• Algorithms to guide ambulance clinicians in the management of emergencies in patients with implanted rotary left ventricular assist devices

      Bowles, Christopher T.; Hards, Rachel; Wrightson, Neil; Lincoln, Paul; Kore, Shishir; Marley, Laura; Dalzell, Jonathan R.; Raj, Binu; Baker, Tracey A.; Goodwin, Diane; et al. (2017-12)
      Advances in left ventricular assist device (LVAD) therapy have resulted in increasing numbers of adult LVAD recipients in the community. However, device failure, stroke, bleeding, LVAD thrombosis and systemic infection can be life-threatening emergencies. Currently, four LVAD systems are implanted in six UK transplant centres, each of which provides device-specific information to local emergency services. This has resulted in inconsistent availability and content of information with the risks of delayed or inappropriate decision-making. In order to improve patient safety, a consortium of UK healthcare professionals with expertise in LVADs developed universally applicable prehospital emergency algorithms. Guidance was framed as closely as possible on the standard ABCDE approach to the assessment of critically ill patients. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/34/12/842.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-2016-206172
    • A critical reassessment of ambulance service airway management in prehospital care: Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee Airway Working Group, June 2008

      Deakin, Charles D.; Clarke, Tom; Nolan, Jerry P.; Zideman, David; Gwinnutt, Carl; Moore, Fionna; Keeble, Carl; Blancke, Wim (2010-03)
      Paramedic tracheal intubation has been practised in the UK for more than 20 years and is currently a core skill for paramedics. Growing evidence suggests that tracheal intubation is not the optimal method of airway management by paramedics and may be detrimental to patient outcomes. There is also evidence that the current initial training of 25 intubations performed in-hospital is inadequate, and that the lack of ongoing intubation practice may compound this further. Supraglottic airway devices (eg, laryngeal mask airway), which were not available when extended training and paramedic intubation was first introduced, are now in use in many ambulance services and are a suitable alternative prehospital airway device for paramedics. https://emj.bmj.com/content/27/3/226.long. 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/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emj.2009.082115
    • Effects of international football matches on ambulance call profiles and volumes during the 2006 World Cup

      Deakin, Charles D.; Thompson, Fizz; Gibson, Caroline; Green, Mark (2007-03-13)
      Prompt ambulance attendance is aimed at improving patient care. With finite resources struggling to meet performance targets, unforeseen demand precludes the ability to tailor resources to cope with increased call volumes, and can have a marked detrimental effect on performance and hence patient care. The effects of the 2006 World Cup football matches on call volumes and profiles were analysed to understand how public events can influence demands on the ambulance service. https://emj.bmj.com/content/24/6/405.long 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: 10.1136/emj.2007.046920
    • An evaluation of the role of SCAS in the attendance to call-outs and the transport to hospital of older people with dementia

      Lofthouse-Jones, Chloe; Pocock, Helen; King, Phil; Jadzinski, Patryk; England, Ed; Taylor, Sarah; Cavalier, Julian; Fogg, Carole (2019-09-24)
      Background Our previous work has shown that 35% of ambulance attendances by SCAS are to people aged 75 and over; 17% of these have dementia. The research literature suggests that older people with cognitive impairment/dementia experience longer stays, or die, in hospital. It is unclear whether factors such as call time or availability of social care impact conveyance rates. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of out-of-hours call-outs and social care provision on ambulance conveyance rates for people aged ≥75 years, including patients with dementia. Methods For this service evaluation, electronic records for patients aged ≥75 years attended by SCAS were extracted over one year. The proportion of conveyed patients according to a dementia record, out-of-hours call, time of year, triage grade, social care provision and indices of deprivation were calculated. Univariate and multivariate analyses identified factors which may influence conveyance. Results A total of 111,548 electronic records were included, 16.5% with dementia. 63.7% of calls resulted in conveyance (59.1% with dementia). Conveyances reduced in out-of-hours periods for all patients. 13.6% more patients living alone and 16.5% more patients living with family were conveyed to hospital if there was no care package in place. Adjusted for other factors, having a care package reduced the risk of conveyance in older people living alone by 36% (Odds ratio 0.64, 95% Confidence interval 0.62–0.67). Conclusions Availability of social care and time of call appear to be important determinants of conveyance in older people, both in those with and without dementia. More research is needed to improve needs assessments and local referral services and pathways, https://emj.bmj.com/content/36/10/e6.2. 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/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2019-999abs.12
    • An exploration of the facilitators and barriers to paramedics’ assessment and treatment of pain in paediatric patients following trauma (EX-PAT)

