• Frequent callers to and users of emergency medical systems: a systematic review

      Scott, Jason; Strickland, Annette Patricia; Warner, Karen; Dawson, Pamela (2014-08)
      Background There appears to be a paucity of studies examining the characteristics and impact of frequent users upon emergency medical services (EMS). Objective To review current primary research on frequent users of EMS and to identify possible gaps in the literature. Methods Ovid, PubMed and CINAHL/Medline were systematically searched for articles that were published in English and either referred to frequent callers to or users of an EMS, or referred to frequent users of other services where admissions were via ambulance. Studies were included regardless of quality. Findings Eighteen studies were included. Ten were emergency department based, seven in EMS and one in a psychiatric emergency service. In emergency department studies, frequent users were more likely to arrive via ambulance than infrequent users. In EMS studies, between 0.2% and 23% of patients using EMS were frequent users accounting for 1.4% to 40% of all ambulance use. No two EMS studies used the same definition of a frequent user. No studies focused on characteristics of callers to EMS. Two studies explored interventions for frequent callers to EMS, with mixed results in reducing ambulance use. Discussion It is unknown to what extent frequent callers impact upon EMS resources. Research should identify predictors and characteristics of frequent users of EMS, and a consistent definition of a frequent caller to or user of EMS would provide greater comparability. The lack of studies identified in this review suggests that further research is needed in order to inform policy and practice. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/31/8/684.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-2013-202545
    • The head injury transportation straight to neurosurgery (HITS-NS) randomised trial: a feasibility study

      Lecky, Fiona; Russell, Wanda; Fuller, Gordon W.; McClelland, Graham; Pennington, Elspeth; Goodacre, Steve; Han, Kyee; Curran, Andrew; Holliman, Damian; Freeman, Jennifer; et al. (2016-01)
    • How do paramedics learn and maintain the skill of tracheal intubation? A rapid evidence review

      Pilbery, Richard (2018-09)
      Abstract published with permission. Introduction: Endotracheal intubation has been considered a core skill for all paramedics since the inception of the profession in the 1970s, and continues to be taught within the majority of pre-registration paramedic training programmes. However, the standards of both training and assessment of competence in intubation vary considerably between institutions; this has been compounded by reduced opportunities for supervised clinical practice within the operating theatre environment. The College of Paramedics’ Airway Working Group commissioned a rapid evidence review, to inform a consensus statement on paramedic intubation, with the research question: How do paramedics learn and maintain the skill of tracheal intubation? Methods: Rapid evidence reviews are literature reviews that use methods to accelerate or streamline the traditional systematic review process. Randomised controlled trials, quasi-randomised controlled trials, prospective and retrospective observational studies, systematic reviews and qualitative studies, published from 1970 onwards, were all eligible for inclusion. The search was restricted to paramedics/paramedic students and learning/maintaining the skill of tracheal intubation. Results: A comprehensive search of CINAHL, MEDLINE and Google Scholar was undertaken. Ten papers were classed as sufficiently relevant for inclusion. They identified that there is no clear definition of a paramedic having ‘learnt’ the skill of intubation. Suggested measures include first-pass success of 90% for pre-hospital intubation, or a range of measures, such as intubation success and complication rates, laryngoscopy technique and decision-making. Intubation training should use a range of modalities, including didactic lectures, videos and practical sessions on multiple types of airway manikins. Supervision by experienced faculty is required. Little is known about how paramedics maintain their skill in intubation, given the lack of clinical opportunity. Yearly skills retraining can help, and can be enhanced by demonstrations/lectures from experienced faculty. Conclusion: Further research is needed to understand how paramedics maintain their skill in intubation, given the limited opportunities to use the skill in a clinical setting and lack of opportunities with UK ambulance services for retraining.
    • How to turn the blue lights green

      Percival, Alexis (2019-05-22)
    • Human factors, cognitive bias and the paramedic

