A pinboard by
Matt Holland

This board is owned by Matt Holland, LKS ASE, Librarian. Contact Matt.Holland@nwas.nhs.uk.


Hosts recent articles from research based journals. Pinboard started in September 2016.


This board collates published research on the prehospital and paramedic Practice.


The board is aimed at those working in Ambulance Services and Prehospital Care. Anyone can look.


The board is updated regularly. Somewhere between daily and weekly depending on the volume of publication.

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This board is maintained and run by Matt Holland, Librarian LKS ASE Matt.Holland@nwas.nhs.uk.

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Check the LKS ASE website to find out more about us. Follow us on Twitter, our Twitter handle is @NWASLibrary.


Prehospital Triage of Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients to an Intravenous tPA-Ready versus Endovascular-Ready Hospital: A Decision Analysis.

Abstract: American Stroke Association guidelines for prehospital acute ischemic stroke recommend against bypassing an intravenous tPA-ready hospital (IRH), if additional transportation time to an endovascular-ready hospital (ERH) exceeds 15-20 min. However, it is unknown when the benefit of potential endovascular therapy at an ERH outweighs the harm from delaying intravenous therapy at a closer IRH, especially since large vessel occlusion (LVO) status is initially unknown. We hypothesized that current time recommendations for IRH bypass are too short to achieve optimal outcomes for certain patient populations. A decision analysis model was constructed using population-based databases, a detailed literature review, and interventional trial data containing time-dependent modified Rankin Scale distributions. The base case was triaged by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) 110 min after stroke onset and had a 23.6% LVO rate. Base case triage choices were (1) transport to the closest IRH (12 min), (2) transport to the ERH (60 min) bypassing the IRH, or (3) apply the Cincinnati Stroke Triage Assessment Tool and transport to the ERH if positive for LVO. Outcomes were assessed using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Sensitivity analyses were performed for all major variables, and alternative prehospital stroke scales were assessed. In the base case, transport to the IRH was the optimal choice with an expected outcome of 8.47 QALYs. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated that transport to the ERH was superior until bypass time exceeded 44 additional minutes, or when the onset to EMS triage interval exceeded 99 min. As the probability of LVO increased, ERH transport was optimal at longer onset to EMS triage intervals. The optimal triage strategy was highly dependent on specific interactions between the IRH transportation time, ERH transportation time, and onset to EMS triage interval. No single time difference between IRH and ERH transportation optimizes triage for all patients. Allowable IRH bypass time should be increased and acute ischemic stroke guidelines should incorporate the onset to EMS triage interval, IRH transportation time, and ERH transportation time.

Pub.: 31 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Mechanical CPR: Who? When? How?

Abstract: In cardiac arrest, high quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a key determinant of patient survival. However, delivery of effective chest compressions is often inconsistent, subject to fatigue and practically challenging.Mechanical CPR devices provide an automated way to deliver high-quality CPR. However, large randomised controlled trials of the routine use of mechanical devices in the out-of-hospital setting have found no evidence of improved patient outcome in patients treated with mechanical CPR, compared with manual CPR. The limited data on use during in-hospital cardiac arrest provides preliminary data supporting use of mechanical devices, but this needs to be robustly tested in randomised controlled trials.In situations where high-quality manual chest compressions cannot be safely delivered, the use of a mechanical device may be a reasonable clinical approach. Examples of such situations include ambulance transportation, primary percutaneous coronary intervention, as a bridge to extracorporeal CPR and to facilitate uncontrolled organ donation after circulatory death.The precise time point during a cardiac arrest at which to deploy a mechanical device is uncertain, particularly in patients presenting in a shockable rhythm. The deployment process requires interruptions in chest compression, which may be harmful if the pause is prolonged. It is recommended that use of mechanical devices should occur only in systems where quality assurance mechanisms are in place to monitor and manage pauses associated with deployment.In summary, mechanical CPR devices may provide a useful adjunct to standard treatment in specific situations, but current evidence does not support their routine use.

