• Accuracy of nature of call screening tool in identifying patients requiring treatment for out of hospital cardiac arrest

      Green, Jonathan; Ewings, Sean; Wortham, Richard; Walsh, Bronagh (2019-04)
      Background: A new pre-triage screening tool, Nature of Call (NoC), has been introduced into the telephone triage system of UK ambulance services which employ National Health Service Pathways (NHSP). Its function is to provide rapid recognition of patients who may need immediate ambulance dispatch for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and withholding dispatch for other calls while further triage is undertaken. In this study, we evaluated the accuracy of NoC and NHSP in identifying patients with potentially treatable or imminent OHCA. Methods: This retrospective, observational study reviewed consecutive calls to a UK ambulance service between October 2016 and February 2017 in which NOC, and then NHSP were applied sequentially. Only those calls for which a corresponding electronic Patient Clinical Record was available were included. Sensitivity and specificity of NOC and NHSP for recognition of an OHCA were determined by comparing allocated priority dispositions with an OHCA Treatment Registry (OHCATR). Results: Of 96 423 calls received, 71 373 were reviewed. For 590 (0.8%) of these calls, the patients received treatment for OHCA. NOC identified 458 OHCATR patients; NHSP identified 467; together they identified 496. NoC captured 29 patients not identified by NHSP; NHSP captured 38 patients not identified by NOC. For NOC sensitivity was 77.6% (95% CI 74.1 to 80.8) and specificity 86.9% (95% CI 86.6 to 87.1). NHSP sensitivity was 79.2% (95% CI 75.7 to 82.2) and specificity 93.4% (95% CI 93.2 to 93.6). NoC and NHSP combined had a sensitivity of 84.1% (95% CI 80.9 to 86.8) and specificity of 85.3% (95% CI 85.1 to 85.6). Conclusions: NoC and NHSP call categorisation each achieved similar sensitivity for the identification of OHCATR, identifying most of the same patients, but each captured unique patients. Using both methods sequentially improved accuracy. The 16% of OHCATR patients not identified by either method present a challenge to ambulance dispatch systems. https://emj.bmj.com/content/36/4/203. 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-2017-207354
    • Acute exacerbation of COPD: Are we still over-oxygenating?

      Douglas, Anita (2012-11)
      Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects thousands of people across the UK. It accounts for a large amount of hospital admissions, which are often seen by the ambulance service during acute exacerbations. Discussion has surrounded the amount of oxygen this type of patient should be receiving during acute exacerbations. Research to provide evidence–based practice for the use of oxygen in the hospital and pre-hospital environment has been ongoing for several years. In 2009 the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC) changed their guidance following the British Thoracic Society's (BTS) release of new guidelines in oxygen use in adult patients, thus determining that oxygen should be delivered in a more precise manner. However in light of current evidence could further changes be made in the delivery of oxygen, by using air–driven nebulisation during the delivery of drugs to patients presenting in the pre-hospital environment with an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD). This would allow patients to receive an appropriate amount of oxygen during their transfer to hospital, giving improved care and treatment of patients at risk of hypercapnic respiratory failure. This article will discuss the changes to practice which have already been identified and recommended and also discuss the potential implications these changes may have on patient care. Abstract published with permission.
    • Acute stroke life support: a United States based training course; is it appropriate for and transferable to the English health care setting?

      Davis, David; Crook, D.; Hargroves, D.; Miller, G.; South, A.; Jenkinson, D.; Smithard, D. (2009-12-01)
    • Ambulance clinicians' perceptions, assessment and management of frailty: thematic analysis of focus groups

      Green, Jonathan; Kirby, Kim; Hope, Suzy (2018-12-01)
      Introduction: More than half of all patients attended by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust are over the age of 65. In 2017, 62% of older patients who were the subject of a frailty assessment were believed to have at least mild frailty (1/5 of all patients). Frailty is an increasingly relevant concept/diagnosis and ambulance services are well positioned to identify frailty and influence the 'care pathways' through which patients are directed (thereby influencing health outcomes). Throughout the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, a mandatory training session regarding frailty was delivered to clinical personnel in 2017 and frailty assessment tools are available on the electronic Patient Clinical Record. Aim: To explore and gain insight into the current knowledge, practice and attitudes of ambulance clinicians regarding frailty and patients with frailty. Methods: Two focus groups of ambulance clinicians (n = 8; n = 9) recruited from across the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust were held in October 2017. Focus group discussions were analysed thematically. Results: Knowledge of conceptual models of frailty, appropriate assessment of patients with frailty and appropriate care pathways varied substantially among focus group participants. Completion of the 'Rockwood' Clinical Frailty Scale for relevant patients has become routine. However, conflicting opinions were expressed regarding the context and purpose of this. The Timed-Up-and-Go mobility assessment tool is also on the electronic Patient Clinical Record, but difficulties regarding its completion were expressed.Patient management strategies ranged from treatment options which the ambulance service can provide, to referrals to primary/community care which can support the management of patients in their homes, and options to refer patients directly to hospital units or specialists with the aim of facilitating appropriate assessment, treatment and discharge. Perceptions of limited availability and geographical variability regarding these referral pathways was a major feature of the discussions, raising questions regarding awareness, capacity, inter-professional relationships and patient choice. Conclusion: Knowledge, practice and attitudes of ambulance staff, with regard to frailty, varied widely. This reflected the emerging nature of the condition, both academically and clinically, within the ambulance profession and the wider healthcare system. Abstract published with permission.
    • Blurring boundaries

