• Can paramedics perform and evaluate a focused echocardiogram during a simulated 10-second pulse check, after a one-day training course?

      Younger, Paul; Richards, Simon; Jarman, Robert (2016-12)
      Abstract published with permission. Aim ‐ To assess whether paramedics can be trained to perform basic echocardiograms in the 10-second pulse check window during a simulated advanced life support (ALS) resuscitation. Introduction ‐ Cardiac arrest survival in the UK varies between 2% and 12%. Management of cardiac arrests concentrates on the detection of reversible causes, which is limited pre-hospitally due to a lack of equipment. Ultrasound machines are now small enough for pre-hospital use and may assist in the detection of some of these causes. There is currently no evidence to suggest the best methodology or required course duration to train paramedics to use ultrasound, or to indicate whether ultrasound simulation could be beneficial. Methods ‐ Ten volunteer paramedics were trained to perform focused echocardiograms using handheld ultrasounds and an ultrasound simulator. The training involved six hours of teaching and practical training, at the end of which the participants were assessed using objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) on an ultrasound simulator with three different pathologies which were relevant in cardiac arrest management. Results ‐ Paramedics were able to get a view of the heart during the assessments in 96.7% of the OSCEs, but were only able to accurately recognise the pathologies of the condition in 50%. Overall, the participants demonstrated simulated competence in 46.7% of the OSCEs. Conclusion ‐ Paramedics can be trained to gain a view of the heart using focused echocardiograms after a one-day course, but are not consistently able to determine the cardiac activity or pathology from the echocardiogram.
    • Evaluation of pre-hospital point-of-care testing for lactate in sepsis and trauma patients

      Younger, Paul; McClelland, Graham (2014-10)
      Abstract published with permission. Objective: Lactate is a significant marker of critical illness and mortality in sepsis and trauma patients. The purpose of this study is to evaluate point-of-care lactate testing by paramedics in a UK ambulance service. Methods: Selected enhanced care paramedics were trained to use the lactate meter in patients with suspected sepsis and patients who trigger the major trauma bypass protocol. Feedback was collected on the practicalities of using the meter and the potential impact on the diagnosis of sepsis. Results: Data were collected on 114 patients, 96% had suspected sepsis (n=109) and 4% (n=5) were patients who had sustained trauma. The participants found that the ability to take lactate readings was useful and increased their confidence in their clinical decision making. Conclusions: Point-of-care lactate measurement is feasible in pre-hospital care and appears to support paramedics in their decision making.
    • How do paramedics learn to intubate?

      McClelland, Graham; Younger, Paul; Haworth, Daniel (2016-05)
      Abstract published with permission. A short cut review was carried out to establish what education and training are required for paramedics to gain initial competence in the skill of endotracheal intubation. Nineteen studies were identified with relevance to the question. The author, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results and study weaknesses of these papers are tabulated. It is difficult to isolate intubation from the wider subject of airway management and the range of skills and techniques necessary to safely secure the airway in the prehospital setting. The evidence presented suggests that at least 25–35 intubations are necessary, as part of a wider programme of training, to gain initial competence in this skill.
    • Lactate measurement in pre-hospital care: a review of the literature

      McClelland, Graham; Younger, Paul; Byers, Sonia (2012-06)
      Abstract published with permission. Background: Lactate has been identified as a useful marker of shock. Lactate can be measured in the pre-hospital environment rapidly and accurately. Method: A comprehensive literature search was conducted using a targeted search strategy. Additional literature was located through reference list searching and prior awareness by the authors. This identified a number of papers which were appraised for relevance. This appraisal identified 29 papers which were included in the review. Conclusion: Lactate has been shown to be measurable in the pre-hospital environment and to be prognostic of mortality. Lactate measurement needs to be linked to specific treatment algorithms with improved outcomes for patients in order to justify inclusion in pre-hospital practice.
    • Paramedic consent in the Paramedic Initiated Lisinopril for Acute Stroke Treatment (PIL-FAST) pilot trial

      Shaw, Lisa; Price, Christopher; McLure, Sally; Howel, Denise; McColl, Elaine; Younger, Paul; Ford, Gary A. (2013-05)
    • Paramedic initiated Lisinopril for acute stroke treatment (PIL-FAST): results from the pilot randomised controlled trial

