• Are they really refusing to travel? A qualitative study of prehospital records

      Shaw, Deborah; Dyas, Jane; Middlemass, Jo; Spaight, Anne; Briggs, Maureen; Christopher, Sarah; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2006-09-19)
    • The digital ambulance: electronic patient clinical records in prehospital emergency care

      Porter, Alison; Potts, H.; Mason, Suzanne; Morgan, H.; Morrison, Z.; Rees, Nigel; Shaw, Deborah; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Snooks, Helen; Williams, V. (2018-04)
      Aim Electronic Records in Ambulances (ERA) is a two-year study examining the opportunities and challenges of prehospital implementation of electronic patient clinical records (ePCR) in the UK. National policy encourages digitisation of health services,1 but this transition may not be straightforward.2 Method A telephone survey of progress implementing ePCR in all 13 UK ambulance services explored systems, implementation processes, perceived value and future plans. Interviews with information managers were thematically analysed. Case studies in four UK ambulance services involved observing clinical work, focus groups with ambulance clinicians, interviews with key stakeholders and analysis of routine data. Results Baseline survey: 7/13 services were using ePCR, with mixed compliance from staff. Reported benefits concerned improved data access for audit. Of the 6/13 services currently using paper records, four had previously adopted ePCR, but reverted. Case studies: Initial findings suggest some common themes: . Constant change: 3/4 services were already undertaking or considering transition to a second generation system; 1/4 was undertaking a phased rollout of ePCR. . Digital diversity: no standard hardware or software in use. . Indirect input: patient data was still sometimes transferred to the ePCR from another source (eg writing on a glove) or entered retrospectively. . Data dump: ePCRs acted mainly as a store, rather than transferring information to other care providers or supporting decision making. Conclusion Although ePCRs offer opportunities to support prehospital care, the transition to the new technology is neither linear nor co-ordinated, with full benefits not yet realised in terms of integration and data sharing. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/Suppl_1/A26.3 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.70
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Prehospital outcomes for ambulance service care: systematic review

      Phung, Viet-Hai; Booth, Andrew; Coster, Joanne; Turner, Janette; Wilson, Richard; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2015-05)
      Background Ambulance service performance measurement has previously focused on response times and survival. We conducted a systematic review of the international literature on quality measures and outcomes relating to pre-hospital ambulance service care, aiming to identify a broad range of outcome measures to provide a more meaningful assessment of ambulance service care. Methods We searched a number of electronic databases including CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Medline, and Web of Science. For inclusion, studies had to report either research or evaluation conducted in a pre-hospital setting, published in the English language from 1982 to 2011, and reporting either outcome measures or specific outcome instruments. Results Overall, 181 full-text articles were included: 83 (46%) studies from North America, 50 (28%) from Europe and 21 (12%) from the UK. A total of 176 articles were obtained after examining 257 full-text articles in detail from 5,088 abstracts screened. A further five papers were subsequently identified from references of the articles examined and studies known to the authors. There were 140 articles (77%) which contained at least one survival-related measure, 47 (34%) which included information about length of stay and 87 (48%) which identified at least one place of discharge as an outcome. Limitations We encountered the problem of incomplete information, for instance studies not specifying which pain scales when these had been used or using survival without a specific time period. Conclusion and recommendations In addition to measures relating to survival, length of stay and place of discharge, we identified 247 additional outcome measures. Few studies included patient reported or cost outcomes. By identifying a wide range of outcome measures this review will inform further research looking at the feasibility of using a wider range of outcome measures and developing new outcome measures in prehospital research and quality improvement. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/32/5/e10.2.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-2015-204880.27
    • Reliability and validity of an ambulance patient reported experience measure (a-prem): pilot study

      Siriwardena, Aloysius; Togher, Fiona Jayne; Akanuwe, Joseph; Spaight, Anne (2017-10)
      Background There are no prehospital ambulance Patient Reported Experience Measures (A-PREMs) routinely used to support service comparisons and improvement. We developed an A-PREM, generating items through secondary analysis of ambulance patient interview data, and refining the instrument using expert assessment and cognitive interviews of service users. We aimed to pilot the A-PREM (48 experience and 12 attribute items) investigating user acceptability, reliability and construct validity. Methods Ambulance users attended by a UK regional ambulance service within the previous six months, excluding those suffering cardiac arrest, were sent a self-administered A-PREM. Returned questionnaires were entered into Microsoft Excel and imported into SPSS v22 for analysis. Experience items were recoded to range from 0 (don’t know/can’t remember) to 3 (best recorded experience). Descriptive analysis for item frequencies and missing values, reliability analyses for potential scales and tests of correlation and association were conducted. Results In all, 111 A-PREMs (22.2%) were returned. Missing data were highest for call-taking items. There was a significant association with a shorter wait for first response for four items measuring overall experience of call-taking (χ, p=0.05), ambulance staff (p<0.001), ambulance overall (p=0.001) and A and E (p=0.023). Four separate experience scales encompassing call taking (AmbCallScore, α=0.91), care at scene (AmbCareScore, α=0.90), care on leaving the patient (AmbLeaveScore, α=0.69), and care on transport (AmbTranScore α=0.71), showed satisfactory to high internal consistencies and distributions indicating generally positive experiences. AmbCallScore, AmbCareScore and AmbLeaveScore showed significantly higher scores (ANOVA) with shorter wait to first response. There were no significant differences for overall measures or scales by sex or age of participant, whether they were transported to hospital or not and whether it was their first experience of the ambulance service. Conclusion Our findings show that the A-PREM should be tested more widely for evidence of reliability, validity and sensitivity to different care and settings. https://emj.bmj.com/content/34/10/e6.2 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-2017-207114.17
    • What do users value about the emergency ambulance service?

      Togher, Fiona Jayne; Turner, Janette; Siriwardena, Aloysius; O'Cathain, Alicia (2015-05)
      Introduction Response times have been used as a key quality indicator for emergency ambulance services in the United Kingdom, but criticised for their narrow focus. Consequently, there is a need to consider wider measures of quality. The patient perspective is becoming an increasingly important dimension in pre-hospital outcomes research. To that end, we aimed to investigate patients' experiences of the 999 ambulance service to understand the processes and outcomes important to them. Methods We employed a qualitative design, using semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of people who had recently used a 999 ambulance in the East Midlands. We recruited patients of different age, sex, geographical location, and ambulance service response including ‘hear and treat’, ‘see and treat’ and ‘see and convey’. Results We interviewed 20 service users. Eleven men and nine women participated and 12 were aged 65 years and over. Users valued a quick response when they perceived the call to be an emergency. This was of less value to those who did not perceive their situation as an emergency and irrelevant to ‘hear and treat’ users. All users valued the professional approach and information and advice given by call handlers, crew and first responders, which provided them with reassurance in a worrying situation. ‘See and convey’ users valued a seamless handover to secondary care. Limitations We found it challenging to engage participants to consider quality indicators beyond response times because these were considered to be abstract in comparison with their concrete experiences. Conclusions and recommendations Aspects other than response times were important to patients, particularly in situations perceived by patients to be non-emergency. The results will be combined with issues identified from systematic reviews and used in a Delphi study to identify candidates for new outcome measures for emergency ambulance services. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/32/5/e9.2.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-2015-204880.24