      Allen, James (2019-01-12)
      The consequences of human factors and cognitive bias can be catastrophic if unrecognised. Errors can lead to loss of life because of the flawed nature of human cognition and the way we interact with our environment. Seemingly small mistakes or miscommunications can lead to negative outcomes for patients and clinicians alike. It is easy to see therefore why the College of Paramedics now recommends the teaching of human factors at higher education institutions. Using a problem-based approach, this article aims to inform prehospital clinicians about how human factors and cognitive bias can affect them and their practice, and how these can be mitigated. Abstract published with permission.
    • Identification of characteristics of neighbourhoods with high incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and low bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation rates

      Brown, Terry P.; Hawkes, Claire A.; Booth, Scott; Fothergill, Rachael; Black, Sara; Bichmann, Anna; Pocock, Helen; Soar, Jasmeet; Mark, Julian; Benger, Jonathan; et al. (2017-09)
    • The impact of an ambulance vehicle preparation service on the presence of bacteria: a service evaluation

      Mackenzie, Mo; Pilbery, Richard (2019-03-01)
      Introduction: Around 300,000 patients a year in England acquire a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) while being cared for by the NHS. The contribution from NHS Ambulance Services is not known, but previous studies have identified the presence of pathogenic bacteria such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Enterococcus, including resistant strains in some cases, inside ambulances. To improve ambulance cleanliness, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) piloted an Ambulance Vehicle Preparation Service (AVPS) at two ambulance stations, where staff were tasked with ensuring every ambulance at these stations was cleaned every 24 hours. Methods: Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence testing was conducted on 16 ambulances at the two pilot AVPS stations and on 18 ambulances at four ‘business as usual’ (BAU) ambulance stations using a Hygiena SystemSURE luminometer. Swabs were obtained from 10 pre-selected locations inside each ambulance. Results: Between November 2016 and August 2018, a total of 690 swabs were obtained and recorded from 34 ambulances. Overall, median relative light unit (RLU) values for both groups were < 100, with only the BAU group having an upper quartile value > 100. However, when stratified by swabbing area, three areas had a median RLU of > 100 in the BAU group: suction unit handle, steering wheel and airway seat shelf. In addition, the upper quartile RLU values for the grab rail above the stretcher and the passenger seat in the BAU group were also > 100. No swab areas had a median RLU > 100 in the AVPS group. Conclusion: A dedicated AVPS results in better cleaning of ambulance vehicles than the existing cleaning system utilising operational crews. The areas most likely to be contaminated are the suction unit handle, steering wheel, airway seat shelf and grab rails. The position of equipment and the materials that equipment are constructed from should have infection prevention and control (IPC) as a consideration. Abstract published with permission.
    • Improving patient care - the Leeds dedicated palliative care ambulance service

      Borrill, Deborah; Colam-Ainsworth, Will (2014-03)
      Background Leeds have benefited from a bespoke palliative care ambulance service since 2007 when work done with Marie Curie and the “Delivering Choice” programme highlighted the need for the service. Early consultation with stakeholders identified that a lack of appropriate ambulance transport can be one of the factors that restricts or prevents the fulfilment of a patient’s previously expressed wish to die in the place of their choice. Aim The aim of the dedicated palliative care ambulance service is to provide flexible, prompt, safe and comfortable transport to patients moving to a place of their choice towards the end of life and to those needing palliative treatments and investigations. Method The Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Team, Leeds Commissioners, Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) Leeds Hospices and Leeds Community Health worked closely together at a local level to improve the present palliative care ambulance service. Leeds commissioners have now funded a second ambulance to run on weekdays, covering the busiest times and new dedicated crews have been recruited and trained by the local hospice. Results This service will benefit patients, carers, healthcare professionals and healthcare providers by: Helping patients achieve their choice for place of care by reducing delays in discharge caused by restrictions to transport Ensuring appropriately trained ambulance personnel will provide quality care services to patients at the end of life during transportation Providing effective ways of working with professionals Providing better coordination and connectivity between hospital, hospice, community and ambulance services Conclusion In providing patients with choice in place of care at the end of life, whilst improving service provision, it is expected that the number of patients dying at home will increase. Future plans are to monitor present demand with a view to expanding the service further to support the transfer of palliative patients in Leeds. https://search.proquest.com/docview/1783985419/fulltextPDF/EBB9E264BEB34F77PQ/1?accountid=48092. 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/bmjspcare-2014-000654.21
    • Improving post-resuscitation care after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

