• Comparison of manikin-based simulators and patient monitor simulators within paramedic education: the student perspective

      Mortimer, Craig (2017-12-14)
      Objective Investigate the impact to paramedic students of patient monitor simulators, when compared with manikin-based simulators within an educational programme. Design An exploratory study using an online questionnaire to gain qualitative and quantitative data. Setting One London university delivering a paramedic science programme. Participants A total of 136 paramedic students sponsored by a UK ambulance service were approached for this study. Data were received from 43 respondents (32%). Main outcome measures Comparison of simulators and their effect on student development through the identification of the student’s own perceived ability following use, perception of other’s ability (fellow students studying same course) following use and perception of the two pieces of simulation equipment available. Results The majority of respondents identified that simulation both increased their confidence and ability to demonstrate new knowledge and skills during simulation (97%) and further increased their ability to manage real patients (95%). Respondents agreed that there were advantages and disadvantages of using simulation, but these were not in line with those identified in previous studies. Instead of the human factors and non-technical skills outlined, students were much more practically focused on how the equipment performed. Conclusions This study suggests that there is a clear link between simulation and increased student confidence, but any issues encountered with the simulator equipment can reduce this benefit, causing the student’s learning environment to falter. Transitioning to monitor-based simulators is seen as a positive move, although the integration of manikins with this equipment is identified as being necessary. https://stel.bmj.com/content/4/2/65. 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/bmjstel-2017-000252
    • Cooling of thermal burn injuries: a literature review

      Ashman, Harriet (2018-05)
      Abstract published with permission. Correct initial management of thermal burns is key in promoting patient outcomes. Cooling burns with cool running water (CRW) for 20 minutes has been shown to accelerate the wound healing process, improve cosmetic outcomes and prevent burn progression. This literature review aims to increase understanding of this simple first aid (FA) intervention, help inform paramedic practice, and determine areas for further research. Three themes came to light following systematic searching of the available literature. As a result of a paucity in evidence, a wide range of topics relating to cooling burns have been explored. The topics look at how patients and carers may approach FA in burns, how prehospital practitioners currently manage burns patients, and the best methods to use for cooling burns. Findings suggest that there is need for improved education for the lay public and pre-hospital providers in order to improve burn outcomes through FA interventions. While CRW is supported as a beneficial intervention, further research is required into alternative cooling methods to enhance care and evidence-based practice.
    • A critical review of NICE Guideline 39—major trauma: assessment and initial management

      Hodkinson, Mark (2016-05)
      Abstract published with permission. Major trauma is a leading cause of death in the under 40 years age group, and has a significant impact on morbidity, causing a financial burden to the National Health Service (National Audit Office, 2010). A recent guideline published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE, 2016a) seeks to address the recommendations made by a National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (2007) and the National Audit Office (2010), therefore improving the standards of trauma care delivery across England. This article critically appraises the recommendations made by NICE (2016a), while considering the available evidence and the implications on pre-hospital major trauma care.
    • Decision making and safety in ambulance service transitions

      O'Hara, Rachel; Johnson, Maxine; Hirst, Enid; Weyman, Andrew; Shaw, Deborah; Mortimer, Peter; Newman, Chris; Storey, Matthew; Turner, Janette; Mason, Suzanne; et al. (2015-05)
      Introduction Decisions made by ambulance staff are often timecritical and based on limited information. Wrong decisions could have serious consequences for patients but little is known about areas of risk associated with decisions about patient care. We aimed to examine system in fluences on decision making in the ambulance service setting focusing on paramedic roles. Method An exploratory mixed methods qualitative study was conducted in three Ambulance Service Trusts. A document search and 16 interviews were conducted to understand service delivery in each Trust, how they link with other services and potential influences on decisions about patient care. Researchers observed ambulance crews on 34 shifts and 10 paramedics completed ‘digital diaries’ to report challenges for decision making or patient safety. Three focus groups with staff (N=21) and three with service users (N=23) were held to explore their views on decision making and patient safety. Data were charted to produce a typology of decisions then coded and thematically analysed to identify in fluences on those decisions. Findings Nine types of decision were identi fied, ranging from specialist emergency pathways to non-conveyance. In fluences on these decisions included communication with Control Room staff; patient assessment, decision support and alternative options to ED conveyance. Seven main issues in fluencing patient safety in decision making were identi fied: meeting demand; performance and priorities; access to care options; risk aversion; education, training and professional development for crews; communication and feedback to crews; resources and safety culture. Conclusions A range of decisions are made by ambulance staff in complex, time bound changing conditions. Training and development and access to alternative options to ED conveyance were identi fied as particularly important issues. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/32/5/e2.1.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-2015-204880.4
    • Defibrillation: standard vs. double sequential in adult out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

