• Rapid Intervention with Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) in Hypertensive stroke Trial (RIGHT): safety of GTN and potential of ambulance trials in ultra-acute stroke

      Ankolekar, Sandeep; Fuller, Michael; Sprigg, Nicola; Sare, Gillian; Geeganage, Chamila; Stokes, Lynn; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Bath, Philip M.; Right Invesitgators (2012-12-06)
    • Traumatic brain injuries: continuing dilemmas in the pre-hospital care arena

      Griffin, Dylan (2013-02)
      Abstract published with permission. This article examines the clinical assessment, diagnosis and management of an agitated traumatic brain-injured patient in the pre-hospital setting by a UK Helicopter Emergency Medical (HEMS) Team. Using a case study from clinical practice, the signs and symptoms, aetiology and clinical management options are discussed and compared against current best evidence, with the specific aims of improving mortality and morbity in critically-ill traumatic brain-injured patients.
    • Patients' and emergency clinicians' perceptions of improving pre-hospital pain management: a qualitative study

      Iqbal, Mohammad; Spaight, Peggy Anne; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2013-03)
      Background The authors aimed to investigate patients’ and practitioners’ views and experiences of pre-hospital pain management to inform improvements in care and a patient-centred approach to treatment. Methods This was a qualitative study involving a single emergency medical system. Data were gathered through focus groups and semi-structured interviews. Participants were purposively sampled from patients transported by ambulance to hospital with a painful condition during the past 6 months, ambulance service and emergency department (ED) clinicians. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and thematic analysis was conducted. Results 55 participants were interviewed: 17 patients, 25 ambulance clinicians and 13 ED clinicians. Key themes included: (1) consider beliefs of patients and staff in pain management; (2) widen pain assessment strategies; (3) optimise non-drug treatment; (4) increase drug treatment options; and (5) enhance communication and coordination along the pre-hospital pain management pathway. Patients and staff expected pain to be relieved in the ambulance; however, refusal of or inadequate analgesia were common. Pain was commonly assessed using a verbal score, but practitioners’ views of severity were sometimes discordant with this. Morphine and Entonox were commonly used to treat pain. Reassurance, positioning and immobilisation were used as alternatives to drugs. Pre-hospital pain management could be improved by addressing practitioner and patient barriers, increasing available drugs and developing multi-organisational pain management protocols supported by training for staff. Conclusions Pain is often poorly managed and undertreated in the pre-hospital environment. The authors’ findings may be used to inform guidance, education and policy to improve the pre-hospital pain management pathway. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/30/3/e18.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-2012-201111
    • Management of patients following cold water immersion

      Strange, Barnaby; Desjardins, Mathew (2013-06)
      Abstract published with permission. Sudden immersion in cold water results in a number of physiological changes within the human body. This disruption of homeostasis can have a detrimental effect on normal body function and lead to life-threatening consequences including drowning, hypothermia and sudden death. This article will examine the changes in physiology from the point of initial immersion through to rescue or death. Particular attention is given to the profound effects upon the respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological systems as a consequence of cold water immersion. This is then reviewed and observed from the perspective of paramedics practising within the United Kingdom, who may face challenges that arise from this phenomenon. The pre-hospital assessment of immersed patients will be discussed in order to identify and address potential and immediate life threats, with specific focus on rewarming hypothermic patients post immersion.
    • Severe hypoglycaemia requiring emergency medical assistance by ambulance services in the East Midlands: a retrospective study

      Khunti, Kamlesh; Fisher, Harriet; Paul, Sanjoy; Iqbal, Mohammad; Davies, Melanie J.; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2013-07)
    • Patients' and ambulance service clinicians' experiences of prehospital care for acute myocardial infarction and stroke: a qualitative study

