• Baby on the way: Was an ambulance in the plan?

      Foster, Theresa; Maillardet, Victoria (2012-11)
      Abstract published with permission. Objectives The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (the trust) sought the views of patients it attended who were imminently about to give birth at the time of the 999 call to the trust. This was a patient group who had previously never been specifically targeted by the trust as part of its on-going patient feedback activity to inform service development. Methods All imminent birth patients during a four consecutive month period from August to November 2008 were sent a questionnaire asking them about their contact and satisfaction with the ambulance service at the time of the birth. Results Results of this survey have shown that almost a fifth (19.4 %) of patients who had intended to give birth in hospital had planned to use the ambulance service for their transport. Perceived complications, severe pain, labour not progressing, or the advice of a midwife were the main reasons given for unplanned use of the service. In this sample, a greater percentage of patients who planned to give birth at a hospital or maternity centre actually gave birth at home (25.5 %), than was achieved by patients who had planned a home birth (16.7 %). Conclusions Further investigation is needed to inform developments in partnership working between ambulance and maternity services to better serve this patient group.
    • #BlackLivesMatter (2020)

      Asamoah-Danso, Tanoh; Mistry, Alpesh (2020-07)
      ‘6 foot 9?’ Another guess going wide of the mark from our third conscious and breathing patient of the shift—a guess coming a few minutes after my sigh of relief and stand down of helimed as it had come through as a confirmed choking. The life of a black paramedic in England is slightly difficult to contextualise. It is easy to say ‘my experience is my experience only’, but more often than not, I feel my experience is probably a carbon copy of that of other black staff. https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/full/10.12968/jpar.2020.12.7.290 Abstract published with permission.
    • A brief history of analgesia in paramedic practice

      Lord, Bill; Nicholls, Tracy L. (2014-08)
      Abstract published with permission. Paramedics and ambulance clinicians have an important role in alleviating pain. However, clinician-initiated analgesia has a relatively short history when compared with the field of medicine. Several barriers to the introduction of pharmacological options for the management of pain appear to have delayed the introduction of options for managing severe pain. These include legislative restrictions as well as concerns about the adverse effects of analgesics. This report describes the history of analgesia in paramedic or ambulance practice in the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia in order to add to the knowledge base for this profession, and to inform the development of strategies to advance pain management practice.
    • Cardiac arrest and the role of transthoracic echocardiography

      Reed, Grace (2017-10)
      Abstract published with permission. The role of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is one of the top five research priorities in prehospital critical care (Fevang et al, 2011). TTE is a non-invasive diagnostic tool in cardiac arrest, using ultrasound images to visualise the realtime activity of the heart (Hernandez et al, 2008). TTE has the potential to reduce the time between the onset of cardiac arrest and appropriate therapy. There are several reversible causes of cardiac arrest that can be identified by TTE in the pre-hospital environment. The method and value of identifying pulmonary emboli (PE), cardiac tamponade and hypovolaemia will be discussed. Equally, TTE can exclude certain reversible causes, indicating that the cardiac arrest is of an irreversible nature and the resuscitation attempt is futile. The application of TTE in this context will be reviewed in depth, from the current literature to the physical practicalities. As such, the aim of the present study is to clarify the role of TTE in patients suffering out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
    • Clinical handover

      Hicks, Emma (2013-12)
    • Does digoxin cause more harm than good?

      Reed, Grace (2019-04-08)
      Background: The most recent British National Formulary recommends digoxin therapy for patients with heart failure (HF) and/or supraventricular arrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation (AF) and atrial flutter. The positive inotropic and negative chronotropic effects of the drug are undoubtedly desirable when managing these conditions, yet the use of digoxin is decreasing in popularity among prescribers. Aim: The aim of this literature review is to evaluate the use of digoxin for treating HF and/or AF. It will highlight the benefits of digoxin as well as its potential risks. These should be considered by all prehospital staff when assessing patients who are prescribed digoxin. Conclusions: Digoxin has shown positive outcomes for reducing hospital admissions for patients with HF and/or AF. However, clinicians should be aware of the narrow therapeutic index, which results in a high incidence of digoxin toxicity. The adverse effects of digoxin use should be considered during prehospital assessment, inclusive of pro-arrhythmic and thromboembolic complications. Whether digoxin may result in harm depends on the age, underlying pathology and renal function of each individual patient. Abstract published with permission.
    • Effect of blood pressure on stroke severity and outcomes in acute cases

      Kench, Charles Albert (2020-04)
      Stroke results in impairment of cerebral autoregulation. Systemic blood pressure (BP), whether low or high, may affect cerebral blood flow and cause damage to brain tissue, so is important in the context of stroke. Effective management of BP may result in less severe strokes and better outcomes for patients. https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/full/10.12968/jpar.2020.12.4.157#d1614240e1 Abstract published with permission.
    • Induced hypothermia in the management of head trauma: A literature review