      Handyside, Barry; Pocock, Helen; Deakin, Charles (2020-10)
      A cross-sectional service evaluation within South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) revealed deficiencies in the assessment and management of paediatric patients’ pain resulting from trauma. This suggested a need for further work to identify facilitators and barriers to pain assessment and management amongst this patient group. Studies looking into the barriers and facilitators to paramedics’ assessment and management of paediatrics in pain have been conducted internationally and not solely in traumatic events. These studies are not transferable to the UK setting due to prehospital emergency care differences within these countries. https://emj.bmj.com/content/37/10/e10.3 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. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2020-999abs.22
    • Exploring factors increasing paramedics’ likelihood of administering analgesia in pre-hospital pain: cross sectional study (explain)

      Asghar, Zahid; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Phung, Viet-Hai; Lord, Bill; Foster, Theresa; Pocock, Helen; Williams, Julia; Snooks, Helen (2017-10)
      Background Paramedics play an important role in reducing pain in patients calling an ambulance. We aimed to identify how patient factors (age, sex), clinical condition and paramedic factors (sex, role seniority) affected pain treatment and outcomes. Methods We used a cross sectional design using routine retrospective data a one-week sample of all 999 ambulance attendances in two large regional UK ambulance services for all patients aged 18 years or over where pain was identified in people requiring primary transport to hospital. Exclusion criteria patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale score below 13, or patients not attended by a paramedic. We used a multilevel design, using a regression model to investigate which factors were independently associated with administration of analgesia and reduction in pain, taking into account confounders including patient demographics and other variables. Analysis was performed with Stata. Results We collected data on 9574 patients (service 1, 2; n=3344, 6230 respectively) including 4911 (51.3%) male and 4524 (47.3%) females (1.5% missing). Initial pain score was not recorded in 42.4% (4063/9574). The multilevel model suggested that the factors associated with use of strong opiates (morphine intravenously or orally) was a pain score of 7 or above, patient age 50–64 years and suspected fractured neck of femur. Reduction in pain score of 2 or more points was significant whatever the initial pain score and associated with age 50–84 years. There was no association between use of strong opiate analgesic or reduction in pain score and sex of patient and/or sex of paramedic or crew member. Conclusion Our initial analysis showed a high level of non-recording of pain scores. There was no association between use of strong opiate analgesics or reduction in pain score of 2 points or more with patient sex or crew sex or paramedic skill level. https://emj.bmj.com/content/34/10/e11 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-2017-207114.29
    • Extending access to specialist services: the impact of an onsite helipad and analysis of the first 100 flights

      Freshwater, Eleanor S.; Dickinson, Phillip; Crouch, Robert; Deakin, Charles D.; Eynon, C. Andy (2014-02)
      Background In November 2011, University Hospital Southampton (UHS), now a major trauma centre, opened its onsite helipad, allowing patients to be brought to the emergency department (ED) directly by air ambulance. Prior to this, helicopters were required to land at a local playing field and the patient had to be transferred by land ambulance. This study aims to investigate the impact this change in practice has had on the flow of patients to the ED. Methods The authors completed a retrospective case analysis of the first 100 patients brought directly to UHS by helicopter. Data were obtained from ED notes and helicopter provider databases. Analysis was conducted on the type of incident and appropriateness of referral. Incident locations were plotted geographically. Results 100 patients arrived at UHS ED by helicopter between 17 November 2011 and 31 March 2012. Of these, 79 were primary helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) missions and 21 were secondary transfers from other hospitals. Of the HEMS patients, 38 were likely to have been transported to another hospital, had there not been an onsite helipad at UHS. 29 passed another suitable receiving hospital en route and therefore may have come to UHS for speciality services. Conclusions The provision of an onsite, 24 h helipad facility at UHS has resulted in a significant number of patients being transported to the hospital by helicopter who might otherwise have attended an alternative hospital. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/31/2/121.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-2012-201948
    • Human factors in prehospital research: lessons from the PARAMEDIC trial

