inappropriate diagnoses and treatment. There were limited reported facilitators to improvement, such as the need for translation services and staff education, but the latter were poorly described or developed. Where outcomes were discussed, there was evidence for race-related disparity in mortality and survival rates. This could re flect differences in condition severity, delays between onset and initiation of calls, or the scope of response and assistance. Conclusion The paucity of literature and difficulties of transferring findings from US to UK context identified an important research gap. Further studies should be undertaken to investigate UK differences in prehospital care and outcomes for BME groups, followed by qualitative approaches to understand barriers and enablers to equitable access. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/32/5/e1.3.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/emermed-2015-204880.3
    • Can older people who fall be identified in the ambulance call centre to enable alternative responses or care pathways?

      Snooks, Helen; Cheung, Wai Yee; Gwini, Stella; Humphreys, Ioan; Sanchez, Antonio; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2011-03-01)
      Background Older people who fall make up a substantial proportion of the 999 workload. They are a particularly vulnerable group who may benefit from referral to specialised community based falls services. This requires early identification, ideally from dispatch codes assigned in the ambulance call centre. Objective To assess the feasibility of using information given during 999 calls to identify older people who fall and who may benefit from an alternative response. Methods We examined all records of patients aged 65 years and over during 2008 in the Nottinghamshire area and identified those recorded as having fallen by attending crews. Dispatch codes were recorded for all cases and the utility of the dispatch code ‘Fall without priority symptoms’ (AMPDS 17) for identifying older people who had fallen was assessed. Results From 56 584 emergency (999) calls recorded, including 8119 for patients aged 65 years and over, 3246 (40%) cases were recorded as a fall. Of these, 2186 (67%) had been allocated AMPDS code 17 at dispatch (true positives), and 413 (13%) had not (false negatives), with 647 unknowns. Of 4871 cases not categorised as a fall by attending crews, 175 (4%) had been allocated an AMPDS code 17 (false positives), and 3315 (68%) had been given other codes (true negatives), with 1381 unknowns. The dispatch code AMPDS 17 had a sensitivity of 84% and a specificity of 95% for identifying falls compared with categorisation by crews. Limitations Definition of a fall is not always clear and there may be variations in usage of the category by crews. There was a high level of missing data in this study. Conclusion A large majority of older people who fall and for whom a 999 call is made can be identified in the ambulance call centre using dispatch codes. This provides a means for rapid and effective targeting of alternative responses to these patients, thereby potentially improving processes and outcomes of care. https://emj.bmj.com/content/28/3/e1.21. 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.2010.108605.9
    • A case study framework for design and evaluation of a national project to improve prehospital care of myocardial infarction and stroke

      Essam, Nadya; Davy, Zowie; Shaw, Deborah; Spaight, Anne; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2011-11)
      Background Cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects 1.8% of the population annually, 0.9% with stroke and 0.8% with coronary heart disease. People suffering from CVD often present acutely to ambulance services with symptoms of acute myocardial infarction or stroke. Early and effective treatment prevents death, improves long term health and reduces future disability. Objective Our aim is to develop a rational approach for informing the design and evaluation of a national project for improving prehospital care of myocardial infarction and stroke: the Ambulance Services Cardiovascular Quality Initiative (ASCQI), the first national improvement project for prehospital care. Methods We will use a case study methodology initially utilising an evaluation logic model to define inputs (in terms of resources for planning, implementation and evaluation), outputs (in terms of intended changes in healthcare processes) and longer-term outcomes (in terms of health and wider benefits or harms), whether intended or incidental and in the short, medium or long term. Results We will present an evaluation logic model for the project. This will be expanded to show the analytical techniques which we will use to explain how and why the project achieves its outcomes. This includes times series analyses, pattern matching, cross case syntheses and explanation building to inform an explanatory logic model. We will discuss how this model will be useful in determining the data that will need to be collected during the course of the project to inform the detailed explanation of how and why the project delivered its outcomes. Conclusion The case study approach will enable us to evaluate the impact of this collaborative project in constituent ambulance services as well as the initiative as a whole. It will enable us to show whether and to what extent the project has had an impact, but also how and why this has happened. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/28/11/e2.7.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/emermed-2011-200645.15
    • A comparative evaluation of 999 call-to-needle time of patients presenting with red flag sepsis treated with antibiotics by paramedics and emergency department staff