Pub.: 31 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Opioid Overdose Ambulance Runs: How Wisconsin Uses Free Text Data

Abstract: Objective:  1. Develop an understanding of the benefits and challenges of analyzing free text fields on a population level. 2. Observe how a complex surveillance definition can be created from free text fields. 3. Observe how an ambulance data system can be used to describe the opioid epidemic. Introduction:  In 2016, twelve states received Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance grants. The purpose of the grant is to explore enhanced data sources to track nonfatal opioid overdoses. One data source is ambulance runs. Wisconsin collects ambulance run information within the Wisconsin Ambulance Runs Data System (WARDS). Around 84% of all Wisconsin administrative services report into this electronic system. This is a timely, robust data system that has not been used previously to examine drug overdoses and presents an analytical challenge as it contains many free text fields. Methods:  Wisconsin’s ambulance data system is robust, well-populated, and includes the majority of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) within the state. The analytic challenge with this data is that most of the reported fields are free text, which can be difficult to analyze on a population level. Wisconsin created a case definition using SAS regular expressions to take advantage of the free text fields. A combination of fields (chief complaint, secondary complaint, medications given, and the EMS narrative) were used to determine if the ambulance run was due to an opioid overdose. It was necessary to create a definition that used a diverse combination of phrases as free text fields are prone to spelling errors and there are many phrases used to identify opioid overdoses. It was also necessary to create a definition for unwanted phrases that signal a false positive, for example, “withdrawal”. Results:  Wisconsin’s opioid definition uses regular expressions to search for the words “heroin”, “opioid”, “narcan”, or “methadone” (including various spellings). The overdose definition searches for words and phrases like “drug abuse”, “drug use”, “poisoning”, “drug ingestion”, and “overdose”. The medication administered fields are examined for “narcan”. In Wisconsin, the medication is listed every time it is used, so it is possible to determine the number of times Narcan was administered to a single person as well as how many ambulance runs used at least one dose of Narcan. False positives are identified with words and phrases like “withdrawal”, “detox”, and if Narcan was given but there is no indication that the ambulance run was due to drugs. From January 2016 – June 2017, Wisconsin had over 917,000 ambulance runs for people aged 11 years and older. We excluded non-emergency ambulance runs, like medical transports, and so our final denominator was 627,536 runs (32% of all runs were classified as non-emergencies). Suspected opioid overdoses were determined to be 1% of emergency ambulance runs. Narcan was administered in a total of 5,900 runs and the false positive flag picked up 10,399 runs that may not have been due to suspected opioid overdoses. Applying all of these components together, it was determined that in Wisconsin from January 2016 – June 2017, there were 4,041 emergency ambulance runs due to suspected, unintentional opioid overdoses for people 11 years and older (rate of 6 per 1,000 people). Conclusions:  The use of regular expressions enables Wisconsin to extend analyses to data systems that contain robust information within free text fields. Within Wisconsin, this has been utilized to enhance opioid overdose surveillance with the use of a rapid data system previously not examined. Ambulance run information is a valuable resource to Wisconsin with the opioid epidemic. By creating case definitions with free text fields, we can quantify ambulance runs on a population level and create linkable analytic data sets to provide a more complete picture of the health of Wisconsin.

Pub.: 17 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

A Cross-Sectional Multicenter Study of Workplace Violence against Prehospital Emergency Medical Technicians.

Abstract: Workplace violence is a global phenomenon and violation of human rights affects the people's self-esteem and quality of work and causes inequality, discrimination, disorder, and conflict at work. The present study was carried out aiming at determining the workplace violence against the prehospital emergency medical technicians (PEMTs) in three provinces of Fars, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, and Bushehr, Iran. This was a cross-sectional multicenter study in which 206 PEMTs from Fars, Bushehr, and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad provinces participated. Simple random sampling was used in this study. In order to collect data, a researcher-made tool was used. Descriptive statistics and SPSS® software version 22 were used to analyze the data. Among various types of workplace violence, the most frequent ones were verbal violence (78.1%), physical violence (60.3%), and cultural violence (31.7%), respectively. The most important factor in the occurrence of workplace violence was the lack of the awareness of people about the duties of the PEMTs. With regard to the handling of the violent situations, the results indicated that 61.6% of the personnel asked the attacker to calm down. 48.5% of PEMTs believed that violence was normal in their work. Due to the high rate of workplace violence against PEMTs, it is suggested that methods such as formal training and retraining programs for the employees, general education with regard to the duties of the PEMTs, and socially supporting them should be used to reduce and control violence.

Pub.: 01 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Efficacy of Prehospital Analgesia with Fascia Iliaca Compartment Block for Femoral Bone Fractures: A Systematic Review.

