• Development and validation of a pragmatic prehospital tool to identify stroke mimic patients

      McClelland, Graham; Rodgers, Helen; Flynn, Darren; Price, Christopher I.M. (2018-04)
      Aim Stroke mimics (SM) are non-stroke conditions producing stroke-like symptoms. Prehospital stroke identification tools prioritise sensitivity over specificity.1 It is estimated that >25% of prehospital suspected stroke patients are SM.2 Failure to identify SM creates inefficient use of ambulances and specialist stroke services. We developed a pragmatic tool to identify SM amongst suspected prehospital stroke patients. Method The tool was developed using regression analysis of clinical variables documented in ambulance records of suspected stroke patients linked to primary hospital diagnoses (derivation dataset, n=1,650, 40% SM).3 It was refined using feedback from paramedics (n=3) and hospital clinicians (n=9), and analysis of an expanded prehospital derivation dataset (n=3,797, 41% SM (original 1650 patients included)). Results The STEAM tool combines six variables: 1 point for Systolic blood pressure <90 mmHg; 1 point for Temperature >38.5°C with Abstracts A2 BMJ Open 2018;8(Suppl 1):A1–A34 (NHS). Protected by copyright. on 14 August 2019 at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust http://bmjopen.bmj.com/ BMJ Open: first published as 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-EMS.6 on 16 April 2018. Downloaded from heart rate >90 bpm; 1 point for seizures or 2 points for seizures with known diagnosis of Epilepsy; 1 point for Age <40 years or 2 points for age <30 years; 1 point for headache with known diagnosis of Migraine; 1 point for FAST-ve. A score of 2 on STEAM predicted SM diagnosis in the derivation dataset with 5.5% sensitivity, 99.6% specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) of 91.4%. External validation (n=1,848, 33% SM) showed 5.5% sensitivity, 99.4% specificity and a PPV of 82.5%. Conclusion STEAM uses common clinical characteristics to identify SM patients with high certainty. The benefits of using STEAM to reduce SM admissions to stroke services need to be weighed up against delayed admissions for stroke patients wrongly identified as SM. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/Suppl_1/A2.3 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.6
    • Falls: nine things to consider before dialling 999

      Hayes, Catherine; Scott-Thomas, Jeanette; Mains, Jacqueline; Barrigan, Marie; Graham, Yitka (2019-06)
    • Improving pressure ulcer risk identification: a pilot project by ambulance staff

      Mains, Jacqueline; Graham, Yitka; Hayes, Catherine (2020-03-10)
      Background: A quality improvement initiative was designed to identify patients at risk of compromised tissue viability before they were admitted to hospital. Paramedics were educated to better identify patients with pressure ulcers or pressure damage, or those at risk of compromised tissue viability, and these patients were fitted with a pressure ulcer alert bracelet so that emergency department staff could identify them. Aims: The aims of the current initiative were to educate paramedics to better identify patients with pressure ulcers or those at risk of compromised tissue viability to emergency department staff, and fit them with a pressure ulcer alert bracelet to highlight them to emergency department staff so they would receive prompt intervention. Methods: A plan, do, study, act improvement methodology was used, and data from a 3-month period were retrospectively analysed. Patients identified as being at risk of compromised tissue viability were flagged as requiring assessment via a pressure ulcer risk assessment tool to enable prevention. Results: Paramedics identified 130 at-risk patients (aged 23–100 years), and data from 127 patients were analysed. Most at-risk patients fitted with pressure ulcer alert bracelets were aged 70 years or over, and there was an even female/male division. More than half (53%) of patients were found to have a pressure ulcer and alerted to emergency department staff. More than one in four (27%) patients who were identified as being at risk of pressure ulcers lived in nursing or residential homes, and 43% lived alone or in warden-controlled accommodation. Conclusions: Paramedics effectively identified potential risk factors for pressure ulcer development, indicating a need for immediate intervention. This study gives insight into how pressure ulcer risk assessment using an alert bracelet may be used in paramedic practice in emergency department handovers. Success depends on hospital staff acting upon paramedic recommendation. Abstract published with permission.
    • A two armed, randomised, controlled exploratory study of adding the ambugard cleaning system to normal deep cleaning procedures in a regional ambulance service

      McClelland, Graham; Charlton, Karl; Mains, Jacqueline; Millican, Karen; Cullerton, Caroline (2020-10)
      Ambulance services transport patients with infections and diseases and could pose a cross transmission risk to patients and staff through environmental contamination. The literature suggests that environmental pathogens are present on ambulances, cleaning is inconsistent and patient/staff impact is difficult to quantify. Eco-Mist developed a dry misting decontamination system for ambulance use called AmbuGard which works in <30 minutes and is 99.9999% effective against common pathogens. The research question is ‘What pathogens are present on North East Ambulance Service ambulances and what impact does adding the AmbuGard to the deep cleaning process make?’ https://emj.bmj.com/content/37/10/e4.1 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/10.1136/emermed-2020-999abs.5