• ‘Interception’: a model for specialist prehospital care provision when helicopters are not available

      McQueen, Carl; Apps, Richard; Mason, Fay; Crombie, Nicholas; Hulme, Jon (2013-11)
      The deployment of specialist teams to incident scenes by helicopter and the delivery of critical care interventions such as Rapid Sequence Induction of anaesthesia to patients are becoming well-established components of trauma care in the UK. Traditionally in the UK, Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) are limited to daylight operations only. The safety and feasibility of operating HEMS services at night is a topic of debate currently in the UK HEMS community. Within the West Midlands Major Trauma Network, the Medical Emergency Response Incident Team (MERIT) provides a physician-led prehospital care service that responds to incidents by air during daylight hours and by Rapid Response Vehicle during the hours of darkness. The MERIT service is coordinated and supported by a dedicated Major Trauma Desk manned by a HEMS paramedic in the ambulance service control room. This case illustrates the importance of coordination and integration of specialist resources within a major trauma network to ensure the expedient delivery of HEMS-level care to patients outside of normal flying hours. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/30/11/956.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-2013-202989
    • Prevalence and predictors of hospital prealerting in acute stroke: a mixed methods study

      Sheppard, James P.; Lindenmeyer, A.; Mellor, Ruth M.; Greenfield, Sheila; Mant, Jonathan; Quinn, Tom; Rosser, Andrew; Sandler, David; Sims, D.; Ward, Matthew; et al. (2016-07)
      Background Thrombolysis can significantly reduce the burden of stroke but the time window for safe and effective treatment is short. In patients travelling to hospital via ambulance, the sending of a ‘prealert’ message can significantly improve the timeliness of treatment. Objective Examine the prevalence of hospital prealerting, the extent to which prealert protocols are followed and what factors influence emergency medical services (EMS) staff’s decision to send a prealert. Methods Cohort study of patients admitted to two acute stroke units in West Midlands (UK) hospitals using linked data from hospital and EMS records. A logistic regression model examined the association between prealert eligibility and whether a prealert message was sent. In semistructured interviews, EMS staff were asked about their experiences of patients with suspected stroke. Results Of the 539 patients eligible for this study, 271 (51%) were recruited. Of these, only 79 (29%) were eligible for prealerting according to criteria set out in local protocols but 143 (53%) were prealerted. Increasing number of Face, Arm, Speech Test symptoms (1 symptom, OR 6.14, 95% CI 2.06 to 18.30, p=0.001; 2 symptoms, OR 31.36, 95% CI 9.91 to 99.24, p<0.001; 3 symptoms, OR 75.84, 95% CI 24.68 to 233.03, p<0.001) and EMS contact within 5 h of symptom onset (OR 2.99, 95% CI 1.37 to 6.50 p=0.006) were key predictors of prealerting but eligibility for prealert as a whole was not (OR 1.92, 95% CI 0.85 to 4.34 p=0.12). In qualitative interviews, EMS staff displayed varying understanding of prealert protocols and described frustration when their interpretation of the prealert criteria was not shared by ED staff. Conclusions Up to half of the patients presenting with suspected stroke in this study were prealerted by EMS staff, regardless of eligibility, resulting in disagreements with ED staff during handover. Aligning the expectations of EMS and ED staff, perhaps through simplified prealert protocols, could be considered to facilitate more appropriate use of hospital prealerting in acute stroke. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/33/7/482.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-2014-204392