Abstract: IntroductionFemoral fractures are painful injuries frequently encountered by prehospital practitioners. Systemic opioids are commonly used to manage the pain after a femoral fracture; however, regional techniques for providing analgesia may provide superior targeted pain relief and reduce opioid requirements. Fascia Iliaca Compartment Block (FICB) has been described as inexpensive and does not require special skills or equipment to perform, giving it the potential to be a suitable prehospital intervention.ProblemThe purpose of this systematic review is to summarize published evidence on the prehospital use of FICB in patients of any age suffering femoral fractures; in particular, to investigate the effects of a prehospital FICB on pain scores and patient satisfaction, and to assess the feasibility and safety of a prehospital FICB, including the success rates, any delays to scene time, and any documented adverse effects. A literature search of MEDLINE/PubMED, Embase, OVID, Scopus, the Cochrane Database, and Web of Science was conducted from January 1, 1989 through February 1, 2017. In addition, reference lists of review articles were reviewed and the contents pages of the British Journal of Anaesthesia (The Royal College of Anaesthetists [London, UK]; The College of Anaesthetists of Ireland [Dublin, Ireland]; and The Hong Kong College of Anaesthesiologists [Aberdeen, Hong Kong]) 2016 along with the journal Prehospital Emergency Care (National Association of Emergency Medical Service Physicians [Overland Park, Kansas USA]; National Association of State Emergency Medical Service Officials [Falls Church, Virginia USA]; National Association of Emergency Medical Service Educators [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA]; and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians [Clinton, Mississippi USA]) 2016 were hand searched. Each study was evaluated for its quality and its validity and was assigned a level of evidence according to the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (OCEBM; Oxford, UK). Seven studies involving 699 patients were included (one randomized controlled trial [RCT], four prospective observational studies, one retrospective observational study, and one case report). Pain scores reduced after prehospital FICB across all studies, and some achieved a level of significance to support this. Out of a total of 254 prehospital FICBs, there was a success rate of 90% and only one adverse effect reported. Few studies have investigated the effects of prehospital FICB on patient satisfaction or scene time delays. The FICB is suitable for use in the prehospital environment for the management of femoral fractures. It has few adverse effects and can be performed with a high success rate by practitioners of any background. Studies suggest that FICB is a useful analgesic technique, although further research is required to investigate its effectiveness compared to systemic opioids. HardsM, BrewerA, BessantG, LahiriS. Efficacy of prehospital analgesia with Fascia Iliaca Compartment Block for femoral bone fractures: a systematic review. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(3):299-307.

Pub.: 02 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Critcomms: a national cross-sectional questionnaire based study to investigate prehospital handover practices between ambulance clinicians and specialist prehospital teams in Scotland

Abstract: Poor communication during patient handover is recognised internationally as a root cause of a significant proportion of preventable deaths. Improving the accuracy and quality of handover may reduce associated mortality and morbidity. Although the practice of handover between Ambulance and Emergency Department clinicians has received some attention over recent years there is little evidence to support handover best practice within the prehospital domain. Further research is therefore urgently required to understand the most appropriate way to deliver clinical information exchange in the pre-hospital environment. We aimed to investigate current clinical information exchange practices, perceived challenges and the preferred handover mnemonic for use during transfer of high acuity patients between ambulance clinicians and specialist prehospital teams.A national, cross-sectional questionnaire study. Participants were road based ambulance clinicians (RBAC) or active members of specialist prehospital teams (SPHT) based in Scotland.Over a three month study period there were 247 prehospital incidents involving specialist teams. One hundred ninety individuals completed the questionnaire; 61% [n = 116] RBAC and 39% [n = 74] SPHT. Median length of prehospital experience was 10 years (IQR 5–18). Overall current prehospital handover practices were perceived as being effective (Mdn 4.00; IQR 3–4 [1 = very ineffective - 5 = very effective]) although SPHT clinicians rated handover effectiveness slightly lower than RBAC’s (Mdn 3.00 vs 4.00, U = 1842.5, p = .03). ‘ATMIST’ (Age, Time of onset, Medical complaint/injury, Investigation, Signs and Treatment) was deemed the mnemonic of choice. The clinical variables perceived as essential for handover are not explicitly identified within the SBAR mnemonic. The most frequently reported method of recording and transferring information during handover was via memory (n = 112 and n = 120 respectively) and ‘interruptions’ were perceived as the most significant barrier to effective handover.While, overall, current prehospital handover practice is perceived as effective this study has identified a number of areas for improvement. These include the development of a shared mental model through system standardisation, innovations to support information recording and delivery, and the clear identification at incidents of a handover lead. Mnemonics must be carefully selected to ensure they explicitly contain the perceived essential clinical variables required for prehospital handover; the mnemonic ATMIST meets these requirements. New theoretically informed, evidence-based interventions, must be developed and tested within existing systems of care to minimise information loss and risk to patients.

