• 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
    • 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)
    • 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.
    • Electronic records in ambulances – an observational study (ERA)

      Porter, Alison; Black, Sarah; Dale, Jeremy; Harris-Mayes, Robert; Lawrenson, Robin; Lyons, Ronan; Mason, Suzanne; Morrison, Zoe; Potts, Henry; Siriwardena, Aloysius; et al. (2019-09-24)
      Background The introduction of information technology (IT) in emergency ambulance services to electronically capture, interpret and store patient data can support out of hospital care. Although electronic health records (EHR) in ambulances and other digital technology are encouraged by national policy across the UK, there is considerable variation across services in terms of implementation. We aimed to understand how electronic records can be most effectively implemented in a pre-hospital context, in order to support a safe and effective shift from acute to community-based care. Methods We conducted a mixed-methods study with four work packages (WPs): a rapid literature review, a telephone survey of all 13 freestanding UK ambulance services, detailed case studies in four selected sites, and a knowledge sharing workshop. Results We found considerable variation in hardware and software. Services were in a state of constant change, with services transitioning from one system to another, reverting to paper, or upgrading. Ambulance clinicians were dealing with partial or unclear information, which may not fit comfortably with the EHR. Clinicians continued to use indirect data input approaches such as first writing on a glove. The primary function of EHR in all services seemed to be as a store for patient data. There was, as yet, limited evidence of their full potential being realised to transfer information, support decision making or change patient care. Conclusions Realising the full benefits of EHR requires engagement with other parts of the local health economy, dealing with the challenges of interoperability. Clinicians and data managers are likely to want very different things from a data set, and need to be presented with only the information that they need., https://emj.bmj.com/content/36/10/e14 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.32
    • An exploration of the views of paramedics regarding airway and resuscitation research

      Brandling, Janet; Rhys, Megan; Thomas, Matthew J.C.; Voss, Sarah; Davies, S.; Benger, Jonathan (2014-01)
    • Home or hospital for people with dementia and one or more other multimorbidities: What is the potential to reduce avoidable emergency admissions? The HOMEWARD Project Protocol

      Voss, Sarah; Black, Sarah; Brandling, Janet; Buswell, Marina; Cheston, Richard; Cullum, Sarah; Kirby, Kim; Purdy, Sarah; Solway, Chris; Taylor, Hazel; et al. (2017-04-03)
      Introduction Older people with multimorbidities frequently access 999 ambulance services. When multimorbidities include dementia, the risk of ambulance use, accident and emergency (A&E) attendance and hospital admission are all increased, even when a condition is treatable in the community. People with dementia tend to do poorly in the acute hospital setting and hospital admission can result in adverse outcomes. This study aims to provide an evidence-based understanding of how older people living with dementia and other multimorbidities are using emergency ambulance services. It will also provide evidence of how paramedics make decisions about taking this group of patients to hospital, and what resources would allow them to make more person-focused decisions to enable optimal patient care. Methods and analysis Phase 1: retrospective data analysis: quantitative analysis of ambulance service data will investigate: how often paramedics are called to older people with dementia; the amount of time paramedics spend on scene and the frequency with which these patients are transported to hospital. Phase 2: observational case studies: detailed case studies will be compiled using qualitative methods, including non-participant observation of paramedic decision-making, to understand why older people with multimorbidities including dementia are conveyed to A&E when they could be treated at home or in the community. Phase 3: needs analysis: nominal groups with paramedics will investigate and prioritise the resources that would allow emergency, urgent and out of hours care to be effectively delivered to these patients at home or in a community setting. Ethics and dissemination Approval for the study has been obtained from the Health Research Authority (HRA) with National Health Service (NHS) Research Ethics Committee approval for phase 2 (16/NW/0803). The dissemination strategy will include publishing findings in appropriate journals, at conferences and in newsletters. We will pay particular attention to dissemination to the public, dementia organisations and ambulance services. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/7/4/e016651. 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/bmjopen-2017-016651
    • How do people with dementia use the ambulance service? A retrospective study in England: the HOMEWARD project