      Fisher, Ruth (2020-01)
      Abstract published with permission. Introduction: The average rate of survival following an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in the UK was 7–8% at the start of 2019. An estimated 60 000 OHCAs are attended by UK ambulance services annually and, despite developments in prehospital and post-resuscitation care, there are significant variations in survival between regions and countries. Aims: This study aims to identify the potential for care pathways, evaluate UK practices and review the evidence for direct referral of OHCA patients to dedicated cardiac arrest centres. Methods: Evidence was gathered from 20 articles identified through a systematic search of articles related to OHCA and post-resuscitation care, as well as from NHS England in relation to performance and outcomes. Results: Between April 2018 and January 2019, 30.6% of patients experiencing an OHCA had a recorded ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation), and 10.2% survived. However, the 58.7% compliance with the post-ROSC care bundle by ambulance services suggests variations in the delivery of post-resuscitation care. At present, UK ambulance services stabilise and transfer OHCA patients with ROSC to the nearest emergency department, which may not provide specialist services. Holland and Norway report survival rates of 21% and 25% respectively, and operate a centralised approach to post-resuscitation care through designated cardiac arrest centres, which provide specialist care that helps to improve the likelihood of survival. While no randomised controlled trials have been carried out in relation to cardiac arrest centres, it is recognised that the quality of care in the post-resuscitation phase is important, as this is when the highest proportion of deaths occur. Conclusion: Further research into specific care pathways and centralised care should be carried out, and an OHCA postresuscitation care pathway should be developed to improve the delivery of care and survival.
    • Individualised nursing support reduces mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes following severe hypoglycaemia requiring ambulance attendance

      Kulavarasalingam, K.; Whittam, B.; Cassidy, S.; james, cathryn; Baxter, Paul; Pearson, S.; Ajjan, Ramzi A. (2018-10)
    • Introducing BestBETs

      Pilbery, Richard; Mackway-Jones, Kevin C. (2016-05)
    • Introduction of non-transport guidelines into an ambulance service: a retrospective review

      Gray, J.T.; Wardrope, Jim (2007-10)
      Recent government policy has looked at improving the role of ambulance services in delivering alternative care models for patients. https://emj.bmj.com/content/24/10/727. 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 10.1136/emj.2007.048850
    • An investigation into suicide amongst ambulance service staff

      Hird, Kelly; Bell, Fiona; Mars, Becky; James, Catheryn; Gunnell, David (2019-01-14)
      Background In 2015, Ambulance Service Medical Directors raised concerns regarding a perceived increase in suicide deaths among ambulance service staff. The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) then commissioned a research study to investigate these concerns and provide recommendations towards a suicide prevention strategy. The aim of this study was to determine whether staff who work in the UK ambulance services (AS) are at higher risk of suicide than staff who work in other professions. Methods Data was requested from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) regarding AS staff suicide. Eighteen AS were invited to return data on Occupational Health (OH). AS in England and Wales (n=11) were also asked to return data on staff suicides. Coroners were contacted to request permission to review the records of the deaths. Results The ONS analysis of occupational suicide risk between 2011 and 2015 indicated that there were 20 suicide deaths amongst paramedics in England during that period. The risk of suicide amongst male paramedics was 75% higher than the national average. Over a 2 year period, 8 AS trusts identified 15 staff suicides (11 male, 4 female). The mean age of those dying by suicide was 42 years. Findings from coroners’ records indicated that the predominant suicide method used was hanging (66.7%). Conclusions The following recommendations have been accepted by the AACE: a) Develop a mental health strategy for all staff which includes specific emphasis on suicide prevention b) Review and assess suicide risk at times of increased vulnerability c) Collect and monitor data on AS suicides d) Review occupational health, counselling and support services e) Training for staff in identifying and responding to a colleague in distress f) Return to work discussions should consider and establish the status of an individual’s mental health and wellbeing. https://emj.bmj.com/content/36/1/e3.1. 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-2019-999.6
    • Is it cost effective to introduce paramedic practitioners for older people to the ambulance service? Results of a cluster randomised controlled trial

