• Anatomical and physiological mechanisms of heartblock associated with AMI

      Edwards, Timothy (2013-12)
      Abstract published with permission. Heart block (HB) is a recognised complication of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and is often a marker for increased mortality and morbidity. An appreciation of the anatomical and physiological mechanisms associated with the development of HB in AMI is important for the prediction and management of complications when dealing with such cases. Certain forms of HB are classically linked to infarction of specific anatomical territories in AMI. However, variations in pre-morbid state and anatomy of the coronary vessels provide potential for the development of HB in any patient experiencing AMI, regardless of the territory affected.
    • Complications associated with supraglottic airway use in an urban ambulance service: a case series

      Edwards, Timothy (2016-09)
      Background Current resuscitation guidelines deemphasise the role of endotracheal intubation (ETI) in cardiac arrest. Although supraglottic airways (SGA) are increasingly used in the management of prehosptial cardiac arrest, there is limited data relating to adverse events in practice. Methods Cases reported to an ambulance service medical directorate involving adverse events associated with SGA use in cardiac arrest were logged from April 2014–October 2015. Prehospital clinical notes were reviewed to determine patient demographics, details of adverse events, clinical course and patient disposition. Results A total of 6 cases were reported. All patients were male and aged between 35–83 years. The majority of cases (n=4) were associated with a history of choking and the supraglottic device was removed to facilitate ETI due to poor ventilation. In all these cases, laryngoscopy revealed the presence of food obscuring the glottis which was removed under direct vision. None of these patients presented in a shockable rhythm and 3 experienced sustained return of spontaneous circulation. In another case, insertion of the supraglottic airway resulted in traumatic avulsion of teeth necessitating direct removal under laryngoscopy. This patient presented in ventricular fibrillation following chest pain and achieved ROSC at the scene. The final case involved a 35 years male with an extensive history of deliberate self-harm who received ventilation via SGA throughout the resuscitation attempt. A plastic bag was found compacted into the airway at post mortem. Conclusions The majority of adverse events associated with SGA use in cardiac arrest related to airway obstruction following choking. ROSC in a number of these patients suggests this may have been a reversible cause of cardiac arrest. Future guidelines should emphasise the need for laryngoscopy to exclude foreign body airway obstruction prior to SGA insertion in appropriate cases. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/33/9/e8.2.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-2016-206139.27
    • The effect of a heart failure training intervention assessed via clinical simulation

      Edwards, Timothy (2011-08)
      Abstract published with permission. Prehospital differential diagnosis of heart failure (HF) by paramedics is sometimes unreliable (Schaider et al, 1995) and may lead to therapeutic interventions being withheld (Jenkinson et al, 2008) or the initiation of inappropriate and potentially harmful treatment (Wuerz and Meador, 1992). To date, no studies have evaluated the effect of participation in a HF training intervention on diagnostic accuracy among undergraduate UK paramedics assessed through clinical simulation. In this study, 17 paramedics were exposed to three mannequin based scenarios designed to simulate HF, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Participants were given up to 10 minutes to examine each mannequin and scrutinize clinical data before recording a diagnosis. Participant demographics and self reported confidence relating to assessment and management of HF were collected via a questionnaire. Two weeks later, participants attended a 90 minute targeted HF training intervention. Two weeks post training, the paramedics repeated the clinical simulation exercise and questionnaire. Initial diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for HF were higher than that reported in a previous UK clinical study, and improved following participation in a training intervention, although this failed to reach significance (83% vs 100% and 91.67 vs 100%, P>0.05). A significant improvement in self reported confidence relating to use of ECG findings in assessment of HF patients was noted (z=-2.309, P=0.021). In this study, paramedic differential diagnosis of HF assessed through clinical simulation demonstrated a non-significant trend towards improved sensitivity and specificity following participation in a targeted training intervention.
    • Framework for assessment of the 12 lead ECG in transient loss of consciousness

      Edwards, Timothy (2012-11)
      Abstract published with permission. Following the introduction of pre-hospital thrombolysis, the acquisition and interpretation of the 12 lead ECG has become a routine part of UK paramedic practice. Although there is a growing body of evidence that confirms the diagnostic ability of paramedics in this area, little is known regarding the ability of paramedics to scrutinise the 12 lead ECG for other abnormalities. Recent publication of NICE guidance (NICE, 2010) relating to transient loss of consciousness (T-LOC) requires practitioners responsible for assessment of the 12 lead ECG post T-LOC to be competent in identifying a range of abnormalities. This paper describes a novel assessment framework in the form of a mnemonic designed to assist paramedic students in scrutinising the ECG for abnormalities post T-LOC. The need for further research to validate this assessment framework in educational and clinical settings is emphasised.
    • Genuine illness and injury during Europe’s largest emergency service major incident exercise