Pub.: 01 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Tracheal intubation in a simulated cervical spine immobilisation: the Macintosh laryngoscope versus supraglottic airway devices - a manikin study

Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 May 2018 Source:Trends in Anaesthesia and Critical Care Author(s): Dawid Aleksandrowicz, Tomasz Gaszyński Background Airway management is performed with simultaneous cervical spine immobilisation in trauma patients and is regarded as the gold standard. Application of spinal stabilisation may significantly worsen direct laryngoscopy and make intubation more difficult. Supraglottic airway devices may also be used for intubation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the Macintosh laryngoscope, the Classic Laryngeal Mask Airway and the I-gel used for blind intubation by experienced paramedics. Cervical collar was used to simulate reduced cervical spine mobility. Materials and methods Fifty-five experienced and active paramedics participated in the study (F=25, M=30). The intubation-to-successful-ventilation time was recorded. Efficacy of intubation and the ease of use by the operator were also assessed. All devices under study were used by each participant and they were randomly chosen. All participants were trained in supraglottic airway devices insertion and intubation although they were not experts in the latter as each of the paramedics performed less than 20 intubations. Results The mean intubation-to-ventilation time was the shortest when the I-gel device was used 28.2 s (±2.09). This was statistically significant when compared to both the Classic Laryngeal Mask Airway (p=0.0344) and the Macintosh laryngoscope (p<0.0001). Both of the studied supraglottic airway devices achieved an overall 100% successful intubation rate and required maximum 2 attempts out of 3 allowed. Conclusion The I-gel and the Classic Laryngeal Mask Airway were superior to the Macintosh laryngoscope as they shortened the time required to intubate and successfully ventilate the patient. They also improved the rate of successful intubation.

Pub.: 28 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Disaster preparedness in French paediatric hospitals 2 years after terrorist attacks of 2015.

Abstract: We aimed to determine paediatric hospital preparedness for a mass casualty disaster involving children in both prehospital and hospital settings. The study findings will serve to generate recommendations, guidelines and training objectives. The AMAVI-PED study is a cross-sectional survey. An electronic questionnaire was sent to French physicians with key roles in specialised paediatric acute care. In total, 81% (26 of 32) of French University Hospitals were represented in the study. A disaster plan AMAVI with a specific paediatric emphasis was established in all the paediatric centres. In case of a mass casualty event, paediatric victims would be initially admitted to the paediatric emergency department for most centres (n=21; 75%). Paediatric anaesthesiologists, paediatric surgeons and paediatric radiologists were in-house in 20 (71%), 5 (18%) and 12 (43%) centres, respectively. Twenty-three (82%) hospitals had a paediatric specialised mobile intensive care unit and seven (25%) of these could provide a prehospital emergency response. Didactic teaching and simulation exercises were implemented in 20 (71%) and 22 (79%) centres, respectively. Overall, physician participants rated the level of readiness of their hospital as 6 (IQR: 5-7) on a 10-point readiness scale. Paediatric preparedness is very heterogeneous between the centres. Based on the study findings, we suggest that a national programme must be defined and guidelines generated. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

Pub.: 04 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

The utility of point-of-care ultrasound in targeted automobile ramming mass casualty (TARMAC) attacks.

Abstract: As terrorist actors revise their tactics to outmaneuver increasing counter-terrorism security measures, a recent trend toward less-sophisticated attack methods has emerged. Most notable of these "low tech" trends are the Targeted Automobile Ramming MAss Casualty (TARMAC) attacks. Between 2014 and November 2017, 18 TARMAC attacks were reported worldwide, resulting in 181 deaths and 679 injuries. TARMAC attack-related injuries are unique compared to accidental pedestrian trauma and other causes of mass casualty incidents (MCI), and therefore they require special consideration. No other intentional mass casualty scenario is the result of a blunt, non-penetrating trauma mechanism. Direct vehicle impact results in high-power injuries including blunt trauma to the central nervous system (CNS), and thoracoabdominal organs with crush injuries if the victims are run over. Adopting new strategies and using existing technology to diagnose and treat MCI victims with these injury patterns will save lives and limit morbidity. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is one such technology, and its efficacy during MCI response is receiving an increasing amount of attention. Ultrasound machines are becoming increasingly available to emergency care providers and can be critically important during a MCI when access to other imaging modalities is limited by patient volume. By taking ultrasound diagnostic techniques validated for the detection of life-threatening cardiothoracic and abdominal injuries in individuals and applying them in a TARMAC mass casualty situation, physicians can improve triage and allocate resources more effectively. Here, we revisit the high-yield applications of POCUS as a means of enhanced prehospital and hospital-based triage, improved resource utilization, and identify their potential effectiveness during a TARMAC incident. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Pub.: 05 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Preventing EMS workplace violence: A mixed-methods analysis of insights from assaulted medics.

