• Data quality and 30-day survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK out-of-hospital cardiac arrest registry: a data linkage study

      Rajagopal, Sangeerthana; Booth, Scott J.; Brown, Terry P.; Ji, Chen; Hawkes, Claire A.; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Kirby, Kim; Black, Sarah; Spaight, Robert; Gunson, Imogen; et al. (2017-11)
      Objectives The Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcomes (OHCAO) project aims to understand the epidemiology and outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) across the UK. This data linkage study is a subproject of OHCAO. The aim was to establish the feasibility of linking OHCAO data to National Health Service (NHS) patient demographic data and Office for National Statistics (ONS) date of death data held on the NHS Personal Demographics Service (PDS) database to improve OHCAO demographic data quality and enable analysis of 30-day survival from OHCA. Design and setting Data were collected from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014 as part of a prospective, observational study of OHCA attended by 10 English NHS Ambulance Services. 28 729 OHCA cases had resuscitation attempted by Emergency Medical Services and were included in the study. Data linkage was carried out using a data linkage service provided by NHS Digital, a national provider of health-related data. To assess data linkage feasibility a random sample of 3120 cases was selected. The sample was securely transferred to NHS Digital to be matched using OHCAO patient demographic data to return previously missing demographic data and provide ONS date of death data. Results A total of 2513 (80.5%) OHCAO cases were matched to patients in the NHS PDS database. Using the linkage process, missing demographic data were retrieved for 1636 (72.7%) out of 2249 OHCAO cases that had previously incomplete demographic data. Returned ONS date of death data allowed analysis of 30-day survival status. The results showed a 30-day survival rate of 9.3%, reducing unknown survival status from 46.1% to 8.5%. Conclusions In this sample, data linkage between the OHCAO registry and NHS PDS database was shown to be feasible, improving demographic data quality and allowing analysis of 30-day survival status. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/7/11/e017784.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-2017-017784
    • 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
    • Determining the Feasibility of Ambulance-Based Randomised Controlled Trials in Patients with Ultra-Acute Stroke: Study Protocol for the "Rapid Intervention with GTN in Hypertensive Stroke Trial"

      Ankolekar, Sandeep; Sare, Gillian; Geeganage, Chamila; Fuller, Michael; Stokes, Lynn; Sprigg, Nicola; Parry, Ruth; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Bath, Phillip, M.W. (2012-09)
    • Developing new ways of measuring the quality and impact of ambulance service care: the PhOEBE mixed-methods research programme

      Turner, Janette; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Coster, Joanne; Jacques, Richard; Irving, Andy; Crum, Annabel; Gorrod, Helen B.; Nicholl, Jon; Phung, Viet-Hai; Togher, Fiona Jayne; et al. (2019-04)
    • 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
    • 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
    • Discerning the age of a child

      Whitley, Gregory; Lord, Bill (2018-09)
      Abstract published with permission. In this comment, Gregory Whitley and Bill Lord note the disparity in age ranges used to define a 'child', across both clinical guidelines and research, and its significant implications for paramedic practice.
    • 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
    • The effect of a national quality improvement collaborative on prehospital care for acute myocardial infarction and stroke in England

      Siriwardena, Aloysius; Shaw, Deborah; Essam, Nadya; Togher, Fiona Jayne; Davy, Zowie; Spaight, Anne; Dewey, Michael; ASCQI Core Group (2014-01)
    • 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 cross-sectional study of factors associated with pre-hospital management of pain

      Siriwardena, Aloysius; Shaw, Deborah; Bouliotis, George (2010-12)
    • 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
    • Feasibility of an ambulance-based stroke trial, and safety of glyceryl trinitrate in ultra-acute stroke: the rapid intervention with glyceryl trinitrate in Hypertensive Stroke Trial (RIGHT, ISRCTN66434824)

      Ankolekar, Sandeep; Fuller, Michael; Cross, Ian; Renton, Cheryl; Cox, Patrick; Sprigg, Nikola; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Bath, Philip M. (2013-11)
    • The feasibility of paramedics delivering antibiotic treatment pre-hospital to ‘red flag’ sepsis patients: a service evaluation

      Chippendale, Jonathan; Lloyd, Adele; Payne, Tanya; Dunmore, Sally; Stoddart, Bethan (2018-03)
      Abstract published with permission. Background: Sepsis is associated with a 36% mortality rate, rising to 50% for septic shock. Currently, when an East Midlands Ambulance Service clinician recognises ‘red flag’ sepsis, only the oxygen and fluid elements of the ‘Sepsis Six’ care bundle are delivered, omitting the antibiotic therapy. For a patient in septic shock, every hour’s delay in antibiotic therapy is associated with a 7.6% increase in mortality. Ambulance clinicians are therefore appropriately placed to assess and commence treatment at the earliest point of recognition. The aim of this evaluation was to assess the feasibility of training paramedics to recognise ‘red flag’ sepsis, obtain blood cultures and administer a broad spectrum antibiotic, meropenem, to patients in the pre-hospital environment. Methods: A prospective six-month feasibility pilot evaluation was conducted in May 2016. Paramedics were trained and given access to a broad spectrum antibiotic, meropenem, along with a patient group direction to administer the antibiotic to ‘red flag’ sepsis patients. Training included sepsis recognition, taking of blood cultures and patient group direction compliance. Results: Twenty paramedics volunteered and successfully completed the training. Of the 113 patients that were identified as ‘red flag’ sepsis, 107 (94.6%) were confirmed as infected by the receiving hospital. Ninety-eight blood samples were successfully drawn by study paramedics, with only seven (7.1%) reported as contaminated samples, compared with 8.5% of samples taken by staff in the receiving ED during the same time period. Ninety patients (80%) assessed by paramedics as meeting the criteria were treated with meropenem, and patient group direction compliance was 100%. Conclusion: Paramedics can safely deliver pre-hospital antibiotics to patients with ‘red flag’ sepsis and obtain blood cultures prior to administration, with a contamination rate comparable with local hospitals, following a short training course.