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.

Who is responsible

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

More about LKS ASE

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


Quality measurement in physician-staffed emergency medical services: a systematic literature review.

Abstract: Quality measurement of physician-staffed emergency medical services (P-EMS) is necessary to improve service quality. Knowledge and consensus on this topic are scarce, making quality measurement of P-EMS a high-priority research area. The aim of this review was to identify, describe and evaluate studies of quality measurement in P-EMS. The databases of MEDLINE and Embase were searched initially, followed by a search for included article citations in Scopus. The study eligibility criteria were: (1) articles describing the use of one quality indicator (QI) or more in P-EMS, (2) original manuscripts, (3) articles published from 1 January 1968 until 5 October 2016. The literature search identified 4699 records. 4543 were excluded after reviewing title and abstract. An additional 129 were excluded based on a full-text review. The remaining 27 papers were included in the analysis. Methodological quality was assessed using an adapted critical appraisal tool. The description of used QIs and methods of quality measurement was extracted. Variables describing the involved P-EMSs were extracted as well. In the included papers, a common understanding of which QIs to use in P-EMS did not exist. Fifteen papers used only a single QI. The most widely used QIs were 'Adherence to medical protocols', 'Provision of advanced interventions', 'Response time' and 'Adverse events'. The review demonstrated a lack of shared understanding of which QIs to use in P-EMS. Moreover, papers using only one QI dominated the literature, thus increasing the risk of a narrow perspective in quality measurement. Future quality measurement in P-EMS should rely on a set of consensus-based QIs, ensuring a comprehensive approach to quality measurement.

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

HEMS inter-facility transfer: a case-mix analysis

Abstract: Helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) are popular rescue systems despite inconsistent evidence in the scientific literature to support their use for primary interventions, as well as for inter-facility transfer (IFT). There is little research about IFT by HEMS, hence questions remain about the appropriateness of this method of transport. The aim of this study was to describe a case-mix of operational and medical characteristics for IFT activity of a sole HEMS base, and identify indicators of over-triage.This is a retrospective study on HEMS IFT over 36 months, from January 1st 2013 to December 31st 2015. Medical and operational data from the database of the Emergency Department of Lausanne University Hospital, which provides the emergency physicians for this helicopter base, were reviewed. It included distance and time of flight transport, type of care during flight, and estimated distance of transport if conducted by ground.There were 2194 HEMS missions including 979 IFT (44.6%). Most transfers involved adults (> 17 years old; 799 patients, 81.6%). Forty patients (4.1%) were classified as having benefitted from resuscitation or life-saving measures performed in flight, 615 (62.8%) from emergency treatment and 324 (33.1%) from simple clinical examination. The median distance by air between hospitals was 35.4 km. The estimated median distance by road was 47.7 km. The median duration time from origin to destination by air was 12 min.This case-mix of IFTs by HEMS presents a high severity. There are many signs in favour of over-triage. We propose indicators to help choosing whether HEMS is the most appropriate mean of transport to perform the transfer regarding patient condition, geography, and medical competences available aboard ground ambulances; this may reduce over-triage.

Pub.: 16 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

End-tidal carbon dioxide output in manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation versus active compression-decompression device during prehospital quality controlled resuscitation: a case series study.