Abstract: To describe measures that assaulted EMS personnel believe will help prevent violence against EMS personnel. This mixed- methods study includes a thematic analysis and directed content analysis of one survey question that asked the victims of workplace violence how the incident might have been prevented. Of 1778 survey respondents, 633 reported being assaulted in the previous 12 months; 203 of them believed the incident could have been prevented and 193 of them (95%) answered this question. Six themes were identified using Haddon's Matrix as a framework. The themes included: Human factors, including specialized training related to specific populations and de-escalation techniques as well as improved situational awareness; Equipment factors, such as restraint equipment and resources; and, Operational and environment factors, including advanced warning systems. Persons who could have prevented the violence were identified as police, self, other professionals, partners and dispatchers. Restraints and training were suggested as violence-prevention tools and methods CONCLUSIONS: This is the first international study from the perspective of victimized EMS personnel, to report on ways that violence could be prevented. Ambulance agencies should consider these suggestions and work with researchers to evaluate risks at the agency level and to develop, implement and test interventions to reduce the risks of violence against EMS personnel. These teams should work together to both form an evidence-base for prevention and to publish findings so that EMS medical directors, administrators and professionals around the world can learn from each experience. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Pub.: 05 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Preliminary Report: Comparing Aspiration Rates between Prehospital Patients Managed with Extraglottic Airway Devices and Endotracheal Intubation

Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 May 2018 Source:Air Medical Journal Author(s): Michael T. Steuerwald, Darren A. Braude, Timothy R. Petersen, Kari Peterson, Michael A. Torres Introduction There has been a shift from endotracheal intubation (ETI) toward extraglottic devices (EGDs) for prehospital airway management. A concern exists that this may lead to more frequent cases of aspiration. Methods This was a retrospective study using a prehospital quality assurance database. Patients were assigned to groups based on the method that ultimately managed their airways (EGD or ETI). Cases with documented blood/emesis obscuring the airway were considered inevitable aspiration cases and excluded. Aspiration was defined by the radiology report within 48 hours. Results A total of 104 EGD and 152 ETI patients were identified. Aspiration data were available for 67 EGD and 94 ETI cases. Of those, 8 EGD and 3 ETI cases had blood/emesis obscuring the airway and were excluded as planned. After exclusions, there were 5 EGD and 11 ETI cases in which aspiration was later diagnosed (EGD aspiration rate = 8%, ETI aspiration rate = 12%; χ2: P = .359; relative risk = .841; 95% confidence interval, .329-2.152). Conclusion In this small quality assurance database, aspiration rates were not significantly different for prehospital patients managed with an EGD versus ETI.

Pub.: 01 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Validation of the cincinnati prehospital stroke scale

Abstract: Aditya Maddali, Farook Abdul Razack, Srihari Cattamanchi, Trichur V Ramakrishnan Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock 2018 11(2):111-114 Background: Early recognition of Stroke is one of the key concepts in the ≤Chain of Survival≥ as described by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Stroke guidelines. The most commonly used tools for prehospital assessment of stroke are ≤The Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale,≥ (CPSS) the ≤Face, Arm, Speech Test,≥ and ≤The Los Angeles Prehospital Stroke Screen.≥ The former two are used to identify stroke using physical findings while the latter is used to rule out other causes of altered consciousness. Aim: The aim of this study is to validate the CPSS in the prehospital setting by correlating with computed tomography scan findings. (1) To determine if these scores can be implemented in the Indian prehospital setting. (2) To determine if it is feasible for new emergency departments (EDs) to use these protocols for early detection of stroke. Methodology: A prospective, observational study from December, 2015 to March, 2016. Patients with suspected stroke were enrolled. Data were collected prehospital in patients that arrived to the ED in an ambulance. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the score were calculated using standard formulae. Results: CPSS showed good sensitivity of 81% (confidence interval [CI] – 68.5%–97%) when combined and a positive predictive value (PPV) of 100% (CI: 91.9%–100%). Individually, they showed a sensitivity of 75.8%, 79%, and 74.1%, respectively, with a PPV of 100% and specificity of 95%–100%. Conclusion: As a prehospital screening tool, CPSS can be extremely useful as any diagnosis is only provisional until confirmed by an appropriate investigation in a hospital.

Pub.: 29 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

World's First 24/7 Mobile Stroke Unit: Initial 6-Month Experience at Mercy Health in Toledo, Ohio.