      Payne, Tanya; Chippendale, Jonathan; Lloyd, Adele (2017-10)
      Background National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines on the recognition, diagnosis and early management of sepsis suggest that in all cases of high risk (or ‘red flag’) sepsis a broad spectrum antibiotic is given without delay and within one hour. For patients identified pre-hospital, GP’s and ambulance services are advised to have mechanisms in place that will allow them to give antibiotics but only where the transfer time is greater than one hour. Whilst one hour is considered the gold standard timeframe in which to receive antibiotics, the 999 call dispatch process is often overlooked and there are no studies to date that examine the 999 call-to-needle time for sepsis patients. The aim of this evaluation was to explore the difference between call-to-needle times of patients who present with ‘red flag’ sepsis receiving antibiotic therapy by a paramedic pre hospital versus Emergency Department (ED) staff. Method Data collected from a feasibility evaluation was used to determine the call-to-needle time of a broad spectrum antibiotic given by a trained paramedic prior to arrival at ED. A random sample of patients arriving in ED by ambulance with high risk (or ‘red flag’) sepsis during the same 6 month period was identified with the call-to-needle time collected retrospectively. A Mann-Whitney U test was performed using SPSS version 22 to determine if there was any significant difference. Results Of the patients that were treated (n=140) the median call-to-needle time of patients treated by paramedics was 45:30 min (n=60), compared to a median call-to-needle time by ED staff of 113:30 min (n=80) (p<0.001). Conclusion Considering the call dispatch challenges that all ambulance services experience, patients with ‘red flag’ sepsis can be treated with an antibiotic within an hour of the 999 call and on average one hour earlier than patients who are treated by ED staff. https://emj.bmj.com/content/34/10/e8.2 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/emermed-2017-207114.23
    • A critical reassessment of ambulance service airway management in prehospital care: Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee Airway Working Group, June 2008

      Deakin, Charles D.; Clarke, Tom; Nolan, Jerry P.; Zideman, David; Gwinnutt, Carl; Moore, Fionna; Keeble, Carl; Blancke, Wim (2010-03)
      Paramedic tracheal intubation has been practised in the UK for more than 20 years and is currently a core skill for paramedics. Growing evidence suggests that tracheal intubation is not the optimal method of airway management by paramedics and may be detrimental to patient outcomes. There is also evidence that the current initial training of 25 intubations performed in-hospital is inadequate, and that the lack of ongoing intubation practice may compound this further. Supraglottic airway devices (eg, laryngeal mask airway), which were not available when extended training and paramedic intubation was first introduced, are now in use in many ambulance services and are a suitable alternative prehospital airway device for paramedics. https://emj.bmj.com/content/27/3/226.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. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emj.2009.082115
    • Decision making and safety in ambulance service transitions