Abstract: Active compression-decompression (ACD) devices have enhanced end-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO) output in experimental cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) studies. However, the results in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients have shown inconsistent outcomes, and earlier studies lacked quality control of CPR attempts. We compared manual CPR with ACD-CPR by measuring ETCO output using an audiovisual feedback defibrillator to ensure continuous high quality resuscitation attempts. 10 witnessed OHCAs were resuscitated, rotating a 2 min cycle with manual CPR and a 2 min cycle of ACD-CPR. Patients were intubated and the ventilation rate was held constant during CPR. CPR quality parameters and ETCO values were collected continuously with the defibrillator. Differences in ETCO output between manual CPR and ACD-CPR were analysed using a linear mixed model where ETCO output produced by a summary of the 2 min cycles was included as the dependent variable, the patient as a random factor and method as a fixed effect. These comparisons were made within each OHCA case to minimise confounding factors between the cases. Mean length of the CPR episodes was 37 (SD 8) min. Mean compression depth was 76 (SD 1.3) mm versus 71 (SD1.0) mm, and mean compression rate was 100 per min (SD 6.7) versus 105 per min (SD 4.9) between ACD-CPR and manual CPR, respectively. For ETCO output, the interaction between the method and the patient was significant (P<0.001). ETCO output was higher with manual CPR in 6 of the 10 cases. This study suggests that quality controlled ACD-CPR is not superior to quality controlled manual CPR when ETCO is used as a quantitative measure of CPR effectiveness. NCT00951704; Results. © 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.: 18 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Intravenous Low-Dose Ketamine Provides Greater Pain Control Compared to Fentanyl in a Civilian Prehospital Trauma System: A Propensity Matched Analysis.

Abstract: A few studies report comparable analgesic efficacy between low-dose ketamine and opioids such as morphine or fentanyl; however, limited research has explored the safety and effectiveness of intravenous low-dose ketamine as a primary analgesic in a civilian prehospital setting. The objective of this study is to compare pain control between low-dose ketamine and fentanyl when administered intravenously (IV) for the indication of severe pain. This was a retrospective, observational review of prehospital adult patients (≥18 years) who presented with severe pain (numeric rating scale, 7-10) and were treated solely with either low-dose ketamine IV or fentanyl IV between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2016. Propensity matched analysis was performed adjusting for all baseline variables with p ≤ 0.10 and for baseline pain score to match ketamine and fentanyl patients on a one-to-one ratio. The primary outcome was change in pain score from baseline to after treatment and evaluated with a paired t-test. Secondary outcomes were changes in vital signs and Glasgow coma scale (GCS) from baseline to after treatment, as well as incidence of clinically significant adverse events (AEs); AEs were followed from scene arrival through emergency department discharge. Propensity matched analysis produced 79 matched pairs. Ketamine IV patients, receiving a mean (SD) dose of 0.3 (0.1) mg/kg, showed a significantly larger mean decrease in pain after treatment, compared to the fentanyl IV patients (-5.5 (3.1) vs. -2.5 (2.4), p < 0.001). A significantly greater proportion of patients receiving ketamine IV achieved at least a 50% reduction in pain compared to those receiving fentanyl IV (67% vs. 19%, p < 0.001), marking 52 ketamine IV patients as responders to treatment. Vital signs demonstrated a nonsignificant decrease in blood pressure, respiratory rate, heart rate, and GCS. No clinically significant AEs were reported for patients receiving ketamine IV. The significant reduction in pain, significantly high proportion of ketamine responders, and the lack of clinically significant AEs characterizing patients receiving low-dose ketamine IV compared to fentanyl IV, all provide further support for its use as an effective prehospital analgesic. Level III, therapeutic.

Pub.: 19 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Situation awareness in young novice ambulance drivers: So much more than driving

Abstract: Publication date: October 2018 Source:Safety Science, Volume 108 Author(s): B. Scott-Parker, M. Curran, K. Rune, W. Lord, P.M. Salmon Background The intractable problem of young novice driver road crashes, and the critical role of emergency responders in attending road crashes, is well-recognised as is the critical role of situation awareness skills (SAS, ie. an understanding of ‘what is going on’ in a specific situation). Emergency responders may be young novice drivers and young novice ambulance drivers, therefore SAS will be required for safe road use. This project explored the SA demands upon young novice ambulance drivers (‘drivers’) in Queensland, Australia. Method A synthesis of literature regarding SAS relevant to drivers was followed by a hierarchical task analysis (HTA) and a perceptual cycle model (PCM) to explicate the complex emergency ambulance driver dispatch and response system and SAS requirements. Results Inadequate SA is a likely contributor to risks for drivers, patients, and other road users. The HTA revealed a plethora of opportunities for inadequate SAS to negatively impact safety. The PCM highlighted complex environmental information modifies driver ‘world’ schema (eg., medical procedures) which in turn directs their actions (eg., attending to radio/pager) that in a cyclical manner relies upon complex environmental information, etcetera. Discussion and concluding remarks Emergency responder SA appears quite different to ‘ordinary drivers’, suggesting well-developed road-related schema are required before young novice ambulance drivers are behind the wheel in a highly-emotive, time-critical situation. Drivers are not simply ‘driving’; they are engaged in a breadth of tasks while driving (e.g., accessing dynamic case details) which, for safety, rely upon adequate SAS, therefore training programs should target SAS development.