      Shaw, Lisa; Price, Christopher; McLure, Sally; Howel, Denise; McColl, Elaine; Younger, Paul; Ford, Gary A. (2014-12)
      Background High blood pressure (BP) during acute stroke is associated with poorer stroke outcome. Trials of treatments to lower BP have not resulted in improved outcome, but this may be because treatment commenced too late. Emergency medical service staff (paramedics) are uniquely placed to administer early treatment; however, experience of prehospital randomised controlled trials (RCTs) is very limited. Methods We conducted a pilot RCT to determine the feasibility of a definitive prehospital BP-lowering RCT in acute stroke. Paramedics were trained to identify, consent and deliver a first dose of lisinopril or placebo to adults with suspected stroke and hypertension while responding to the emergency call. Further treatment continued in hospital. Study eligibility, recruitment rate, completeness of receipt of study medication and clinical data (eg, BP) were collected to inform the design of a definitive RCT. Results In 14 months, 14 participants (median age=73 years, median National Institute of Health Stroke Scale=4) were recruited and received the prehospital dose of medication. Median time from stroke onset (as assessed by paramedic) to treatment was 70 min. Four participants completed 7 days of study treatment. Of ambulance transported suspected stroke patients, 1% were both study eligible and attended by a PIL-FAST paramedic. Conclusions It is possible to conduct a paramedic initiated double-blind RCT of a treatment for acute stroke. However, to perform a definitive RCT in a reasonable timescale, a large number of trained paramedics across several ambulance services would be needed to recruit the number of patients likely to be required. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/31/12/994.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-2013-202536
    • Report from the first pre-hospital sepsis conference

      McClelland, Graham; Younger, Paul (2014-07)
    • A service evaluation of a dedicated pre-hospital cardiac arrest response unit in the North East of England

      McClelland, Graham; Younger, Paul; Haworth, Daniel; Gospel, Amy; Aitken-Fell, Paul (2016-09)
      Abstract published with permission. Aim ‐ This article describes the introduction of a specialist cardiac arrest response unit by the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, with the aim of improving treatment and outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients, in the North East of England. Methods ‐ This study is a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data, describing all cases where the cardiac arrest response unit was dispatched in the first 12 months of operation (January 2014 to January 2015). Results ‐ The cardiac arrest response unit was activated 333 times during the first year of operation and attended 164 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients. The cardiac arrest response unit demonstrated a significant impact on return of spontaneous circulation sustained to hospital (OR 1.74 (95% CI 1.19‐2.54), p = 0.004) and survival to discharge (OR 2.08 (95% CI 1.12‐3.84), p = 0.017) compared with the rest of the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. Conclusion ‐ The cardiac arrest response unit project demonstrated an improvement in return of spontaneous circulation and survival to discharge compared to current standard care. The specific mechanism, or mechanisms, by which the cardiac arrest response unit influences patient outcomes remain to be determined.
    • A survey of paramedic advanced airway practice in the UK

      Younger, Paul; Pilbery, Richard; Lethbridge, Kris (2016-12)
      Abstract published with permission. Introduction ‐ Although there are published studies examining UK paramedic airway management in the out-of-hospital setting, there has been no sizeable survey of practicing UK paramedics that examines their advanced airway management practice, training and confidence. Therefore, the Airway Management Group of the College of Paramedics commissioned a survey to gain an up to date snapshot of advanced airway management practice across the UK among paramedics. Methods ‐ An online questionnaire was created, and a convenience sample of Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered paramedics was invited to participate in the survey. Invitations were made using the College of Paramedics e-mail mailing list, the College website, as well as social media services such as Twitter and Facebook. The survey ran online for 28 days from 21 October to 18 November 2014 to allow as many paramedics to participate as possible. The survey questions considered a range of topics including which supraglottic airway devices are most commonly available in practice and whether or not tracheal intubation also formed a part of individual skillsets. In relation to intubation, respondents were asked a range of questions including which education programmes had been used for original skill acquisition, how skills were maintained, what techniques and equipment were available for intubation attempts, individual practitioner confidence in intubation and how intubation attempts were documented. Results ‐ A total of 1658 responses to the survey were received. Following data cleansing, 152 respondents were removed from the survey, leaving a total of 1506. This represented 7.3% of paramedics registered with the HCPC (20,565) at the time the survey was conducted. The majority of respondents were employed within NHS ambulance services. Summary ‐ This is the largest survey of UK paramedics conducted to date, in relation to advanced airway management. It provides an overview of advanced airway management, with a particular focus on intubation, being conducted by UK paramedics.