      Pocock, Helen; Deakin, Charles D.; Quinn, Tom; Perkins, Gavin D.; Horton, Jessica; Gates, Simon (2016-08)
      Background There is an urgent need to develop prehospital research capability in order to improve the care of patients presenting to emergency medical services (EMS). The Prehospital Randomised Assessment of a Mechanical compression Device In Cardiac arrest trial, a pragmatic cluster randomised trial evaluating the LUCAS-2 device, represents the largest randomised controlled trial conducted by UK ambulance services to date. The aim of this study was to identify and analyse factors that may influence paramedic attitudes to, and participation in, clinical trials. Methods Personal and organisational experience from this trial was assessed by feedback from a workshop attended by collaborators from participating EMS and a survey of EMS personnel participating in the trial. A work systems model was used to explain the impact of five interwoven themes—person, organisation, tasks, tools & technology and environment—on trial conduct including gathering of high-quality data. Results The challenge of training a geographically diverse EMS workforce required development of multiple educational solutions. In order to operationalise the trial protocol, internal organisational relationships were perceived as essential. Staff perceptions of the normalisation of participation and ownership of the trial influenced protocol compliance rates. Undertaking research was considered less burdensome when additional tasks were minimised and more difficult when equipment was unavailable. The prehospital environment presents practical challenges for undertaking clinical trials, but our experience suggests these are not insurmountable and should not preclude conducting high-quality research in this setting. Conclusions Application of a human factors model to the implementation of a clinical trial protocol has improved understanding of the work system, which can inform the future conduct of clinical trials and foster a research culture within UK ambulance services https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/33/8/562.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-2015-204916
    • Improving the quality of ambulance crew hand-overs: a qualitive study of knowledge transfer in emergency care teams

      Murray, Steve; Crouch, Robert; Pope, Catherine; Lattimer, Val; Thompson, Fizz; Deakin, Charles D.; Ainsworth-Smith, Mark (2011-03)
      Introduction Ambulance crews make 3.6 million emergency journeys each year. Effective patient transfer relies on verbal, non-verbal and documentary handover of complex information in time-limited environments. Weaknesses in ambulance handover have been noted but little work has been done to investigate the process and identify good practice. Research has looked at communication during transfer of care; standardised resuscitation handover formats have been used but do not always improve accuracy. Ineffective handover threatens patient safety, quality and efficiency of care. This study provides an in-depth examination of handover to inform practice and education. Method We are conducting an ethnographic case study of handover in an ambulance Trust. Researchers are accompanying crews as they undertake their day-to-day work, using observation and video-recording to capture handover—from data collection at scene, pre-alerting (by radio, telephone and computer) through to the hospital. We are also collecting information from patient records along with training materials, policies and directives pertaining to handover. Ethnography allows for informal conversations to take place as appropriate during the fieldwork to clarify understandings and explore emerging themes in the analysis. In addition we are using semi-structured interviews with patients, carers, ambulance staff, nurses, doctors and non-clinical hospital staff to explore the handover process. Result The project started 2nd April 2009. This poster will outline the methodology, present some of the emerging themes from our analysis and describe future data collection and analysis plans. Discussion This is an ongoing project. We will present our experience of undertaking this unusual project—especially issues surrounding accessing staff and the practicalities of data collection. By presenting this work we seek to inform future research into emergency care. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/28/3/e1.11.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/emj.2010.108605.19
    • Initial experience in setting up a medical student first responder scheme in South Central England.

      Seligman, William H.; Ganatra, Sameer; England, David; Black, John J.M. (2016-02)
      Prehospital emergency medicine (PHEM) is a recently recognised subspecialty of emergency medicine, and anaesthetics, intensive care and acute medicine, in the UK, and yet it receives little to no mention in many undergraduate medical curricula. However, there is growing interest in PHEM among medical students and junior doctors. Several programmes are in existence across the UK that serve to provide teaching and exposure of prehospital care to medical students and junior doctors. However, relatively few students are able to gain significant first-hand experience of treating patients in the prehospital phase. In this short report, we discuss our experience of launching the student first responder (SFR) scheme across three counties in the Thames Valley. Medical students are trained by the regional ambulance service and respond to life-threatening medical emergencies in an ambulance response vehicle. The scheme is likely to benefit the ambulance service by providing a wider pool of trained volunteer first responders able to attend to emergency calls, to benefit patients by providing a quick response at their time of need, and to benefit medical students by providing first-hand experience of medical emergencies in the community. In its first 15 months of operation, SFRs were dispatched to 343 incidents. This scheme can serve as a training model for other ambulance services and medical schools across the UK. https://emj.bmj.com/content/33/2/155.long 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: 10.1136/emermed-2015-204638
    • Is ambulance telephone triage using advanced medical priority dispatch protocols able to identify patients with acute stroke correctly?