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

Barriers to Self-Reporting Patient Safety Incidents by Paramedics: A Mixed Methods Study.

Abstract: A minimal amount of research exists examining the extent to which patient safety events occur within paramedicine and even fewer studies investigating patient safety systems for self-reporting by paramedics. The purpose of this study was to identify barriers to paramedic self-reporting of patient safety incidents (PSIs). We randomly distributed paper-based surveys among 1,153 paramedics in an Ontario region in Canada. The survey described one of 5 different PSI clinical scenarios (near miss, adverse event, and minor, major or critical patient care variances) and listed 18 potential barriers to self-reporting PSIs as statements presented for rating on a 5-point Likert scale (very significant = 1 - very insignificant = 5). We invited comments on PSI self-reporting with 2 open-ended questions. We analyzed data with descriptive statistics, chi-square tests and Kruskal-Wallis H test. We used an inductive approach to qualitatively analyze emerging themes. We received responses from 1,133 paramedics (98.3%). Almost one third (28.4%) were Advanced Care Paramedics and 45.1% had >10 years' experience. The top 5 barriers to PSI self-reporting (very significant or significant, %) were the fear of being: punished (81.4%), suspended (79.6%), terminated (79.1%), investigated by Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (78.4%), and decertified (78.0%). Overall, 64.1% responded they would self-report a given PSI. Intention to self-report a PSI varied according to scenario (22.8% near miss, 46.6% adverse event, 74.4% minor, 92.6% major, 95.6% critical). No association was found between level of training (p = 0.55) or years of experience (p = 0.10) and intention to self-report a PSI. Seven themes to improve PSI self-reporting by paramedics emerged from the qualitative data. A high proportion of fear-based barriers to self-reporting of PSIs exist among this study population. This suggests that a culture change is needed to facilitate the identification of future patient safety threats.

Pub.: 23 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Logistics of air medical transport: When and where does helicopter transport reduce prehospital time for trauma?

Abstract: Trauma is a time sensitive disease. Helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) have shown benefit over ground EMS (GEMS), which may be related to reduced prehospital time. The distance at which this time benefit emerges depends on many factors that can vary across regions. Our objective was to determine the threshold distance at which HEMS has shorter prehospital time than GEMS under different conditions. Patients in the PA trauma registry 2000-2013 were included. Distance between zip centroid and trauma center was calculated using straight-line distance for HEMS and driving distance from GIS network analysis for GEMS. Contrast margins from linear regression identified the threshold distance at which HEMS had a significantly lower prehospital time than GEMS, indicated by non-overlapping 95% confidence intervals. The effect of peak traffic times and adverse weather on the threshold distance was evaluated. Geographic effects across EMS regions were also evaluated. A total of 144,741 patients were included with 19% transported by HEMS. Overall, HEMS became faster than GEMS at 7.7miles from the trauma center (p=0.043). HEMS became faster at 6.5miles during peak traffic (p=0.025) compared to 7.9miles during off-peak traffic (p=0.048). Adverse weather increased the distance at which HEMS was faster to 17.1miles (p=0.046) from 7.3miles in clear weather (p=0.036). Significant variation occurred across EMS regions, with threshold distances ranging from 5.4miles to 35.3miles. There was an inverse but non-significant relationship between urban population and threshold distance across EMS regions (ρ -0.351, p=0.28). This is the first study to demonstrate that traffic, weather, and geographic region significantly impact the threshold distance at which HEMS is faster than GEMS. HEMS was faster at shorter distances during peak traffic while adverse weather increased this distance. The threshold distance varied widely across geographic region. These factors must be considered to guide appropriate HEMS triage protocols. III, Therapeutic.