      Cannon, Emily; Edwards, Timothy; Fothergill, Rachael (2017-05)
      Aim Previous studies of patient presentation rates at mass gatherings have been limited to social events. None have assessed presentation rates in the context of a large-scale emergency service exercise where individuals (actors playing hypothetical casualties) are exposed to an environment containing many potential hazards. Methods Exercise Unified Response was the largest multi-agency exercise ever held in Europe. It was a four-day major incident exercise in the UK, in which 2700 individuals acted as casualties. Clinical records completed by healthcare professionals providing on-site medical cover for the duration of the event were reviewed. Clinical records were included where the individual’s role in the exercise was listed as ‘actor’. Results Thirty actors required medical attention, giving a patient presentation rate (PPR) of 11.1 per one thousand actors. Of these, 10% were conveyed to hospital with musculoskeletal (n=2) or head injuries (n=1); an ambulance transfer rate (ATR) of 1.11 per 1000. Just under half of all patients (40%, n=12) had a contributory factor to seeking medical help, where they had: not eaten on the day (n=4); a pre-existing condition exacerbated by the exercise, such asthma (n=3); pre-existing symptoms of acute illness (n=3), or a pre-existing injury (n=2). Conclusion Patient presentation rate was in line with previous research1. However, we believe this is the first study to report similar data for a mass emergency service exercise. Our findings regarding the factors and pre-existing illnesses/conditions that contributed to individuals seeking medical help will be valuable in planning future large-scale exercises. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/7/Suppl_3/A3.2 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/bmjopen-2017-EMSabstracts.8
    • The pre-hospital management of acute heart failure: a clinical audit of current practice

      Price, J.; Murphy-Jones, Barry; Edwards, Timothy (2018-04)
      Aim There has been a drive towards an increase in community-based management of heart failure. When patients experience acute heart failure (AHF), the complex nature of this condition poses diagnostic uncertainty for first responders. It is widely accepted that all patients should be transferred promptly to hospital, however with the introduction of pre-hospital diuresis, nitrate therapy and more recently non-invasive ventilation (NIV), the debate into the appropriateness and limitations of so-called ‘stay-and-play’ management strategies for patients in AHF has been re-ignited. We examine the current clinical assessment and management of AHF within the London Ambulance Service. Method Ambulance Patient Report Forms (PRFs) from cases that were coded with heart failure, shortness of breath, cardiac problem and in cases of GTN administration. These cases were further analysed by a clinical review panel to identify patients with suspected AHF. Results 182 patients were included in the analysis between April and November 2016. There was a 68% compliance with national guidelines for clinical assessment (history, examination and ECG). 51 (28%) patients presenting with AHF were appropriately identified and given a primary diagnosis of AHF by the attending clinician. 136 (76%) patients in the analysis received sublingual nitrate therapy. 90 (49%) patients received nitrates where there was no clinical indication. No patients in the analysis received NIV. Conclusion Some aspects of AHF assessment and management are not consistent with national guidelines. Our work has further demonstrated the diagnostic challenges facing pre-hospital clinicians and the potential overuse of nitrate therapy in this patient group. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/Suppl_1/A32.2 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/bmjopen-2018-EMS.85
    • Prehospital use of ketamine and midazolam in an urban advanced paramedic practitioner service: a retrospective review

      Edwards, Timothy; Shaw, Joanna; Gray, Danielle; Thomson, Neil; Faulkner, Mark (2016-09)
      Background The use of ketamine and midazolam in physician-led prehospital care teams within the UK is well established. Although both agents are in use by paramedics within emergency medical systems in North America and Australasia, there is a paucity of data relating to administration by UK paramedics. Methods A panel of clinicians utilised a standardised data extraction form to review patient report forms for all cases where an Advanced Paramedic Practitioner (APP) administered ketamine or midazolam from 1st May to 30th September 2015. Reviewers assessed indications for and appropriateness of administration, and identification and management of adverse events. Results A total of 21 patients received ketamine for analgesia (n=20, 95%) or to facilitate rapid extrication (n=1, 5%). Pain scores were recorded in 18 patients (90%), the majority of whom experienced a reduction in pain post administration (n=17, 94%). No adverse events occurred following ketamine use. Midazolam was administered to a total of 80 cases. The most common indications for administration were maintenance of an advanced airway in patients with return of spontaneous circulation post cardiac arrest (n=37, 46%), management of acute behavioural disturbance (n=28, 35%) and prolonged seizures (n=15, 18%). Transient airway compromise occurred in 10% (n=8) of cases, all of which were managed appropriately. No other adverse events occurred. The administration of ketamine and midazolam was judged to be appropriate in all cases. Conclusions The use of ketamine and midazolam in the context of an urban APP service with high levels of additional education, procedural experience and selective targeting to emergency calls appears safe and effective. Further prospective studies are warranted to confirm these findings. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/33/9/e8.1.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-2016-206139.26
    • Twenty-five years of London's Air Ambulance paramedics

      Edwards, Timothy; Chalk, Graham (2014-05)