• 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.
    • 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.