      Gregory, Pete; Mursell, Ian (2006-12)
    • Can emergency care practitioners differentiate between an avoided emergency department attendance and an avoided admission?

      Coates, David; Rawstorne, Steven; Benger, Jonathan (2012-10)
      After a 999 call to the ambulance service, there is no ‘gold standard’ for determining whether the actions of an emergency care practitioner (ECP) result in a patient avoiding attendance at an emergency department (ED) or avoiding an admission to hospital. Within the Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust this outcome has previously been measured using an audit form completed by the ECP. However, the accuracy of the ECP's opinion has not been assessed. https://emj.bmj.com/content/29/10/838.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 http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2011-200484
    • Can emergency care practitioners differentiate between an avoided emergency department attendance and an avoided admission?

      Coates, David; Rawstorne, Steven; Benger, Jonathan (2012-10)
      Background: After a 999 call to the ambulance service, there is no 'gold standard' for determining whether the actions of an emergency care practitioner (ECP) result in a patient avoiding attendance at an emergency department (ED) or avoiding an admission to hospital. Within the Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust this outcome has previously been measured using an audit form completed by the ECP. However, the accuracy of the ECP's opinion has not been assessed. Aim: To evaluate the accuracy of the ECP's opinion when deciding whether their actions resulted in a patient avoiding attendance at an ED or avoiding hospital admission. Methods: Over a 10-week-period in 2009, quantitative data were collected using a case review approach. Anonymised patient consultation records were independently reviewed by an ED consultant and a general practitioner. The decision as to whether the actions of the ECP resulted in the patient avoiding ED attendance or hospital admission was compared between the three healthcare professionals using descriptive statistics and κ values to assess inter-rater agreement. Results: Overall inter-rater agreement between the three healthcare professionals was κ=0.385 (fair agreement). The complete agreement rate on a case by case basis for all three healthcare professionals was 80.2% (138/172). Conclusion: This study provides some evidence that ECPs can accurately report on whether their actions, at the time of that care episode, result in a patient avoiding attendance at an ED or avoiding a hospital admission. https://emj.bmj.com/content/29/10/838.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/emermed-2011-200484
    • Characteristics of neighbourhoods with high incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and low bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation rates in England

      Brown, Terry P.; Booth, Scott; Hawkes, Claire A.; Soar, Jasmeet; Mark, Julian; Mapstone, James; Fothergill, Rachael; Black, Sarah; Pocock, Helen; Bichmann, Anna; et al. (2019-01-01)
    • ‘Clearing’ the cervical spine in the unconscious trauma patient

      Blackham, Julian; Benger, Jonathan (2011-01-01)
    • Consensus statement: a framework for safe and effective intubation by paramedics

      Gowens, Paul; Aitken-Fell, Paul; Broughton, William; Harris, Liz; Williams, Julia; Younger, Paul; Bywater, David; Crookston, Colin; Curatolo, Lisa; Edwards, Tim; et al. (2018-06)
      Abstract published with permission. This consensus statement provides profession-specific guidance in relation to tracheal intubation by paramedics ‐ a procedure that the College of Paramedics supports. Tracheal intubation by paramedics has been the subject of professional and legal debate as well as crown investigation. It is therefore timely that the College of Paramedics, through this consensus group, reviews the available evidence and expert opinion in order to prevent patient harm and promote patient safety, clinical effectiveness and professional standards. It is not the purpose of this consensus statement to remove the skill of tracheal intubation from paramedics. Neither is it intended to debate the efficacy of intubation or the effect on mortality or morbidity, as other formal research studies will answer those questions. The consensus of this group is that paramedics can perform tracheal intubation safely and effectively. However, a safe, well-governed system of continual training, education and competency must be in place to serve both patients and the paramedics delivering their care.
    • CURE (Community Urgent Response Environment): portable work stations