      Dixon, S.; Mason, Suzanne; Knowles, Emma; Colwell, Brigitte; Wardrope, Jim; Snooks, Helen; Gorringe, R.; Perrin, J.; Nicholl, Jon (2009-05-22)
      Background: A scheme to train paramedics to undertake a greater role in the care of older people following a call for an emergency ambulance was developed in a large city in the UK. Objectives: To assess the cost effectiveness of the paramedic practitioner (PP) scheme compared with usual emergency care. Methods: A cluster randomised controlled trial was undertaken of PP compared with usual care. Weeks were allocated to the study group at random to the PP scheme either being active (intervention) or inactive (control). Resource use data were collected from routine sources, and from patient-completed questionnaires for events up to 28 days. EQ-5D data were also collected at 28 days. Results: Whereas the intervention group received more PP contact time, it reduced the proportion of emergency department (ED) attendances (53.3% vs 84.0%) and time in the ED (126.6 vs 211.3 minutes). There was also some evidence of increased use of health services in the days following the incident for patients in the intervention group. Overall, total costs in the intervention group were £140 lower when routine data were considered (p = 0.63). When the costs and QALY were considered simultaneously, PP had a greater than 95% chance of being cost effective at £20 000 per QALY. Conclusion: Several changes in resource use are associated with the use of PP. Given these economic results in tandem with the clinical, operational and patient-related benefits, the wider implementation and evaluation of similar schemes should be considered. https://emj.bmj.com/content/26/6/446. 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.2008.061424
    • Is it time to change? The use of intranasal fentanyl for severe pain in the pre-hospital setting

      Parkinson, Martin (2014-11)
      Abstract published with permission. The treatment of pain is a commonplace issue for today’s paramedics, where the need for new analgesics to overcome cannulation barriers is gathering momentum. Intranasal fentanyl has proven itself to be a very safe and effective form of analgesia that overcomes those barriers and can help paramedics provide a higher standard of care. Although research into its use in the prehospital environment is still limited, evidence of its effectiveness in the accident and emergency department has highlighted its potential for helping paramedics treat severe pain where venous access is compromised. Studies have shown that intranasal fentanyl compares with the analgesic standard set by intravenous morphine and is rapidly becoming the drug of choice in the paediatric accident and emergency department.
    • Is referral to emergency care practitioners by general practitioners in-hours effective?

      Gray, J.T.; Walker, A. (2009-07-22)
      Objective: To evaluate the cost effectiveness to primary care trusts (PCT) in commissioning general practitioner (GP) referrals in-hours to emergency care practitioners (ECP). Methods: A retrospective case note review for patients referred by GPs in-hours to ECP over a 4-month period to ascertain any added value over a GP visit. Results: In a 4-month period 105 patients were referred. In most cases (90.5%) the ECP was utilised as a substitute for a GP rather than providing any additional skills. Defining an avoided attendance as the ECP undertaking an intervention outside a GP skill set this equated to a 9.5% avoided attendance rate compared with the ECP service standard rate of 60%. This has implications both in terms of financial benefit and ongoing ECP service sustainability. Conclusions: There is little value in a PCT commissioning this service as they will pay twice and care must be taken in accepting new referral streams into existing services. https://emj.bmj.com/content/26/8/611. 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.2008.059956
    • Is there scope for an observational pain scoring tool in paramedic practice?

      Harvey, Christopher (2014-02)
      Abstract published with permission. In the pre-hospital environment, attending an older person can pose many challenges, including a lack of a detailed history, polypharmacy and co-morbidities, as well as a lack of out-of-hours support to name but a few. These challenges are enhanced further when the patient is cognitively impaired by syndromes such as dementia. There appears to be very little research available into how the pain of older people with dementia is assessed and managed by paramedics. This article highlights a literature review that was carried out to explore the evidence base and possible implementation of the Abbey Pain Scale, with the view of conducting a study in the near future. Particular focus is made on the education and training required to implement the tool, other environments where it has been adopted, as well as benefits and limitations.
    • JPP letters - Recongnising ECG Landmarks

      Poskitt, Philip; Simpson-Scott, Karen; Mendes, Aysha (2018-10)