Abstract: As the fourth mobile stroke unit (MSU) in the nation, and the first 24/7 unit worldwide, we review our initial experience with the Mercy Health MSU and institutional protocols implemented to facilitate rapid treatment of acute stroke patients and field triage for patients suffering other time-sensitive, acute neurologic emergencies in Lucas County, Ohio, and the greater Toledo metropolitan area. Data was prospectively collected for all patients transported and treated by the MSU during the first 6 months of service. Data was abstracted from documentation of on-scene emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, critical care nurses, and onboard physicians, who participated through telemedicine. The MSU was dispatched 248 times and transported 105 patients after on-scene examination with imaging. Intravenous (IV) tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) was administered to 10 patients; 8 patients underwent successful endovascular therapy after a large vessel occlusion was identified using CT performed within the MSU without post treatment symptomatic hemorrhage. Moreover, 14 patients were treated with IV anti-epileptics for status epilepticus, and 19 patients received IV anti-hypertensive agents for malignant hypertension. MSU alarm to on-scene times and treatment times were 34.7 min (25-49) and 50.6 min (44.4-56.8), respectively. The world's first 24/7 MSU has been successfully implemented with IV-tPA administration rates and times comparable to other MSUs nation-wide, while demonstrating rapid triage and treatment in the field for neurologic emergencies, including status epilepticus. With the rising number of MSUs worldwide, further data will drive standardized protocols that can be adopted nationwide by EMS.

Pub.: 06 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Prevalence of PTSD and common mental disorders amongst ambulance personnel: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Abstract: There is increasing concern regarding the mental health impact of first responder work, with some reports suggesting ambulance personnel may be at particularly high risk. Through this systematic review and meta-analysis we aimed to determine the prevalence of mental health conditions among ambulance personnel worldwide.A systematic search and screening process was conducted to identify studies for inclusion in the review. To be eligible, studies had to report original quantitative data on the prevalence of at least one of the following mental health outcome(s) of interest (PTSD, depression, anxiety, general psychological distress) for ambulance personnel samples. Quality of the studies was assessed using a validated methodological rating tool. Random effects modelling was used to estimate pooled prevalence, as well as subgroup analyses and meta-regressions for five variables implicated in heterogeneity.In total, 941 articles were identified across all sources, with 95 full-text articles screened to confirm eligibility. Of these, 27 studies were included in the systematic review, reporting on a total of 30,878 ambulance personnel. A total of 18 studies provided necessary quantitative information and were retained for entry in the meta-analysis. The results demonstrated estimated prevalence rates of 11% for PTSD, 15% for depression, 15% for anxiety, and 27% for general psychological distress amongst ambulance personnel, with date of data collection a significant influence upon observed heterogeneity.Ambulance personnel worldwide have a prevalence of PTSD considerably higher than rates seen in the general population, although there is some evidence that rates of PTSD may have decreased over recent decades.

Pub.: 05 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

[Successful prehospital emergency thoracotomy after blunt thoracic trauma : Case report and lessons learned].

Abstract: The European Resuscitation Council guidelines for resuscitation in patients with traumatic cardiac arrest recommend the immediate treatment of all reversible causes, if necessary even prior to continuous chest compression. In the case of cardiac tamponade immediate emergency thoracotomy should also be considered. The authors report the case of a 23-year-old male patient with multiple injuries including blunt thoracic trauma, which caused a witnessed cardiac arrest. He successfully underwent prehospital emergency resuscitative thoracotomy. The lessons learned from this case on internal and external quality measures are discussed in detail. After 60 min of technical rescue, extensive trauma life support including intubation, chest decompression and bleeding control was carried out. The cardiovascular insufficiency progressively deteriorated and under the suspicion of a cardiac tamponade a prehospital emergency thoracotomy was carried out. After successful resuscitative thoracotomy and return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) the patient was airlifted to the next level 1 trauma center for damage control surgery (DCS). The patient could be discharged 59 days after the accident and now 2 years later is living a normal life without neurological or cardiopulmonary limitations. Airway management, chest decompression including resuscitative thoracotomy, fluid resuscitation and blood products were the key components to ensure that the patient achieved ROSC. Advanced Trauma Life Support® as well as structural prerequisites made these measures and good results for the patient possible.

Pub.: 07 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Effect of Detection Time Interval for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest on Outcomes in Dispatcher-Assisted Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: A Nationwide Observational Study.