      Deakin, Charles; Alasaad, M.; King, P.; Thompson, F. (2009-05-22)
      Background and Purpose: As many as half the patients presenting with acute stroke access medical care through the ambulance service. In order to identify and triage these patients effectively as life-threatening emergencies, telephone-based ambulance software must have high sensitivity and specificity when using verbal descriptions to identify such patients. Software-based clinical coding was compared with the patient’s final clinical diagnosis for all patients admitted by ambulance to North Hampshire Hospital (NHH) emergency department (ED) over a 6-month period to establish the ability of telephone-based triage to identify patients with likely stroke accurately. Methods: All emergency calls to South Central Ambulance Service over a 6-month period resulting in a patient being taken to NHH ED were reviewed. The classification allocated to the patient by ambulance advanced medical priority dispatch software (AMPDS version 11.1) was compared with the final clinical diagnosis made by a doctor in the ED. Results: 4810 patients were admitted to NHH during the study period. Of these, 126 patients were subsequently diagnosed as having had a stroke. The sensitivity of AMPDS software for detecting stroke in this sample was 47.62%, specificity was 98.68%, positive predictive value was 0.49 and negative predictive value was 0.986. Conclusions: Fewer than half of all patients with acute stroke were identified using telephone triage on the initial emergency call to the ambulance service. Less than one quarter received the highest priority of ambulance response. This first link in the chain of survival needs strengthening in order to provide prompt and timely emergency care for these patients. https://emj.bmj.com/content/26/6/442. 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/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emj.2008.059733
    • Long term outcomes of participants in the paramedic-2 randomised trial of adrenaline in out of hospital cardiac arrest

      Haywood, K.; Ji, Chen; Quinn, Tom; Nolan, Jerry; Deakin, Charles; Scomparin, Charlotte; Lall, Ranjit; Gates, Simon; Long, John; Regan, Scott; et al. (2020-10)
      We recently reported early outcomes in patients enrolled in a randomised trial of adrenaline in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: the PARAMEDIC-2 (Prehospital Assessment of the Role of Adrenaline: Measuring the Effectiveness of Drug Administration in Cardiac Arrest) trial. The purpose of the present paper is to report long-term survival, quality of life, functional and cognitive outcomes in cardiac arrest patients who survived. https://emj.bmj.com/content/37/10/e4.2 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. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2020-999abs.6
    • Managing accidental hypothermia: a UK-wide survey of prehospital and search and rescue providers

      Freeman, Samuel; Deakin, Charles D.; Nelson, Magnus J.; Bootland, Duncan (2018-11)
      Aim The management of hypothermic casualties is a challenge faced by all prehospital and search and rescue (SAR) teams. It is not known how the practice of these diverse teams compare. The aim of this study was to review prehospital hypothermia management across a wide range of SAR providers in the UK. Methods A survey of ground ambulances (GAs), air ambulances (AAs), mountain rescue teams (MRTs, including Ministry of Defence), lowland rescue teams (LRTs), cave rescue teams (CRTs), and lifeboats and lifeguard organisations (LLOs) across the UK was conducted between May and November 2017. In total, 189 teams were contacted. Questions investigated packaging methods, temperature measurement and protocols for managing hypothermic casualties. Results Response rate was 59%, comprising 112 teams from a wide range of organisations. Heavyweight (>3 kg) casualty bags were used by all CRTs, 81% of MRTs, 29% of LRTs, 18% of AAs and 8% of LLOs. Specially designed lightweight (<0.5 kg) blankets or wraps were used by 93% of LRTs, 85% of LLOs, 82% of GAs, 71% of AAs and 50% of MRTs. Bubble wrap was used mainly by AAs, with 35% of AAs reporting its use. Overall, 94% of packaging methods incorporated both insulating and vapour-tight layers. Active warming by heated pads or blankets was used by 65% of AAs, 60% of CRTs, 54% of MRTs, 29% of LRTs and 9% of GAs, with no LLO use. Temperature measurement was reported by all AAs and GAs, 93% of LRTs, 80% of CRTs, 75% of MRTs and 31% of LLOs. The favoured anatomical site for temperature measurement was tympanic. Protocols for packaging hypothermic casualties were reported by 73% of services. Conclusions This survey describes current practice in prehospital hypothermia management, comparing the various methods used by different teams, and provides a basis to direct further education and research. https://emj.bmj.com/content/35/11/652.long 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-2017-207178
    • Prehospital advanced airway management by ambulance technicians and paramedics: is clinical practice sufficient to maintain skills?