      Stevenson, Laura (2018-02)
      Abstract published with permission. Background: Refractory ventricular fibrillation (RVF) in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) poses a significant challenge to paramedic teams and is further confounded by an absence of specific guidance on the management of this patient category. Objective: To conduct a systematic literature review to determine whether double sequential defibrillation (DSD) improves patient outcomes in adult OHCA. Methods: Electronic searches of CINAHL, MEDLINE and AMED databases were carried out, using EBSCOhost (2017) and a subsequent filtering process. Results: Three case series and two cohort studies provided the highest category of evidence to evaluate. DSD is offered as a potentially feasible RVF treatment strategy throughout. However, results are consistently limited by varying protocol and small study groups and DSD success is likely multifactorial. Conclusion: The current systematic literature review indicated that no confirmed association existed between DSD and improved OHCA outcomes. More robust research is required to eliminate profound limitations and consider contributing factors to DSD.
    • Do paramedics adequately restrain paediatric patients in road ambulances?

      Lockett, Stephanie; Edwards, Dale; Parker, Leigh (2017-01)
    • Does a paramedic practitioner self-tasking dispatch model benefit their self-sufficiency in patient management? A cross sectional study

      Cotterill, Liam; Halter, Mary (2020-10)
      Paramedic Practitioner (PP) scope of practice is not comprehensively understood by Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) staff and tasking may be suboptimal. In one UK ambulance trust in November 2018, one PP team was enabled to remotely monitor live incidents and, alongside some continued EOC-dispatch, to self-task to incidents they judged would benefit from their additional knowledge and skills. Evidence on self-tasking benefit was found from helicopter emergency services only. https://emj.bmj.com/content/37/10/e11.2 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.24
    • Effective clinical feedback provision to ambulance clinicians: a literature review

      Eaton-Williams, Peter; Mold, Freda; Magnusson, Carin (2020-03-12)
      Background Clinical feedback provision to health professionals is advocated to benefit both clinical development and work engagement. Aim This literature review aims to develop recommendations for effective clinical feedback provision by examining mechanisms that exist specifically for ambulance clinicians. Method: A systematic search of contemporary literature identified 15 research papers and four articles, which were included for review and narrative synthesis. Findings The initial identification of practice that requires improvement, together with an understanding of the practitioners' baseline attitudes, is important. While minimising resource demands will improve sustainability, repeated interaction with clinicians will benefit effectiveness. Provision should be balanced and timely, and who delivers feedback is significant. Clinical outcome feedback not restricted to specific conditions requires further consideration of which incidents will initiate feedback and what information will be supplied. Conclusion Feedback has been shown to improve clinical performance but demonstrating subsequent benefits to patient outcomes has proved more difficult. Abstract published with permission.
    • Emergency medical dispatch recognition, clinical intervention and outcome of patients in traumatic cardiac arrest from major trauma: an observational study