      O'Hara, Rachel; Johnson, Maxine; Hirst, Enid; Weyman, Andrew; Shaw, Deborah; Mortimer, Peter; Newman, Chris; Storey, Matthew; Turner, Janette; Mason, Suzanne; et al. (2015-05)
      Introduction Decisions made by ambulance staff are often timecritical and based on limited information. Wrong decisions could have serious consequences for patients but little is known about areas of risk associated with decisions about patient care. We aimed to examine system in fluences on decision making in the ambulance service setting focusing on paramedic roles. Method An exploratory mixed methods qualitative study was conducted in three Ambulance Service Trusts. A document search and 16 interviews were conducted to understand service delivery in each Trust, how they link with other services and potential influences on decisions about patient care. Researchers observed ambulance crews on 34 shifts and 10 paramedics completed ‘digital diaries’ to report challenges for decision making or patient safety. Three focus groups with staff (N=21) and three with service users (N=23) were held to explore their views on decision making and patient safety. Data were charted to produce a typology of decisions then coded and thematically analysed to identify in fluences on those decisions. Findings Nine types of decision were identi fied, ranging from specialist emergency pathways to non-conveyance. In fluences on these decisions included communication with Control Room staff; patient assessment, decision support and alternative options to ED conveyance. Seven main issues in fluencing patient safety in decision making were identi fied: meeting demand; performance and priorities; access to care options; risk aversion; education, training and professional development for crews; communication and feedback to crews; resources and safety culture. Conclusions A range of decisions are made by ambulance staff in complex, time bound changing conditions. Training and development and access to alternative options to ED conveyance were identi fied as particularly important issues. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/32/5/e2.1.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/emermed-2015-204880.4
    • 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
    • Does current pre-hospital analgesia effectively reduce paediatric pain within a uk ambulance service: a service evaluation

      Whitley, Gregory; Bath-Hextall, Fiona (2017-10)
      Introduction Pain is one of the most common symptoms presented by patients of all ages to ambulance services, however very few children receive analgesia. Analgesic treatment of pre-hospital injured children is viewed as ‘suboptimal’. The aim of this study was to explore current analgesia given to traumatically injured children in the pre-hospital setting and examine whether a clinically meaningful reduction in pain was achieved. Methods We evaluated electronic patient report forms over a two-year period (2013–2014) within a UK ambulance service NHS trust. All traumatically injured children within the age range 1–17 with a clinical impression of a fracture, dislocation, wound or burn were included. Patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale of <15 were excluded. The outcome measure was a reduction in numeric pain rating scale or Wong and Baker faces of ≥2 out of 10. Results Of the evaluable patients (n=11,317), 90.8% had a documented pain score, or a reason why a pain score could not be documented. For patients reporting pain (n=7483), 51.6% (n=3861) received analgesia, 9.6% (n=717) received no analgesia but did receive alternative treatment and 38.8% (n=2905) received no analgesia and no alternative treatment. Morphine sulphate IV, oral morphine, Entonox, paracetamol suspension and poly-analgesia all achieved a clinically meaningful median reduction in pain score; –3.0 (IQR, –5.0 to –2.0),–2.0 (–5.0 to –2.0),–2.0 (–4.0 to –1.0),–2.0 (–4.0 to 0.0) and –3.0 (–4.0 to –1.0), respectively. Conclusions Analgesia administered to traumatically injured children in the pre-hospital setting within this UK ambulance service NHS trust produces clinically meaningful reductions in pain for these patients. The concern is that a large number of patients received neither analgesia nor alternative treatment. There is a real need to identify barriers to analgesia administration in this patient group. https://emj.bmj.com/content/34/10/e2.3 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/emermed-2017-207114.8
    • An evaluation of an educational intervention to reduce inappropriate cannulation and improve cannulation technique by paramedics