      Deakin, Charles; King, Phil; Thompson, F. (2009-11-24)
      Introduction: Ambulance paramedics are now trained routinely in advanced airway skills, including tracheal intubation. Initial training in this skill requires the insertion of 25 tracheal tubes, and further ongoing training is attained through clinical practice and manikin-based practice. In contrast, training standards for hospital-based practitioners are considerably greater, requiring approximately 200 tracheal intubations before practice is unsupervised. With debate growing regarding the efficacy of paramedic intubation, there is a need to assess current paramedic airway practice in order to review whether initial training and maintenance of skills provide an acceptable level of competence with which to practice advanced airway skills. Methods: All ambulance patient report forms (anonymised) for the period 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2007 were reviewed, and data relating to airway management were collected. Paramedic and technician identification codes were used to determine the number of airway procedures undertaken on an individual basis. Results: Of the 269 paramedics, 128 (47.6%) had undertaken no intubation and 204 (75.8%) had undertaken one or less intubation in the 12-month study period. The median number of intubations per paramedic during the 12-month period was 1.0 (range 0–11). A total of 76 laryngeal mask insertion attempts were recorded by 41 technicians and 30 paramedics. The median number of laryngeal mask insertions per paramedic/technician during the 12-month period was 0 (range 0–2). A survey of ongoing continuing professional development across all ambulance trusts demonstrated no provision for adequate training to compensate for the lack of clinical exposure to advanced airway skills. Conclusion: Paramedics use advanced airway skills infrequently. Continuing professional development programmes within ambulance trusts do not provide the necessary additional practice to maintain tracheal intubation skills at an acceptable level. Advanced airway management delivered by ambulance crews is likely to be inadequate with such infrequent exposure to the skill. https://emj.bmj.com/content/26/12/888. 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/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emj.2008.064642
    • Prehospital clearance of the cervical spine: does it need to be a pain in the neck?

      Armstrong, B.P.; Simpson, H.K.; Crouch, Robert; Deakin, Charles (2007-07)
      Prehospital cervical spine (c-spine) immobilisation is common, despite c-spine injury being relatively rare. Unnecessary immobilisation results in a significant burden on limited prehospital and emergency department (ED) resources. This study aimed to determine whether the incidence of unnecessary c-spine immobilisation by ambulance personnel could be safely reduced through the implementation of an evidence-based algorithm. Following a training programme, complete forms on 103 patients were identified during the audit period, of which 69 (67%) patients had their c-spines cleared at scene. Of these, 60 (87%) were discharged at scene, with no clinical adverse events reported, and 9 (13%) were taken to the local ED with non-distracting minor injuries, all being discharged home the same day. 34 (33%) patients could not have their c-spines safely cleared at scene according to the algorithm. Of these, 4 (12%) patients self-discharged at scene and 30 (88%) were conveyed to an ED as per the normal procedure. C-spine clearance at scene by ambulance personnel may have positive impacts on patient care, efficient use of resources and cost to healthcare organisations. https://emj.bmj.com/content/24/7/501 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/emj.2006.041897
    • A retrospective service evaluation of the presentation of anaphylaxis to a UK ambulance service

      Groom, Nicholas; Taylor, Sarah; England, Ed; Pocock, Helen; Deakin, Charles D. (2019-09-24)
      Background There is a lack of data relating to frequency and presentation of anaphylaxis to the ambulance service in England. Little research exists relating to the patients’ self-treatment of anaphylaxis and there is an absence of evidence to evaluate the impact of self-administered adrenaline, there is a need to describe this patient group to evaluate any potential to develop their care. Methods Retrospective data were collected from the electronic patient records of a single NHS ambulance service serving a population of approximately four million. Records between 1stApril 2017 and 31st March 2018 were included where a diagnosis of anaphylaxis was recorded. Gender, age, incident location, allergy history, were summarised to identify any trends in presentation. The frequency of patient self-administration, as well as ambulance administration, of adrenaline was also included for analysis to determine any correlation. Results 326 records were included in the analysis. The mean, median and modal patient ages were 34, 29 and 20 respectively. Patient ages ranged from six months to 95 years. Patients were 65% female, 35% male and 59% of incidents occurred at home. 76% of patients reported having a known allergy with food being the most common allergen (44%). Peak times for calling 999 were midday and 6pm. 35% of patients had self-administered adrenaline. 52% received ambulance-administered adrenaline. The doses of self-administered adrenaline ranged from 0–3 doses and ambulance administered adrenaline ranged from 0–8 doses. Patients who self-administered adrenaline were less likely to receive further adrenaline from the ambulance service. No correlation was found between the number of self-administered doses and ambulance administered doses. Conclusion Patient demographics such as age, gender and allergies were consistent with two previous small-scale studies. This study suggests that early self-administration of adrenaline is beneficial. Opportunities for improvements in data recording as well as patient education were identified., .https://emj.bmj.com/content/36/10/e9.2 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/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2019-999abs.20