      Prentice, Craig; Jeyanathan, Jeyasankar; De Coverly, Richard; Williams, Julia; Lyon, Richard M. (2018-09)
      https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/8/9/e022464.full.pdf Objectives The aim of this study is to describe the demographics of reported traumatic cardiac arrest (TCA) victims, prehospital resuscitation and survival to hospital rate. Setting Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in south-east England, covering a resident population of 4.5million and a transient population of up to 8million people. Participants Patients reported on the initial 999 call to be in suspected traumatic cardiac arrest between 1 July 2016 and 31 December 2016 within the trust’s geographical region were identified. The inclusion criteria were all cases of reported TCA on receipt of the initial emergency call. Patients were subsequently excluded if a medical cause of cardiac arrest was suspected. Outcome measures Patient records were analysed for actual presence of cardiac arrest, prehospital resuscitation procedures undertaken and for survival to hospital rates. Results 112 patients were reported to be in TCA on receipt of the 999/112 call. 51 (46%) were found not to be in TCA on arrival of emergency medical services. Of the ‘not in TCA cohort’, 34 (67%) received at least one advanced prehospital medical intervention (defined as emergency anaesthesia, thoracostomy, blood product transfusion or resuscitative thoracotomy). Of the 61 patients in actual TCA, 10 (16%) achieved return-ofspontaneous circulation. In 45 (88%) patients, the HEMS team escorted the patient to hospital. Conclusion A significant proportion of patients reported to be in TCA on receipt of the emergency call are not in actual cardiac arrest but are critically unwell requiring advanced prehospital medical intervention. Early activation of an enhanced care team to a reported TCA call allows appropriate advanced resuscitation. Further research is warranted to determine which interventions contribute to improved TCA survival. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6129099/pdf/bmjopen-2018-022464.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/bmjopen-2018-022464
    • Emergency medical dispatch: do the dead take priority over the dying?

      Hitt, Andy; Williams, Julia; Edwards, Timothy (2015-05)
      Background In the UK demand for emergency ambulances is increasing. To deal with this increase, Ambulance Service Trusts must use resources effectively and ensure that they are deployed appropriately. Aim The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of factors in fluencing resource dispatchers ’ (RD) decision-making processes when managing ambulance resources attending out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OOHCA) and how these decisions might impact on resource availability. Method Utilising a generic qualitative approach, nine RDs participated in semi structured interviews which were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data analysis was performed using a template style of thematic analysis. Findings OOHCA generally takes priority over other emergency calls regardless of clinical need or likely prognosis. Participants stated that they would probably drive past a critically ill patient to attend a patient in cardiac arrest even if they believed them to be beyond help. A significant amount of time was spent dealing with deceased patients, especially when waiting for police to attend. This may affect resource availability and subsequently delay treatment of other critically ill and injured patients. Limitations Dispatching processes may differ between Trusts so further studies are required to enhance transferability of findings. Conclusions OOHCA is almost always prioritised above other time critical emergencies despite the view that other patients may bene fit more from a priority response. Decisions are made rapidly, under pressure and with very little clinical information to hand. Recommendations for change Further research is required before substantive recommendations can be made but preliminary indications infer that resource efficiency may be improved by applying simple changes to every day practice including dialogue between lead clinician and dispatcher to optimise staff skill mix in attendance to calls and improved liaison between police and ambulance controls to facilitate the prompt stand down of ambulance resources dealing with deceased patients. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/32/5/e4.3.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-2015-204880.12
    • Enhancing mental health resilience and anticipating treatment provisions of mental health conditions for frontline Healthcare workers involved in caring for patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic - A call for action

      Kullu, Cecil; Coley, Andrew; Cooper, Cary; Aitken, John; Cummings, Jane; Gerada, Clare; Grant, Chris; Rafferty, Joe; Kumar, Raj; Gizzi, Denis; et al. (2020)
    • Experts' perspectives on professionalism in paramedic practice: findings from a Delphi process

      Gallagher, Ann; Snook, Verity; Horsfield, Claire; Rutland, Stuart; Vyvyan, Emma; Juniper, Joan; Collen, Andy (2016-09)
      Abstract published with permission. This article reports findings from a Delphi process which aimed to enable an expert panel to reach consensus in the following areas: the meaning of ‘professionalism’ in the context of UK paramedic practice; enablers of professionalism in paramedic practice; interventions or approaches likely to promote or sustain paramedic professionalism; and values that underpin paramedic professionalism. The research project was the Consensus towards Understanding and Sustaining Professionalism in Paramedic Practice (CUSPPP) project. The Delphi panel consisted of 12 experts from education, leadership, management and senior clinical roles, as well as a service user. The data from each of the three rounds were distilled to statements using a basic content analysis and subjected to team review. Statements that achieve 75% (where participants agreed or strongly agreed on a Likert scale) were considered to have reached consensus. The data highlight the view that responsibility for paramedic professionalism goes beyond individuals, with organisations having a key role in providing support and debriefing opportunities and demonstrating the value of human rather than material resources. Further research relating to the topic of paramedic professionalism is necessary, and a crucial component of this is to also capture the views and experiences of service users and the general public.
    • Exploring paramedic perceptions of feedback using a phenomenological approach