      Siriwardena, Aloysius; Iqbal, Mohammad; Banerjee, Smita C.; Spaight, Anne; Stephenson, John (2009-10-22)
      Background: Intravenous cannulation enables administration of fluids or drugs by paramedics in prehospital settings. Inappropriate use and poor technique carry risks for patients, including pain and infection. We aimed to investigate the effect of an educational intervention designed to reduce the rate of inappropriate cannulation and to improve cannulation technique. Method: We used a non-randomised control group design, comparing two counties in the East Midlands (UK) as intervention and control areas. The educational intervention was based on Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee guidance and delivered to paramedic team leaders who cascaded it to their teams. We analysed rates of inappropriate cannulation before and after the intervention using routine clinical data. We also assessed overall cannulation rates before and after the intervention. A sample of paramedics was assessed post-intervention on cannulation technique with a “model” arm using a predesigned checklist. Results: There was a non-significant reduction in inappropriate (no intravenous fluids or drugs given) cannulation rates in the intervention area (1.0% to 0%) compared with the control area (2.5% to 2.6%). There was a significant (p<0.001) reduction in cannulation rates in the intervention area (9.1% to 6.5%; OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.48 to 1.03) compared with an increase in the control area (13.8% to 19.1%; OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.90), a significant difference (p<0.001). Paramedics in the intervention area were significantly more likely to use correct hand-washing techniques post-intervention (74.5% vs. 14.9%; p<0.001). Conclusion: The educational intervention was effective in bringing about changes leading to enhanced quality and safety in some aspects of prehospital cannulation. https://emj.bmj.com/content/26/11/831. 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.2008.071415
    • Exploratory study of factors associated with adverse clinical features in patients presenting with non-fatal drug overdose/self-poisoning to the ambulance service

      Gwini, Stella M.; Shaw, Deborah; Iqbal, Mohammad; Spaight, Anne; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2011-10)
      AIM: To investigate the factors associated with adverse clinical features presented by drug overdose/self-poisoning patients and the treatments provided. METHODS: Historical patient records collected over 3 months from ambulance crews attending non-fatal overdoses/self-poisoning incidents were reviewed. Logistic regression was used to investigate predictors of adverse clinical features (reduced consciousness, obstructed airway, hypotension or bradycardia, hypoglycaemia) and treatment. RESULTS: Of 22,728 calls attended to over 3 months, 585 (rate 26/1000 calls) were classified as overdose or self-poisoning. In the 585 patients identified, paracetamol-containing drugs were most commonly involved (31.5%). At least one adverse clinical feature occurred in 103 (17.7%) patients, with higher odds in men and opiate overdose or illegal drugs. Older patients and patients with reduced consciousness were more likely to receive oxygen. The latter also had a greater chance of receiving saline. CONCLUSION: Non-fatal overdose/self-poisoning accounted for 2.6% of patients attended by an ambulance. Gender, illegal drugs or opiates were important predictors of adverse clinical features. The treatments most often provided to patients were oxygen and saline. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/28/10/892.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/emj.2009.086140
    • Exploring factors increasing paramedics’ likelihood of administering analgesia in pre-hospital pain: cross sectional study (explain)

      Asghar, Zahid; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Phung, Viet-Hai; Lord, Bill; Foster, Theresa; Pocock, Helen; Williams, Julia; Snooks, Helen (2017-10)
      Background Paramedics play an important role in reducing pain in patients calling an ambulance. We aimed to identify how patient factors (age, sex), clinical condition and paramedic factors (sex, role seniority) affected pain treatment and outcomes. Methods We used a cross sectional design using routine retrospective data a one-week sample of all 999 ambulance attendances in two large regional UK ambulance services for all patients aged 18 years or over where pain was identified in people requiring primary transport to hospital. Exclusion criteria patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale score below 13, or patients not attended by a paramedic. We used a multilevel design, using a regression model to investigate which factors were independently associated with administration of analgesia and reduction in pain, taking into account confounders including patient demographics and other variables. Analysis was performed with Stata. Results We collected data on 9574 patients (service 1, 2; n=3344, 6230 respectively) including 4911 (51.3%) male and 4524 (47.3%) females (1.5% missing). Initial pain score was not recorded in 42.4% (4063/9574). The multilevel model suggested that the factors associated with use of strong opiates (morphine intravenously or orally) was a pain score of 7 or above, patient age 50–64 years and suspected fractured neck of femur. Reduction in pain score of 2 or more points was significant whatever the initial pain score and associated with age 50–84 years. There was no association between use of strong opiate analgesic or reduction in pain score and sex of patient and/or sex of paramedic or crew member. Conclusion Our initial analysis showed a high level of non-recording of pain scores. There was no association between use of strong opiate analgesics or reduction in pain score of 2 points or more with patient sex or crew sex or paramedic skill level. https://emj.bmj.com/content/34/10/e11 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/emermed-2017-207114.29
    • Factors associated with adverse clinical features in patients presenting with non-fatal self-poisoning