      Voss, Sarah; Brandling, Janet; Taylor, Hazel; Black, Sarah; Buswell, Marina; Cheston, Richard; Cullum, Sarah; Foster, Theresa; Kirby, Kim; Prothero, Larissa; et al. (2018-08)
      https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/7/e022549 Objectives An increasing number of older people are calling ambulances and presenting to accident and emergency departments. The presence of comorbidities and dementia can make managing these patients more challenging and hospital admission more likely, resulting in poorer outcomes for patients. However, we do not know how many of these patients are conveyed to hospital by ambulance. This study aims to determine: how often ambulances are called to older people; how often comorbidities including dementia are recorded; the reason for the call; provisional diagnosis; the amount of time ambulance clinicians spend on scene; the frequency with which these patients are transported to hospital. Methods We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study of ambulance patient care records (PCRs) from calls to patients aged 65 years and over. Data were collected from two ambulance services in England during 24 or 48 hours periods in January 2017 and July 2017. The records were examined by two researchers using a standard template and the data were extracted from 3037 PCRs using a coding structure. Results Results were reported as percentages and means with 95% CIs. Dementia was recorded in 421 (13.9%) of PCRs. Patients with dementia were significantly less likely to be conveyed to hospital following an emergency call than those without dementia. The call cycle times were similar for patients regardless of whether or not they had dementia. Calls to people with dementia were more likely to be due to injury following a fall. In the overall sample, one or more comorbidities were reported on the PCR in over 80% of cases. Conclusion Rates of hospital conveyance for older people may be related to comorbidities, frailty and complex needs, rather than dementia. Further research is needed to understand the way in which ambulance clinicians make conveyance decisions at scene. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6074617/pdf/bmjopen-2018-022549.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-2018-022549
    • A pilot of the Paramedic Advanced Resuscitation of Children (PARC) course

      Ennis, Paddy (2019-11-05)
      Paramedics are the primary providers of prehospital care to children in an emergency. However, they deal with children's emergencies infrequently, and consistently report a lack of confidence in this area. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health standards state that clinicians with Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) training or equivalent must be available at all times to deal with emergencies involving children. While APLS is widely recognised as the gold standard in paediatric training, it focuses on in-hospital providers of paediatric life support, so may not adequately meet the needs of prehospital providers. The Paramedic Advanced Resuscitation of Children (PARC) course attempts to condense the most important aspects of APLS for paramedics into a simulation-based programme that is practical and cost effective. Evaluation of the views of the eight paramedics who took part in the pilot revealed that they felt more confident in managing children's emergencies after attending the course. The PARC course may be a simple, cost-effective method to improve paramedics’ confidence in dealing with emergencies involving children. Abstract published with permission.
    • PRe-hospital Evaluation of Sensitive TrOponin (PRESTO) Study: multicentre prospective diagnostic accuracy study protocol

      Alghamdi, Abdulrhman; Cook, Eloïse; Carlton, Edward; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Hann, Mark; Thompson, Alexander; Foulkes, Angela; Phillips, John; Cooper, Jamie; Steve, Bell; et al. (2019-10-07)
      Introduction Within the UK, chest pain is one of the most common reasons for emergency (999) ambulance calls and the most common reason for emergency hospital admission. Diagnosing acute coronary syndromes (ACS) in a patient with chest pain in the prehospital setting by a paramedic is challenging. The Troponin-only Manchester Acute Coronary Syndromes (T-MACS) decision rule is a validated tool used in the emergency department (ED) to stratify patients with suspected ACS following a single blood test. We are seeking to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the T-MACS decision aid algorithm to ‘rule out’ ACS when used in the prehospital environment with point-of-care troponin assays. If successful, this could allow paramedics to immediately rule out ACS for patients in the ‘very low risk’ group and avoid the need for transport to the ED, while also risk stratifying other patients using a single blood sample taken in the prehospital setting. Methods and analysis We will recruit patients who call emergency (999) ambulance services where the responding paramedic suspects cardiac chest pain. The data required to apply T-MACS will be prospectively recorded by paramedics who are responding to each patient. Paramedics will be required to draw a venous blood sample at the time of arrival to the patient. Blood samples will later be tested in batches for cardiac troponin, using commercially available troponin assays. The primary outcome will be a diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, established at the time of initial hospital admission. The secondary outcomes will include any major adverse cardiac events within 30 days of enrolment. Ethics and dissemination The study obtained approval from the National Research Ethics Service (reference: 18/ES/0101) and the Health Research Authority. We will publish our findings in a high impact general medical journal.Abstract, URL 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: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032834
    • Pre-hospital lactate testing in the identification of patients with sepsis: a review of the literature

      Kirby, Kim (2014-04-16)
      Sepsis is increasingly common and has a high mortality rate. Sepsis can be difficult to identify and patients with severe sepsis often initially present to the ambulance service. Lactate testing has been utilised successfully in other healthcare settings to assist with the identification of septic patients and stratification of illness severity. A focused literature review has revealed that pre-hospital lactate testing has shown benefits to clinicians pre-hospitally in the identification of septic patients presenting to the ambulance service. Only four pieces of primary research were identified and small sample sizes and variability of lactate testing limit the generalisation of the findings. Further research is required to fully investigate the potential benefits of using pre-hospital lactate testing to identify those patients with sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock presenting to the ambulance service. Abstract published with permission.
    • Prehospital intubation in cardiac arrest: The debate continues

      Thomas, Matthew J.C.; Benger, Jonathan (2011-04-01)
    • Public and patient involvement in prehospital care research development – designing the rapid 2 trial