Abstract: The association between the detection time interval (DTI) from the call for ambulance to the detection of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) by the dispatcher and the neurological outcome in dispatcher-assisted cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DA-CPR) is unclear. Adults who sustained OHCA with cardiac etiology received DA-CPR between 2013 and 2016 were analyzed. The main predictor was DTI defined as the time interval from the beginning of the emergency call to identification of OHCA by the dispatcher. The primary outcomes were the good cerebral performance category (CPC) 1 or 2. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to calculate the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for outcomes, adjusting for potential confounders, by the 10- and 30-seconds DTI delay and three DTI groups; Short (0-90 seconds), Middle (91-180 seconds), and Long (181-1,200 seconds) groups. Interaction analysis for DTI and urbanization level (megacity with 10 million or more population in urban region, metropolis with 1 to 5 million population in urban region, and Rural province with less than 2 million population in urban, suburban, and rural region) was performed to compare the effect size of DTI group according to urbanization level. Of 116374 adults with an OHCA, 11833 were finally analyzed. Overall, the number (%) of survival to discharge was 1380 (11.4%), and the good CPC was 945 (8.0%). For good cerebral performance category, the AOR (95% CIs) for good CPC was 0.99 (0.98-1.00) by 10-seconds DTI delay and 0.97 (0.95-0.99) by 30-seconds DTI delay. The AORs (95% CIs) for good CPC were 0.84 (0.71-1.00) for the Middle and 0.79 (0.66-0.96) for the Long DTI groups compared with Short DTI. The AORs (95% Cl) for good CPC compared with Short DTI group were 0.93 (0.68-1.27) by Middle DTI and 0.84 (0.59-1.20) by Long DTI in megacity, 0.60 (0.44-0.81) by Middle DTI and 0.60 (0.44-0.82) by Long DTI in metropolis, and 0.43 (0.31-0.60) by Middle DTI and 0.38 (0.26-0.56) by Long DTI in Rural province, respectively. A longer DTI in DA-CPR showed significantly lower good neurological recovery in adult patients with witnessed OHCA. A 30 second delay in DTI was associated with a 3% decrease of a good CPC score (can abbreviate CPC since it was abbreviated earlier. The DTI effect on good CPC was significant in metropolis and Rural province while not in megacity region. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Pub.: 07 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Does the prehospital National Early Warning Score predict the short-term mortality of unselected emergency patients?

Abstract: The prehospital research field has focused on studying patient survival in cardiac arrest, as well as acute coronary syndrome, stroke, and trauma. There is little known about the overall short-term mortality and its predictability in unselected prehospital patients. This study examines whether a prehospital National Early Warning Score (NEWS) predicts 1-day and 30-day mortalities.Data from all emergency medical service (EMS) situations were coupled to the mortality data obtained from the Causes of Death Registry during a six-month period in Northern Finland. NEWS values were calculated from first clinical parameters obtained on the scene and patients were categorized to the low, medium and high-risk groups accordingly. Sensitivities, specificities, positive predictive values (PPVs), negative predictive values (NPVs), and likelihood ratios (PLRs and NLRs) were calculated for 1-day and 30-day mortalities at the cut-off risks.A total of 12,426 EMS calls were included in the study. The overall 1-day and 30-day mortalities were 1.5 and 4.3%, respectively. The 1-day mortality rate for NEWS values ≤12 was lower than 7% and for values ≥13 higher than 20%. The high-risk NEWS group had sensitivities for 1-day and 30-day mortalities 0.801 (CI 0.74–0.86) and 0.42 (CI 0.38–0.47), respectively.In prehospital environment, the high risk NEWS category was associated with 1-day mortality well above that of the medium and low risk NEWS categories. This effect was not as noticeable for 30-day mortality. The prehospital NEWS may be useful tool for recognising patients at early risk of death, allowing earlier interventions and responds to these patients.

Pub.: 07 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Comparison of the performance of battery-operated fluid warmers.

Abstract: Warming intravenous fluids is essential to prevent hypothermia in patients with trauma, especially when large volumes are administered. Prehospital and transport settings require fluid warmers to be small, energy efficient and independent of external power supply. We compared the warming properties and resistance to flow of currently available battery-operated fluid warmers. Fluid warming was evaluated at 50, 100 and 200 mL/min at a constant input temperature of 20°C and 10°C using a cardiopulmonary bypass roller pump and cooler. Output temperature was continuously recorded. Performance of fluid warmers varied with flows and input temperatures. At an input temperature of 20°C and flow of 50 mL/min, the Buddy Lite, enFlow, Thermal Angel and Warrior warmed 3.4, 2.4, 1 and 3.6 L to over 35°C, respectively. However, at an input temperature of 10°C and flow of 200 mL/min, the Buddy Lite failed to warm, the enFlow warmed 3.3 L to 25.7°C, the Thermal Angel warmed 1.5 L to 20.9°C and the Warrior warmed 3.4 L to 34.4°C (p<0.0001). We found significant differences between the fluid warmers: the use of the Buddy Lite should be limited to moderate input temperature and low flow rates. The use of the Thermal Angel is limited to low volumes due to battery capacity and low output temperature at extreme conditions. The Warrior provides the best warming performance at high infusion rates, as well as low input temperatures, and was able to warm the largest volumes in these conditions. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

