• Addressing the challenges of paramedic recruitment and engagement in AIRWAYS-2

      Pilbery, Richard; Green, Jonathan; Hall, Helen; Whitley, Gregory (2016-09)
      AIRWAYS-2 is an NIHR-funded study to determine the best initial approach to advanced airway management during out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Four NHS ambulance trusts are taking part in AIRWAYS-2: East Midlands, South Western, Yorkshire and East of England. One of the key challenges has been the need to recruit approximately 1300 study paramedics for the trial. The three main challenges in engaging and recruiting paramedics to participate in AIRWAYS-2 have been: ▸ Concerns relating to the potential results of the trial and what this will mean for the continuation of intubation for paramedics ▸ Concerns relating to the restriction on paramedic choice of advanced airway in OHCA and potential skill erosion ▸ Provision of training over large geographical areas at a time when morale is low and many ambulance trusts have recruitment and retention issues. How have these challenges been overcome? ▸ Communication: Identifying the most appropriate communication methods in each Trust e.g. face to face, email, internal trust operational updates ▸ Delivery of key messages: Emphasising why the trial is important and needed, and that its goal is not to remove intubation from paramedic practice. Obtaining the engagement of senior operational management to allay fears over impacts on service performance ▸ Valuing study paramedics: Paying clinicians overtime to attend training sessions, which contributes to their own continuing professional development ▸ Equity and opportunity: Delivery of multiple training sessions throughout each of the four ambulance trusts. Key achievements By November 2015, research paramedics had delivered nearly 350 training sessions and recruited in excess of 1300 paramedics to AIRWAYS-2. Conclusion The research paramedics leading AIRWAYS-2 have collaboratively, and successfully, overcome the main challenges relating to recruiting and engaging the paramedics in their Trusts. This should contribute to achieving the target patient sample size for the trial. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/33/9/e12.1.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-2016-206139.38
    • Non-invasive ventilation as a prehospital intervention for acute COPD exacerbation

      McCreesh, Samuel (2019-09-11)
      Abstract published with permission. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the second most common respiratory illness in the UK, affecting over 1 million people. Acute exacerbations of COPD are a common presentation to the ambulance service and account for thousands of hospital admissions annually. Acute respiratory failure accompanies approximately 20% of exacerbations. Current prehospital treatment focuses on oxygen and pharmacological therapy to treat the underlying causes. Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is a method of ventilatory support that does not require endotracheal intubation, avoiding significant risks associated with intubation and sedation. While some UK ambulance services have introduced NIV, UK guidelines primarily focus on hospital use. International trials have shown prehospital NIV to be more effective than standard treatment in terms of reducing the need for intubation and invasive ventilation in hospital. However, further research is necessary before NIV is introduced widely in UK prehospital paramedic practice.
    • Soiled airway tracheal intubation and the effectiveness of decontamination by paramedics: a randomised controlled manikin study protocol

      Pilbery, Richard; Teare, M. Dawn; Millins, Mark (2018-12)
      Abstract published with permission. Vomiting and regurgitation are commonly encountered in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with a reported incidence of 20‐30%. Arguably, tracheal intubation is the preferred airway management technique in patients with ongoing airway contamination, but there is evidence that this is difficult to achieve when the airway is soiled. In addition, traditional suctioning techniques have been criticised, and training in the management of contaminated airways is limited. If standard suctioning techniques are not sufficient to maintain a clear airway and provide ventilation, then these patients will die, irrespective of the quality of chest compressions and the timeliness of defibrillation. This has led to the development of a combined suction/laryngoscopy technique to facilitate intubation, known as Suction Assisted Laryngoscopy and Airway Decontamination, and the creation of modified airway manikins to allow for practice in these techniques. However, to date there has only been one study specifically looking at the Suction Assisted Laryngoscopy and Airway Decontamination technique, and the outcomes were self-reported confidence measures of trainees in using the technique. The primary objective of Soiled Airway Tracheal Intubation and the Effectiveness of Decontamination is to determine the difference between paramedic first-pass intubation success, before and after Suction Assisted Laryngoscopy and Airway Decontamination training, in a simulated soiled airway. The primary outcome is the difference in proportions of paramedic first-pass intubation success, before and after Suction Assisted Laryngoscopy and Airway Decontamination training. Paramedic recruitment commenced in July 2018 and the study will enrol 154 paramedics by the end of 2018. The results of this study will contribute to the evidence relating to the Suction Assisted Laryngoscopy and Airway Decontamination technique.
    • A survey of paramedic advanced airway practice in the UK

      Younger, Paul; Pilbery, Richard; Lethbridge, Kris (2016-12)
      Abstract published with permission. Introduction ‐ Although there are published studies examining UK paramedic airway management in the out-of-hospital setting, there has been no sizeable survey of practicing UK paramedics that examines their advanced airway management practice, training and confidence. Therefore, the Airway Management Group of the College of Paramedics commissioned a survey to gain an up to date snapshot of advanced airway management practice across the UK among paramedics. Methods ‐ An online questionnaire was created, and a convenience sample of Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered paramedics was invited to participate in the survey. Invitations were made using the College of Paramedics e-mail mailing list, the College website, as well as social media services such as Twitter and Facebook. The survey ran online for 28 days from 21 October to 18 November 2014 to allow as many paramedics to participate as possible. The survey questions considered a range of topics including which supraglottic airway devices are most commonly available in practice and whether or not tracheal intubation also formed a part of individual skillsets. In relation to intubation, respondents were asked a range of questions including which education programmes had been used for original skill acquisition, how skills were maintained, what techniques and equipment were available for intubation attempts, individual practitioner confidence in intubation and how intubation attempts were documented. Results ‐ A total of 1658 responses to the survey were received. Following data cleansing, 152 respondents were removed from the survey, leaving a total of 1506. This represented 7.3% of paramedics registered with the HCPC (20,565) at the time the survey was conducted. The majority of respondents were employed within NHS ambulance services. Summary ‐ This is the largest survey of UK paramedics conducted to date, in relation to advanced airway management. It provides an overview of advanced airway management, with a particular focus on intubation, being conducted by UK paramedics.