      Ravenscroft, Tristan (2012-12)
      Abstract published with permission. Mild hypothermia treatment (MHT) involves a controlled decrease of core temperature in order to mitigate the secondary damage to organs that follows post primary injury. In the case of traumatic brain injury (TBI) suggestions that the brain could be conserved by cooling go back as far as the 1940s. The idea was to reduce cerebral metabolism and hypoxic insult by using MHT. However, more recent research suggests that this is a ‘simplistic view’ of brain cooling when there is in fact a much more complex web of effects that need to be understood and accounted. There clearly needs to be a variety of multi-disciplinary team based simultaneous pre-hospital and then in-hospital treatments to ameliorate harm (Nonmaleficence ) and enhance brain healing processes (Beneficence). Examination will take place of the varied probable mechanisms of action and contemporary evidence for and against the use of MHT in TBI. Discussion will range across issues such as target range of MHT, time to achieve this range, duration of cooling, and finally re-warming rates on neurological outcomes following TBI. This in turn, should create a clearer evidence base, for the UK paramedic practitioner who is considering using MHT in the pre-hospital setting in the minutes following TBI and inform decisions around: methods and timing of cooling; shivering prevention using sedation; reliable on-going monitoring of core temperature and team building with hospital services.
    • Paramedic clinical leadership

      Martin, John; Swinburn, Andy (2012-03)
      Developing the paramedic profession is at the heart of the mission for the College of Paramedics. As any profession develops it evolves to take leadership and responsibility for a growing body of knowledge that informs practice. Back in 2008 the College published the second edition of the curriculum framework for paramedics clearly outlining the need for the development of roles at a variety of clinical levels. Having these levels populated creates a clinical framework that will deliver patient benefit and develop future paramedic practice. At its recent Council meeting the College outlined the need to develop education standards, clinical guidelines, and voluntary regulation for these emerging elements on the career framework, and is set to do this over the coming year. In this article Andy Swinburn the College Council representative for NW region outlines how the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust has put into place a structured career development spanning the professional roles from first registration to consultant practice. https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/full/10.12968/jpar.2012.4.3.181 ] 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. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/jpar.2012.4.3.181
    • Pre-hospital care of the transgender patient

      Connolly, Rebecca (2017-04)
      Abstract published with permission. Thanks to improved recognition, management, and overall societal acceptance of atypical gender identity presentations, number of transgender patients is increasing. Written by a transgender female, this paper draws from both personal experience and academic literature and discusses what it means to be transgender and the latest biomedical research into the aetiology of transsexualism. Clarification of common terminology is addressed to ensure an appropriate rapport to be built by the prehospital clinician without alienating the patient during the clinical examination and assessment. Specific considerations that may present to a clinician outside of hospital, with information about history taking, drug therapy and mental health challenges surrounding the condition are then discussed. The paper concludes by stating that paramedics and ambulance clinicians must recognise the health care needs of transgender patients and advocate for them to help eliminate discrimination.
    • Raising a profession

      Martin, John (2012-12)
    • Response to ‘Paramedic treatment—wherever that may be?’

      Boor, Sally (2014-02)
      Abstract published with permission. Sally Boor, paramedic, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust responds to James Price's article on the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), published in last month's issue of the Journal of Paramedic Practice.
    • Scoping ambulance emissions: recommendations for reducing engine idling time

      Sheldon, Amber; Hill, Lawrence (2019-07-10)
      The NHS is a significant contributor to the UK's greenhouse gases and environmental pollution. The current review seeks to examine the degree to which ambulance services contribute to environmental pollution and provides quality improvement suggestions that may reduce emissions, save money and improve public health. A literature search was conducted to identify the English language literature for the past 7 years related to ambulance service carbon emissions and pertinent strategies for reducing harm. An average of 31.3 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced per ambulance response in the current box-shaped ambulance design. A number of quality improvement suggestions related to cost, emissions and public health emerge. Ambulance services should consider a range of system-level and individual-focused interventions in order to reduce emissions, save money and promote public health. Abstract published with permission.
    • Using clinical decision making and reflection strategies to support practice

      Hibberd, Jane M.; Chia, Swee Hong; Spindler, Alice; Walsh, Michaella; Wigginton, Sophie (2014-05)
      Abstract published with permission. Clinical decision making and reflection are essential skills for any health care professional to possess in that they underpin and enhance practice by providing a robust framework for structuring one’s thinking and subsequent actions. This article highlights the need for the study of clinical decision making which forms a vital part of the paramedic’s practice. It provides a background to clinical decision making before presenting an example case study.
    • What is the paramedic's role in smoking cessation?

      Wilson, Sophia; Hill, Lawrence (2019-03-13)
      Background: Both the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England have made smoking cessation a health promotion priority but the paramedic's potential impact in this important area has yet to be fully realised. Aim: This article proposes an evidence-based quality improvement intervention that can be adopted by paramedics at an individual, service-wide or national level to promote smoking cessation. Methodology: Building on a structured literature review and using the three fundamental questions and a Plan Do Study Act cycle, we propose a quality improvement strategy and evaluation methodology suited to the aims of the article. Discussion: Very Brief Advice is an evidence-based, effective and time-efficient way of reducing harm from smoking and improving quality of life for patients, saving NHS money as well as increasing paramedic job satisfaction. Abstract published with permission.