      Togher, Fiona Jayne; Davy, Zowie; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2013-11)
      BACKGROUND: Patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke commonly present first to the ambulance service. Little is known about experiences of prehospital care which are important for measuring the quality of services for patients with AMI or stroke. AIM: We explored experiences of patients, who had accessed the ambulance service for AMI or stroke, and clinicians regularly treating patients for these conditions in the prehospital setting. METHOD: A qualitative research design was employed to obtain rich and detailed data to explore and compare participants' experiences of emergency prehospital care for AMI and stroke. RESULTS: We conducted 33 semistructured interviews with service users and clinicians and one focus group with five clinicians. Four main themes emerged: communication, professionalism, treatment of condition and the transition from home to hospital. Patients focused on both personal and technical skills. Technical knowledge and relational skills together contributed to a perception of professionalism in ambulancepersonnel. Patients' experience was enhanced when physical, emotional and social needs were attended to and they emphasised effective communication within the clinician-patient relationship to be the key. However, we found a discrepancy between paramedics' perceptions of patients' expectations and patients' lack of knowledge of the paramedic role. CONCLUSIONS: Factors that contribute to better patient experience are not necessarily understood in the same way by patients and clinicians. Our findings can contribute to the development of patient experience measures for prehospital care. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/30/11/942.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-2012-201507
    • 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)
    • Understanding a new model of leadership

      Johnson, David; Bainbridge, Peter; Hazard, Wendy (2013-12)
      Abstract published with permission. Leadership is an essential feature of the life of a paramedic. During incidents, whilst working with multi-agency colleagues, and within organisations, leadership is an expected quality of paramedics. Across health and social care organisations leadership is said to be of pivotal importance to future success. This has led to a large investment in leadership development programmes that organisations are now seeking to justify. Leadership as a concept is, however, complex and multifaceted. The nature of leadership has been debated over millennia and still disagreement exists as to how to define it. This paper utilises Critical Interpretive Synthesis to consider how approaches to leadership have developed over time. It concludes with a synthesising argument that leadership is a social construct; as such no single definition will ever be appropriate; however, the four elements that comprise the leadership equation should be considered if the paramedic leader is to be effective.
    • Pre-hospital treatment of traumatic rhabdomyolysis

      Desjardins, Mathew; Strange, Barnaby (2013-12)
    • Ambulance CPAP saves lives: why don't we use it?

      Mullen, Robert (2013-12)
      Abstract published with permission. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is an established in-hospital therapy for the treatment of multiple aetiologies of breathlessness, primarily for acute cardiogenic pulmonary oedema (ACPE) due to acute exacerbations of congestive heart failure (CHF), but also (amongst others): exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and pneumonia (Gray et al, 2009; Wesley et al, 2011). The use of CPAP as an adjunctive treatment for ACPE patients in front-line ambulances has been proven to improve patient outcome, preventing them from reaching the ‘point of no return’ and a downward spiral into total respiratory failure. This article will discuss current UK ambulance practice and examine the issues surrounding the introduction and use of CPAP as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of ACPE, secondary to acutely exacerbated CHF, whilst also briefly discussing its use in other aetiologies of breathlessness.
    • 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)
    • Airway management in UK Ambulance Services

      Gregory, Pete; Kilner, T.; Woollard, Malcolm; Arnold-Jones, S. (2014-06)
    • A qualitative study of 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. (2014-12)
    • A qualitative study of systemic influences on paramedic decision making : care transitions and patient safety

      Shaw, Deborah; Mortimer, Peter; Newman, Chris; Storey, Matthew; Shewan, Jane; O'Hara, Rachel; Johnson, Maxine; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Weyman, Andrew; Turner, Janette; et al. (2015-01)
    • Paramedic prescribing: a potion for success or a bitter pill to swallow?

      Griffin, Dylan (2015-05)
      Abstract published with permission. In a climate of unprecedented demand on healthcare services, ageing demographics, population growth through immigration, a reduction in junior doctors’ working hours, and overriding political agendas, the need to develop innovative new roles and expand the scope of practice for existing practitioners, including paramedics, is paramount if the NHS is to maintain resilience in an evolving healthcare system. Recent legislative changes now permit chiropodists/ podiatrists and physiotherapists to independently prescribe, further fuelling other allied health professions (AHPs), such as paramedics’ and radiographers’ desire to become future independent prescribers. Implementation has the potential to enhance patient/clinician experiences through improved access to medicines, and would significantly reduce the need for multi-disciplinary involvement per care episode, yielding cost-efficiency savings through reduced ambulance journeys, fewer avoidable admissions, further augmenting patient care delivery. Paramedic independent prescribing (PIP) would also elicit improved inter-professional collaboration, enhance employability and promote professional autonomy in evolving advanced practice roles. Such innovation requires legislative changes, but remains paramount if paramedics are to actively contribute towards tackling the increasing burden of unprecedented demand, limited resources, and ongoing commitment to achieve cost-efficiency savings within the modern NHS.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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