      Gwini, Stella; Shaw, Deborah; Mohammad, Iqbal; Spaight, Anne; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2011-03)
      Background Drug overdose or self poisoning is an important reason for an ambulance service response. We aimed to undertake a preliminary investigation into the pattern of drug overdose presenting to one ambulance service and factors associated with adverse clinical features and treatment. Methods We examined data from clinical records obtained by ambulance crews attending non-fatal overdoses over 3 months. We produced descriptive statistics and used logistic regression to investigate predictors of adverse clinical features (reduced consciousness, obstructed airway, hypotensive and hypoglycaemia) and treatment. Results A total of 585 patients were identified over 3 months, giving a rate of 26 per 1000 ambulance requests. Paracetamol containing drugs were most commonly involved. About 8% of patients had taken an overdose of an illegal drug. Adverse clinical reactions occurred in 103 (17.7%) of patients. The odds of any adverse clinical feature was higher in men (OR 2.04; 95% CI 1.18 to 3.51) and overdose involving an opiate (OR 2.35; 95% CI 1.16 to 4.93) or an illegal drug (OR 2.51; 95% CI 1.05 to 5.96). The older the patient, the more likely they were to receive oxygen (OR 1.03; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.04). Patients with reduced consciousness also had a greater chance of receiving oxygen (OR 2.89; 95% CI 1.45 to 5.77) and/or saline (OR 8.00; 95% CI 3.32 to 19.28). Conclusion Non-fatal overdose or self poisoning accounts for 2.6% of patients attended by an ambulance. Gender, illegal or opioid containing drugs were important predictors of adverse clinical features. The treatments most often provided to patients were oxygen and saline. This provides an incite into the burden of overdose/poisoning as well as serve as a pilot for future research aimed at improving early management of overdose and poisoning. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/28/3/e1.5.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/emj.2010.108605.13
    • Identifying barriers and facilitators to improving prehospital care of asthma: views of ambulance clinicians

      Shaw, Deborah; Knowles, Stacey; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2011-11)
      Background In 2008/2009 there were nearly 80 000 emergency hospital admissions for asthma. Current UK guidelines emphasise the importance of evidence-based prehospital assessment and treatment of asthma for improving patient outcomes and reducing hospitalisation, morbidity and mortality. National benchmarking of ambulance clinical performance indicators for asthma have revealed important unexplained variations in care across ambulance services. Little research has been undertaken to understand the reasons for poor levels of care. Objective The aim of this study was to gather data on ambulance clinicians' perceptions and beliefs around prevailing and best practice for management of asthma. This was used to identify the factors which prevent or enable better asthma care in ambulance services. Methods We used a phenomenological qualitative approach, which addresses how individuals use their experiences to make sense of their world, focusing on participants' lived experiences of care delivery for asthma. We used focus groups of ambulance clinicians to gather data on barriers and facilitators to better asthma care. Recordings and notes were taken, transcribed and then analysed using QSR NVivo 8. A coding framework was developed based on a priori concepts but with emergent themes added during the analysis. Results Two focus groups were conducted with eight and five participants respectively. A number of preliminary themes and subthemes were identified. The study identified issues relating to clarity of ambulance guidelines, conflicts between training and guidance, misconceptions about the importance of objective assessment and over reliance on non-objective assessment. Some practitioners believed that hospital staff were not interested in prehospital peak flow assessments. Conclusion Our findings will inform improved systems of care for asthma and the effect on indicators will be measured using time series methods. This approach could be used more widely to improve management of specific clinical conditions where quality of care is demonstrated to be suboptimal. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/28/11/e2.10.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/emermed-2011-200645.3
    • Interim analysis of ambulance logistics and timings in patients recruited into the rapid intervention with glyceryl trinitrate in hypertensive stroke trial-2 (right-2)