      Evans, Bridie A.; Bulger, Jenna; Ford, S.; Foster, Theresa; Goodacre, Steve; Jones, S.; Keen, L.; Longo, M.; Lyons, Ronan; Pallister, I.; et al. (2019-04-26)
      Background Involving patients and public members in research helps ensure evidence is relevant, accountable and high quality. Public and patient involvement (PPI) is required in many funding applications. We aimed to involve public contributors in designing a research bid about prehospital management for hip fracture. Method We recruited two public contributors with experience of hip fracture and prehospital care to our research team of academic, clinical and managerial partners developing the RAPID 2 proposal evaluating paramedic administration of Fascia Iliaca Compartment Block, a local anesthetic injection into the hip. We supported them to consult with a public/patient group and identify patient priorities to inform our decisions. We held research development meetings and shared project drafts to gain views, share decisions and amend documents. Results Consultation responses suggested patient priorities after hip fracture were to return home, recover mobility and gain independence. These views guided our decisions on setting primary outcomes which were length-of-hospital-stay and health-related quality-of-life. Their concern about the study design causing delayed access to treatment meant we decided to identify common exclusion criteria before randomisation to expedite access to pain management and reduce attrition. Public contributors also agreed patients should be offered an incentive for completing and returning questionnaires to enhance data completeness. Conclusion Involving public contributors enabled the research team to identify patient-prioritised outcomes and adjust the proposed study design to reflect these in the proposal. Public contributors will remain involved if funding is awarded to ensure patient perspectives inform all stages of research management and dissemination. Conflict of interest None. Funding PRIME Centre Wales. 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, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/., https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/Suppl_2/A8.2 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/bmjopen-2019-EMS.22
    • Randomised comparison of the effectiveness of the laryngeal mask airway supreme, i-gel and current practice in the initial airway management of prehospital cardiac arrest (REVIVE-Airways): a feasibility study research protocol

      Benger, Jonathan; Voss, Sarah; Coates, David; Greenwood, Rosemary; Nolan, Jerry; Rawstorne, Steven; Rhys, Megan; Thomas, Matthew (2013-02-13)
      Effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation with appropriate airway management improves outcomes following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Historically, tracheal intubation has been accepted as the optimal form of OHCA airway management in the UK. The Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee recently concluded that newer supraglottic airway devices (SADs) are safe and effective devices for hospital procedures and that their use in OHCA should be investigated. This study will address an identified gap in current knowledge by assessing whether it is feasible to use a cluster randomised design to compare SADs with current practice, and also to each other, during OHCA. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/2/e002467 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/bmjopen-2012-002467
    • Tools to predict acute traumatic coagulopathy in the pre-hospital setting: a review of the literature

      Robinson, Simon; Kirton, Jordan (2020-12-01)
      Introduction: Recognising acute traumatic coagulopathy (ATC) poses a significant challenge to improving survival in emergency care. Paramedics are in a prime position to identify ATC in pre-hospital major trauma and initiate appropriate coagulopathy management. Method: A database literature review was conducted using Scopus, CINAHL and MEDLINE. Results: Two themes were identified from four studies: prediction tools, and point-of-care testing. Prediction tools identified key common ATC markers in the pre-hospital setting, including: systolic blood pressure, reduced Glasgow Coma Score and trauma to the chest, abdomen and pelvis. Point-of-care testing was found to have limited value. Conclusion: Future research needs to explore paramedics using prediction tools in identifying ATC, which could alert hospitals to prepare for blood products for damage control resuscitation. Abstract published with permission.
    • UK ambulance service resuscitation management of pulseless electrical activity: a systematic review protocol of text and opinion

      Coppola, Alison; Black, Sarah; Johnston, Sasha; Endacott, Ruth (2020-06-01)
      Abstract published with permission. Background: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients with pulseless electrical activity are treated by paramedics using basic and advanced life support resuscitation. When resuscitation fails to achieve return of spontaneous circulation, there are limited evidence and national guidelines on when to continue or stop resuscitation. This has led to ambulance services in the United Kingdom developing local guidelines to support paramedics in the resuscitative management of pulseless electrical activity. The content of each guideline is unknown, as is any association between guideline implementation and patient survival. We aim to identify and synthesise local ambulance service guidelines to help improve the consistency of paramedic-led decision-making for the resuscitation of pulseless electrical activity in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Methods: A systematic review of text and opinion will be conducted on ambulance service guidelines for resuscitating adult cardiac arrest patients with pulseless electrical activity. Data will be gathered direct from the ambulance service website. The review will be guided by the methods of the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI). The search strategy will be conducted in three stages: 1) a website search of the 14 ambulance services; 2) a search of the evidence listed in support of the guideline; and 3) an examination of the reference list of documents found in the first and second stages and reported using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses. Each document will be assessed against the inclusion criteria, and quality of evidence will be assessed using the JBI Critical Appraisal Checklist for Text and Opinion. Data will be extracted using the JBI methods of textual data extraction and a three-stage data synthesis process: 1) extraction of opinion statements; 2) categorisation of statements according to similarity of meaning; and 3) meta-synthesis of statements to create a new collection of findings. Confidence of findings will be assessed using the graded ConQual approach.