Pub.: 23 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

The importance of manager support for the mental health and well-being of ambulance personnel.

Abstract: Interventions to enhance mental health and well-being within high risk industries such as the emergency services have typically focused on individual-level factors, though there is increasing interest in the role of organisational-level interventions. The aim of this study was to examine the importance of different aspects of manager support in determining the mental health of ambulance personnel. A cross-sectional survey was completed by ambulance personnel across two Australian states (N = 1,622). Demographics, manager support and mental health measures were assessed. Hierarchical multiple linear regressions were conducted to determine the explanatory influence of the employee's perception of the priority management places upon mental health issues (manager psychosocial safety climate) and managers' observed behaviours (manager behaviour) on employee common mental disorder and well-being within ambulance personnel. Of the 1,622 participants, 123 (7.6%) were found to be suffering from a likely mental disorder. Manager psychosocial safety climate accounted for a significant amount of the variance in levels of employee common mental health disorder symptoms (13%, p<0.01) and well-being (13%, p<0.01). Manager behaviour had a lesser, but still statistically significant influence upon symptoms of common mental disorder (7% of variance, p<0.01) and well-being (10% of variance, p<0.05). The perceived importance management places on mental health and managers' actual behaviour are related but distinct concepts, and each appears to impact employee mental health. While the overall variance explained by each factor was limited, the fact that each is potentially modifiable makes this finding important and highlights the significance of organisational and team-level interventions to promote employee well-being within emergency services and other high-risk occupations.

Pub.: 24 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Significant acceleration of emergency response using smartphone geolocation data and a worldwide emergency call support system.

Abstract: When patients are disorientated or experience language barriers, it is impossible to activate the emergency response system. In these cases, the delay for receiving appropriate help can extend to several hours. A worldwide emergency call support system (ECSS), including geolocation of modern smartphones (GPS, WLAN and LBS), was established referring to E911 and eCall systems. The system was tested for relevance in quickly forwarding abroad emergency calls to emergency medical services (EMS). To verify that geolocation data from smartphones are exact enough to be used for emergency cases, the accuracy of GPS (global positioning system), Wi-Fi (wireless LAN network) and LBS (location based system) was tested in eleven different countries and compared to actual location. The main objective was analyzed by simulation of emergencies in different countries. The time delay in receiving help in unsuccessful emergency call cases by using the worldwide emergency call support system (ECSS) was measured. GPS is the gold standard to locate patients with an average accuracy of 2.0 ± 3.3 m. Wi-Fi can be used within buildings with an accuracy of 7.0 ± 24.1 m. Using ECSS, the emergency call leads to a successful activation of EMS in 22.8 ± 10.8 min (Median 21 min). The use of a simple app with one button to touch did never cause any delay. The worldwide emergency call support system (ECSS) significantly improves the emergency response in cases of disorientated patients or language barriers. Under circumstances without ECSS, help can be delayed by 2 or more hours and might have relevant lifesaving effects. This is the first time that Wi-Fi geolocation could prove to be a useful improvement in emergencies to enhance GPS, especially within or close to buildings.

Pub.: 24 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Resource utilization and indications for helicopter transport of head-injured children.