Pub.: 09 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Closure simulation for reduction of emergency patient diversion: a discrete agent-based simulation approach to minimizing ambulance diversion.

Abstract: The city of Munich uses web-based information system IVENA to promote exchange of information regarding hospital offerings and closures between the integrated dispatch center and hospitals to support coordination of the emergency medical services. Hospital crowding resulting in closures and thus prolonged transportation time poses a major problem. An innovative discrete agent model simulates the effects of novel policies to reduce closure times and avoid crowding. For this analysis, between 2013 and 2017, IVENA data consisting of injury/disease, condition, age, estimated arrival time and assigned hospital or hospital-closure statistics as well as underlying reasons were examined. Two simulation experiments with three policy variations are performed to gain insights on the influence of diversion policies onto the outcome variables. A total of 530,000+ patients were assigned via the IVENA system and 200,000+ closures were requested during this time period. Some hospital units request a closure on more than 50% of days. The majority of hospital closures are not triggered by the absolute number of patient arrivals, but by a sudden increase within a short time period. Four of the simulations yielded a specific potential for shortening of overall closure time in comparison to the current status quo. Effective solutions against crowding require common policies to limit closure status periods based on quantitative thresholds. A new policy in combination with a quantitative arrival sensor system may reduce closing hours and optimize patient flow.

Pub.: 10 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

The Aftermath of the Kuwait Mosque Bombing: A retrospective cohort analysis and lessons learned.

Abstract: The occurrence of terrorist attacks are still recurrent incidents plaguing the middle east region. However, Kuwait has been mostly spared from these attacks over the years. Therefore, when the bombing of the mosque in 2015 happened, it shocked a country that is not prepared for such disasters. Our aim was to present the incident that occurred on that day and on the lessons learned from it. A collaborative effort among the hospitals in Kuwait examined the details and outcomes of the initial response to the bombing. The centers reported their retrospective data, which was analyzed to determine prehospital and intra-hospital management and assess the medical response to the terrorist bombing. A total of 239 victims were involved in the explosion, of which 18 were pronounced dead on site. 147 (67%) were transferred to the hospital for care 22 min after the explosion occurred. The injuries seen were not localized to one region of the body, but afflicted various organ systems. 86 patients were admitted to the hospital, for which five required urgent surgical intervention. Total mortality (on-site and in-hospital) reported after the bombing was 11.2%. Rapid response after a mass casualty is of utmost importance for the adequate management of the victims of such tragedies, and could ensure excellent outcomes if performed precisely. However, many lessons can be learned from this shocking event, especially that it exposed the gaps currently present in our disaster plan systems and the importance of looking into addressing them. Copyright © 2018 IJS Publishing Group Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Pub.: 11 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Ambulance staff and end-of-life hospital admissions: A qualitative interview study.

Abstract: Hospital admissions for end-of-life patients, particularly those who die shortly after being admitted, are recognised to be an international policy problem. How patients come to be transferred to hospital for care, and the central role of decisions made by ambulance staff in facilitating transfer, are under-explored. To understand the role of ambulance staff in the admission to hospital of patients close to the end of life. Qualitative interviews, using particular patient cases as a basis for discussion, analysed thematically. Ambulance staff ( n = 6) and other healthcare staff (total staff n = 30), involved in the transfer of patients (the case-patients) aged more than 65 years to a large English hospital who died within 3 days of admission with either cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or dementia. Ambulance interviewees were broadly positive about enabling people to die at home, provided they could be sure that they would not benefit from treatment available in hospital. Barriers for non-conveyance included difficulties arranging care particularly out-of-hours, limited available patient information and service emphasis on emergency care. Ambulance interviewees fulfilled an important role in the admission of end-of-life patients to hospital, frequently having to decide whether to leave a patient at home or to instigate transfer to hospital. Their difficulty in facilitating non-hospital care at the end of life challenges the negative view of near end-of-life hospital admissions as failures. Hospital provision was sought for dying patients in need of care which was inaccessible in the community.

Pub.: 12 Jun '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18