      Dixon, Mark; Scutt, Polly; Appleton, Jason P.; Spaight, Robert; Johnson, Roderick; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Bath, Philip; RIGHT-2 investigators (2017-10)
      Background Stroke is a severe condition with high morbidity and mortality. Despite treatment effects in acute stroke being predominantly time dependent (e.g. thrombolysis and thrombectomy), proven treatments are hospital based and require prior brain scanning to identify intracerebral haemorrhage. Commencing treatment in the ambulance could dramatically reduce time to treatment. Methods The rapid intervention with glyceryl trinitrate in hypertensive stroke trial-2 (RIGHT-2) is a multicentre prospective randomised single-blind blinded-endpoint parallel group trial assessing the safety and efficacy of ambulance-based, paramedic-delivered glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) when administered within 4 hours of stroke onset. Paramedics trained in RIGHT-2 procedures assess, take appropriate consent and enrol eligible FAST-positive patients and apply the first of four GTN or sham transdermal patches that are continued during hospital admission. Timings, vital signs and distances are recorded. Results 317 participants enrolled across five UK NHS ambulance services were assessed in this interim analysis. Median [interquartile range] timings in minutes were: symptom onset to 999 call 14 [5, 52], call-dispatch 2 [1, 6], onset-randomisation 60 [40, 105], scene-randomisation 21 [14, 31] with no difference between participants scoring FAST 2 or 3, scene-departure 32 [25, 40]), departure-hospital 16 [10, 24]. All timings were comparable to a cohort of 49 stroke patients across East Midlands Ambulance Service who were not enrolled in to RIGHT-2, e.g. scene-departure 32 [23, 40]. Conclusions Randomisation of participants to an ambulance-based stroke trial is possible with paramedics rapidly identifying eligible patients, gaining appropriate consent, randomising and commencing treatment en route to hospital without prolonging time spent on scene. https://emj.bmj.com/content/34/10/e6.3 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/emermed-2017-207114.18
    • Investigating the understanding, use and experiences of older people in Lincolnshire accessing emergency and urgent services via 999 and NHS 111: a scoping study

      Togher, Fiona Jayne; Windle, Karen; Essam, Nadya; Hardwick, Jialin; Phung, Viet-Hai; Vowles, Valerie (2015-05)
      Introduction During 2011/12, East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) received 776,000 emergency 999 calls of which 36% (277,000) did not require transportation to hospital. Inappropriate calls can be due to public misunderstanding of when it is appropriate to ring 999. NHS 111 is an alternative free telephone service that enables the public to access health care advice or resources when the matter is urgent but not a 999 emergency. However knowing which service to telephone is not always easy and such a decision can be particularly dif ficult for older people as symptom presentation across complex co-morbidities can be atypical. A mixed method scoping project was carried out to explore the understanding, use and experiences of emergency (999) and urgent services (NHS 111) by older people aged 65 and over. Here, we report findings from the qualitative workstream. Methods Semi-structured interviews and focus groups (n=25) using a topic guide were carried out with a purposive sample of older people who had used the 999 ambulance service and/or the NHS 111 service in the East Midlands. Results We found a lack of awareness as to the remit of NHS 111 and confusion as to when this number should be phoned. Older people ’s expectations of 111 seemed to be analogous to other primary care services. As a consequence, participants were often dissatisfied with the service response; it neither provided useful advice nor reassurance. Greater satisfaction was reported with the call handling process and hospital transportation through EMAS (999) and older people ’s reported rationale for phoning 999 would seem to suggest appropriate service use. Conclusion Developing a greater understanding of how older people decide to contact a service would support future policy and practice implementation. If the remit of a service is unclear and accompanying publicity confusing, older people will continue to dial 999. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/32/5/e2.2.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/emermed-2015-204880.5
    • Investigation of patient and practitioner views on improving pain management in the prehospital settings