      Hignett, Sue; Fray, Mike; Benger, Jonathan; Jones, Andrew; Coates, David; Rumsey, John; Mansfield, Neil (2012-06-01)
      The Community Urgent Response Environment (CURE) concept is a new technology system developed to support the work of Emergency Care Practitioners with portable pods and packs and mobile treatment units. This paper describes a project to transfer research outputs from an academic setting into practice through collaboration between two universities, two manufacturers and the United Kingdom (UK) National Health Service. An iterative prototyping process was used with 12 Emergency Care Practitioners evaluating prototypes in two user trials by carrying out four clinical scenarios in three simulated environments (confined domestic, less confined public space, and vehicle). Data were collected with video recording, field notes and post-trial debriefing interviews and analysed thematically. The final prototypes (pod/pack 1.3 and vehicle 1.6) have potential to support a new way of working in the provision of non-critical, pre-hospital care. The user trials also identified possible efficiencies through the use of CURE by providing support for a wider range of assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Abstract published with permission.
    • Data quality and 30-day survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK out-of-hospital cardiac arrest registry: a data linkage study

      Rajagopal, Sangeerthana; Booth, Scott; Brown, Terry P.; Ji, Chen; Hawkes, Claire A.; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Kirby, Kim; Black, Sarah; Spaight, Robert; Gunson, Imogen; et al. (2017-11)
      Objectives The Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcomes (OHCAO) project aims to understand the epidemiology and outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) across the UK. This data linkage study is a subproject of OHCAO. The aim was to establish the feasibility of linking OHCAO data to National Health Service (NHS) patient demographic data and Office for National Statistics (ONS) date of death data held on the NHS Personal Demographics Service (PDS) database to improve OHCAO demographic data quality and enable analysis of 30-day survival from OHCA. Design and setting Data were collected from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014 as part of a prospective, observational study of OHCA attended by 10 English NHS Ambulance Services. 28 729 OHCA cases had resuscitation attempted by Emergency Medical Services and were included in the study. Data linkage was carried out using a data linkage service provided by NHS Digital, a national provider of health-related data. To assess data linkage feasibility a random sample of 3120 cases was selected. The sample was securely transferred to NHS Digital to be matched using OHCAO patient demographic data to return previously missing demographic data and provide ONS date of death data. Results A total of 2513 (80.5%) OHCAO cases were matched to patients in the NHS PDS database. Using the linkage process, missing demographic data were retrieved for 1636 (72.7%) out of 2249 OHCAO cases that had previously incomplete demographic data. Returned ONS date of death data allowed analysis of 30-day survival status. The results showed a 30-day survival rate of 9.3%, reducing unknown survival status from 46.1% to 8.5%. Conclusions In this sample, data linkage between the OHCAO registry and NHS PDS database was shown to be feasible, improving demographic data quality and allowing analysis of 30-day survival status. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/7/11/e017784.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/bmjopen-2017-017784
    • Design and implementation of a large and complex trial in emergency medical services

      Robinson, Maria; Taylor, Jodi; Brett, Stephen; Nolan, Jerry; Thomas, Matthew; Reeves, Barnaby; Rogers, Chris; Voss, Sarah; Clout, Madeleine; Benger, Jonathan; et al. (2019-02-08)
    • Design of Cervical Brace for Trauma Patients

      Torlei, Karina; Matthews, Ed; Sparke, Alison; Benger, Jonathan; Voss, Sarah; Harris, Nigel; Carter, Jane (2013-06-12)
    • Development and pilot of clinical performance indicators for English ambulance services

      Siriwardena, Aloysius; Shaw, Deborah; Donohoe, Rachel; Black, Sarah; Stephenson, John; National Ambulance Clinical Audit Steering Group (2010-04-12)
      Introduction There is a compelling need to develop clinical performance indicators for ambulance services in order to move from indicators based primarily on response times and in light of the changing clinical demands on services. We report on progress on the national pilot of clinical performance indicators for English ambulance services. Method Clinical performance indicators were developed in five clinical areas: acute myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest, stroke (including transient ischaemic attack), asthma and hypoglycaemia. These were determined on the basis of common acute conditions presenting to ambulance services and in line with a previously published framework. Indicators were piloted by ambulance services in England and results were presented in tables and graphically using funnel (statistical process control) plots. Results Progress for developing, agreeing and piloting of indicators has been rapid, from initial agreement in May 2007 to completion of the pilot phase by the end of March 2008. The results of benchmarking of indicators are shown. The pilot has informed services in deciding the focus of their improvement programme in 2008–2009 and indicators have been adopted for national performance assessment of standards of prehospital care. Conclusion The pilot will provide the basis for further development of clinical indicators, benchmarking of performance and implementation of specific evidence-based interventions to improve care in areas identified for improvement. A national performance improvement registry will enable evaluation and sharing of effective improvement methods as well as increasing stakeholder and public access to information on the quality of care provided by ambulance services. https://emj.bmj.com/content/27/4/327. 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.2009.072397
    • Effect of a Strategy of a Supraglottic Airway Device vs Tracheal Intubation During Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest on Functional Outcome: The AIRWAYS-2 Randomized Clinical Trial

      Benger, Jonathan; Kirby, Kim; Black, Sarah; Brett, Stephen; Clout, Madeleine; Lazaroo, Michelle; Nolan, Jerry; Reeves, Barnaby; Robinson, Maria; Scott, Lauren; et al. (2018-08-28)