• 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 pilot study to assess the feasibility of paramedics delivering antibiotic treatment to ‘red flag’ sepsis patients

      Chippendale, Jonathan; Lloyd, Adele; Payne, Tanya; Dunmore, Sally; Stoddart, Bethan (2017-10)
      Background Sepsis is associated with a 36% mortality rate rising up to 50% for septic shock. Currently when an East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) clinician recognises ‘red flag’ sepsis, only the oxygen and fluid elements of the ‘Sepsis 6’ care bundle are delivered, omitting the antibiotic therapy. Each hour antibiotics are delayed there is an increased risk of septic shock which is associated with a 7.6% greater risk of death. Ambulance clinicians are therefore appropriately placed to assess and commence treatment at the earliest point of recognition. The aim of this pilot was to assess the feasibility of paramedic training in recognising ‘red flag’ sepsis, obtaining blood cultures and administering a broad spectrum antibiotic to patients in the pre-hospital environment. Methods A prospective six month feasibility pilot evaluation was introduced in May 2016. Paramedics were trained and given access to a broad spectrum antibiotic along with a patient group directive (PGD) to administer the antibiotic to ‘red flag’ sepsis patients. Training included sepsis recognition, taking of blood cultures and PGD compliance. Results 20 paramedics volunteered and successfully completed the training. Of the patients that were identified as ‘red flag’ sepsis (n=113) 93% (n=107) were confirmed as infected by hospital record. 98 blood samples were harvested of which only 7.14% (n=7) were reported contaminated compared to an overall 8.48% of those taken in ED during the same time period. 80% (n=90) of patients assessed by paramedics met the criteria and were treated with meropenem. PGD compliance was 100%. Conclusion EMAS paramedics were accurate and reliable in their recognition of identifying ‘red flag’ sepsis and able to administer meropenem safely in accordance with the PGD. EMAS paramedic blood sample contamination rate was lower than those taken in the ED. https://emj.bmj.com/content/34/10/695.2 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-2017-207114.2