      Iqbal, Mohammad; Spaight, Anne; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Shaw, Deborah (2011-03)
      Background Pre-hospital pain management is increasingly important with most patients (80%) presenting to UK ambulance services in pain. Around 20% of patients want more pain relief and 5% feel that ambulance crews do not adequately treat pain. A recent study in the East Midlands showed that 85.1% of AMI patients and 75% of fracture patients had a pain score but fewer than a quarter of patients assessed for and experiencing pain with either condition received opiates. Improving the pathway of prehospital pain management is therefore important and a key indicator of the quality of service. Objective We gathered data on perspectives of pain management from patients, ambulance and accident and emergency (A&E) care staff in Lincolnshire. Method Qualitative data were gathered through focus group (5) and interviews (28). Participants were purposively sampled from patients recently transported to hospital with pain, ambulance staff and A&E clinicians. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Data were manipulated using MAXQDA and thematic analysis used iteratively to develop themes. Results Themes emerging from the data included: (a) expectations and beliefs (b) assessment methods (c) drug treatment (d) non-drug treatment and (e) improvement strategies for pain. Patients and staff expected pain to be relieved in the ambulance; instances of refusal or inadequate analgesia were not uncommon. Pain was commonly assessed using a verbal pain score; clinical observation was also used which sometimes led to discordance between subjective experience and clinical assessment. Morphine, Entonox and oxygen were commonly used to treat pain. Reassurance, positioning and immobilisation were alternatives to drugs. Suggestions to improve prehospital pain management included addressing barriers, modifying the available drugs and developing a prehospital pain management protocol supported by training for staff. Conclusion The findings will be used to develop an educational intervention for better pain assessment and management in the prehospital setting. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/28/3/e1.12.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/emj.2010.108605.2
    • Leadership, innovation and engagement in quality improvement in the Ambulance Services Cardiovascular Quality Initiative: cross sectional study

      Essam, Nadya; Phung, Viet-Hai; Asghar, Zahid; Spaight, Anne; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2015-05)
      Introduction Clinical leadership and organisational culture are important contextual factors for successful Quality Improvement (QI) programmes. The relationship between these and with organisational performance is complex and poorly understood. We aimed to explore the relationship between leadership, culture of innovation, and clinical engagement in QI for organisations participating in a large-scale national ambulance Quality Improvement Collaborative (QIC). Methods We used a cross sectional survey design. An online questionnaire was distributed to 22,117 frontline ambulance staff across all 12 ambulance services in England. Scores (0 –100%) were derived for each key aspect: clinical leadership; culture of innovation; use of QI methods; and effectiveness of QI methods. Responses to an open-ended question were analysed and complemented the quantitative findings. Results There were 2,743 (12%) responses from 11 of 12 participating ambulance services. Despite only a small proportion of responders (3%) being directly involved with ASCQI, leadership behaviour was significantly higher for ASCQI members than for non-ASCQI members. Involvement in ASCQI was not signi ficantly associated with responders ’ perceptions of the culture of innovation of their organisation, which was generally considered to be poor. ASCQI members were signi ficantly more likely to use QI methods but overall uptake of QI methods was low. The use of QI methods was also signi ficantly associated with leadership behaviour and service tenure. Limitations There was a low response rate, although suf ficient responses to enable comparison of those who participated in ASCQI with those who did not. Conclusion and recommendations Although participants reported a lack of organisational culture of innovation, considered a prerequisite for QI, the collaborative achieved significant wide-scale improvements in prehospital care for myocardial infarction and stroke. We postulate that improvement was mediated through a ‘QI subculture ’ developed from ASCQI ’ s distributed leadership and network. Further research is needed to understand success factors for QI in different complex healthcare environments. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/32/5/e9.3.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/emermed-2015-204880.25
    • Modified early warning scores (MEWS) to support ambulance clinicians' decisions to transport or treat at home