      Eaton-Williams, Peter; Mold, Freda; Magnusson, Carin (2020-06-01)
      Abstract published with permission. Objectives: Despite widespread advocacy of a feedback culture in healthcare, paramedics receive little feedback on their clinical performance. Provision of ‘outcome feedback’, or information concerning health-related patient outcomes following incidents that paramedics have attended, is proposed, to provide paramedics with a means of assessing and developing their diagnostic and decision-making skills. To inform the design of feedback mechanisms, this study aimed to explore the perceptions of paramedics concerning current feedback provision and to discover their attitudes towards formal provision of patient outcome feedback. Methods: Convenience sampling from a single ambulance station in the United Kingdom (UK) resulted in eight paramedics participating in semi-structured interviews. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was employed to generate descriptive and interpretative themes related to both current and potential feedback provision. Results: The perception that only exceptional incidents initiate feedback, and that often the required depth of information supplied is lacking, resulted in some participants describing an isolation of their daily practice. Barriers and limitations of the informal processes currently employed to access feedback were also highlighted. Formal provision of outcome feedback was anticipated by participants to benefit the integration and progression of the paramedic profession as a whole, in addition to facilitating the continued development and well-being of the individual clinician. Participants anticipated feedback to be delivered electronically to minimise resource demands, with delivery initiated by the individual clinician. However, a level of support or supervision may also be required to minimise the potential for harmful consequences. Conclusions: Establishing a just feedback culture within paramedic practice may reduce a perceived isolation of clinical practice, enabling both individual development and progression of the profession. Carefully designed formal outcome feedback mechanisms should be initiated and subsequently evaluated to establish resultant benefits and costs.
    • Fit to practise: does more need to be done to improve the health and wellbeing of paramedics?

      Barrett, Jack (2016-10)
      Abstract published with permission. Paramedics are exposed to both physiological and psychological stressors that the general population does not typically face. Although there is evidence to show that paramedics can be resilient to these, cardiovascular disease, mental health problems and musculoskeletal injuries are still prevalent among paramedics. Exercise has been shown to reduce the physical demands of lifting for paramedics, but data on the effects in other areas of paramedic life are limited. In the general population, exercise is becoming a popular treatment option for mental health problems. However, the methodologies used are inconsistent and it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions from the data available. A more thorough examination of how regular exercise could positively impact the health and well-being of paramedics, who are key, front-line personnel in the medical services, is an area that requires crucial further research.
    • Helicopter emergency medical service dispatch in older trauma: time to reconsider the trigger?

      Griggs, J.E.; Barrett, J.W.; Ter Avest, E.; de Coverly, R.; Nelson, M.; Williams, J.; Lyons, R.M. (2021-05-07)
    • Hub-and-spoke model for thrombectomy service in UK NHS practice

      Zhang, Liqun; Ogunbemi, Ayokunle; Trippier, Sarah; Clarke, Brian; Khan, Usman; Hall, Claire; Ji, Qiuhong; Clifton, Andrew; Cluckie, Gillian (2021-01)
    • The impact of paramedic shift work on the family system: a literature review

      Anderson, Lucy (2019-08-07)
      Aim: The current review investigates the impacts of paramedic work on the family system. Paramedics are taking time off or leaving through stress, and career decisions could be influenced by this perceived impact. Method: A systematic literature review was conducted and the literature critiqued. Two themes were identified: emotional labour and work-family fit. Results: Paramedics rely on families for emotional support, putting them at risk of vicarious trauma. The historical male coping culture of paramedic practice deters processing at work, detrimentally carrying this processing into the home environment. Additionally, several shift characteristics contribute to work-family conflict, child-rearing conflict and difficulties maintaining a social life. Conclusions: Key organisational culture change is needed from denigrating staff for showing emotions and struggling to find work-life balance, to one that improves experiences at work and therefore at home as well. Recent movement towards almost equal gender balance may present a particular opportunity to deliver culture change. Further research is required to better understand the impact that shift work has on the family. Abstract published with permission.