      Essam, Nadya; Windle, Karen; Mullineaux, David; Knowles, Stacey; Gray, James; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2015-05)
      Introduction Modified Early Warning Scores (MEWS), calculated from patients’ vital signs, are used in hospital to identify patients who may benefit from admission or intensive care: higher MEWS indicates greater clinical risk. We aimed to evaluate MEWS to support paramedics’ decisions to transport patients to hospital or treat and leave them at home. Methods We used an interrupted time series design. We trained 19 volunteer paramedics to use MEWS to support decisions to transport or treat and leave at home. We used linear regression to evaluate differences in weekly transportation rates (percentage of patients attended and transported to hospital) and revisit rates (percentage of patients attended, treated at home and subsequently revisited within 7 days), comparing trends in rates 17 weeks prior (pre-MEWS) and 17 weeks post implementation of MEWS. Auto-calculated scores retrospectively applied to all data provided pre-MEWS and were compared with paramedic calculated scores post-MEWS. Results Of the 4140 patients attended, 2208 were excluded owing to missing values (n=1897), recording errors (n=21) or excluded clinical complaints (n=290). From the remaining data (n=1932) there were no significant differences in transportation rates (pre=55±6%; post=63±11%) by catering for the existing increasing trends where the confidence intervals of the regression slopes overlap (pre=0.15; 95%CI −0.51 to 0.80 vs. post=0.54; −0.58 to 1.65). Similarly, there were no significant difference in revisit rates (pre=4±4%; post=2±4%) catering for the similar trends (pre=−0.13; −0.53 to 0.27 vs. post=0.08; −0.33 to 0.49). Paramedic scores were incorrect 39% of the time (n=622). Conclusion MEWS had a minimal effect on transportation or revisit rates. Scores were frequently not calculated or recorded, or incorrectly calculated. Opportunities for ongoing training, clinical support and feedback were limited. A larger study, ensuring adequate ongoing support, is recommended before implementing MEWS on a wider scale. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/32/5/e1.2.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/emermed-2015-204880.2
    • Non-randomised control study of the effectiveness of a novel pain assessment tool for use by paramedics

      Iqbal, Mohammad; Spaight, P. Anne; Kane, Ros; Asghar, Zahid; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2016-09)
      Background Eighty percent of patients presenting to ambulance services present with pain. Pain is sometimes inadequately assessed and treated. Effective pain management can improve patient outcomes and experience. Previous qualitative research suggested that numerical verbal pain scores, usually used to assess pain in the ambulance setting, were poorly understood. We developed a new tool, the ‘Patient Reported Outcome Measure for Pain Treatment’ (PROMPT), to address this need. Initial testing showed that PROMPT had reliability and (face, content and predictive) validity. We aimed to investigate the effectiveness of PROMPT. Methods We used a non-randomised control group design in adult patients with chest pain or injury treated by intervention paramedics using PROMPT compared with control paramedics following usual practice for pain outcomes (reduction in pain score, use of analgesia). Routine data from electronic patient records were used to measure outcomes. We collected baseline rates of outcomes in patients treated by intervention and control paramedics, in a seven month period one year previously, to adjust for secular trends. The study was conducted in East Midlands Ambulance Service. We used regression analysis to compare groups for differences in pain score change and use of analgesics correcting for baseline rates and demographic differences. Results Twenty-five intervention paramedics used PROMPT (of 35 who were trained in its use) treating 300 patients over a seven month period. Data for these and 848 patients treated by 106 control paramedics were entered into SPSS and STATA12 for analysis. Mean reductions in pain score ( p<0.001) and use of analgesics was significantly greater (p<0.001) in patients managed by paramedics using PROMPT compared with those receiving usual care after adjusting for patient age, sex, clinical condition and baseline rates. Conclusion Use of the PROMPT resulted in greater reductions in pain score and increased use of analgesics compared with usual care. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/33/9/e1.3.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/emermed-2016-206139.7