Abstract: Helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) have provided benefit for severely injured patients. However, HEMS are likely overused for the transportation of both adult and pediatric trauma patients. In this study, we aim to evaluate the degree of overuse of helicopter as a mode of transport for head-injured children. In addition, we propose criteria that can be used to determine if a particular patient is suitable for air versus ground transport. We identified patients who were transported to our facility for head injuries. We included only those patients who were transported from another facility and who were seen by the neurosurgical service. We recorded a number of data points including age, gender, race, Glasgow Coma Score (GCS), and intubation status. We also collected data on a number of imaging findings such as mass effect, edema, intracranial hemorrhage, and skull fractures. Patients undergoing emergent nonneurosurgical intervention were excluded. Of the 373 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 116 (31.1%) underwent a neurosurgical procedure or died and were deemed appropriate for helicopter transport. The remaining 68.9% of patients survived their injuries without neurosurgical intervention and were deemed nonappropriate for helicopter transport. Multivariable logistic regression identified GCS 3-8 and/or presence of mass effect, edema, epidural hematoma (EDH), and open-depressed skull fracture as appropriate indications for helicopter transport. The majority of patients transported to our facility by helicopter survived their head injury without need for neurosurgical intervention. Only those patients meeting clinical (GCS 3-8) or radiographic (mass effect, edema, EDH, open-depressed skull fracture) criteria should be transported by air. Level III (Diagnostic Study). Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Pub.: 25 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

EMS providers do not use FOAM for education

Abstract: Free open access to medical education (FOAM, #FOAM) is the free availability of educational materials on various medicine topics. We hope to evaluate the use of social media and FOAM by emergency medical services (EMS) providers.We designed an online survey distributed to EMS providers with questions about demographics and social media/FOAM use by providers. The survey was sent to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) EMS Listserv of medical directors and was asked to be distributed to their respective agencies. The survey was designed to inquire about the providers’ knowledge of FOAM and social media and their use of the above for EMS education.There were 169 respondents out of a total of 523 providers yielding a response rate of 32.3%. Fifty-three percent of respondents are paramedics, 37% are EMT-Basic trained, and the remainder (16%) were “other.”The minority (20%) of respondents had heard of FOAM. However, 54% of respondents had heard of “free medical education online” regarding pertinent topics. Of the total respondents who used social media for education, 31% used Facebook and 23% used blogs and podcasts as resources for online education.Only 4% of respondents stated they produced FOAM content. Seventy-six percent of respondents said they were “interested” or “very interested” in using FOAM for medical education. If FOAM provided continuing medical education (CME), 83% of respondents would be interested in using it.Social media is not used frequently by EMS providers for the purposes of FOAM. There is interest within EMS providers to use FOAM for education, even if CME was not provided. FOAM can provide a novel area of education for EMS.

Pub.: 24 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Comparing population and incident data for optimal air ambulance base locations in Norway

Abstract: Helicopter emergency medical services are important in many health care systems. Norway has a nationwide physician manned air ambulance service servicing a country with large geographical variations in population density and incident frequencies. The aim of the study was to compare optimal air ambulance base locations using both population and incident data.We used municipality population and incident data for Norway from 2015. The 428 municipalities had a median (5–95 percentile) of 4675 (940–36,264) inhabitants and 10 (2–38) incidents. Optimal helicopter base locations were estimated using the Maximal Covering Location Problem (MCLP) optimization model, exploring the number and location of bases needed to cover various fractions of the population for time thresholds 30 and 45 min, in green field scenarios and conditioned on the existing base structure.The existing bases covered 96.90% of the population and 91.86% of the incidents for time threshold 45 min. Correlation between municipality population and incident frequencies was −0.0027, and optimal base locations varied markedly between the two data types, particularly when lowering the target time. The optimal solution using population density data put focus on the greater Oslo area, where one third of Norwegians live, while using incident data put focus on low population high incident areas, such as northern Norway and winter sport resorts.Using population density data as a proxy for incident frequency is not recommended, as the two data types lead to different optimal base locations. Lowering the target time increases the sensitivity to choice of data.

Pub.: 24 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Prehospital emergency anaesthesia: an updated survey of UK practice with emphasis on the role of standardisation and checklists.

Abstract: Prehospital emergency anaesthesia (PHEA or 'prehospital rapid sequence intubation') is a high-risk procedure. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) and checklists within healthcare systems have been demonstrated to reduce human error and improve patient safety. We aimed to describe the current practice of PHEA in the UK, determine the use of checklists for PHEA and describe the content, format and layout of any such checklists currently used in the UK. A survey of UK prehospital teams was conducted to establish the incidence and conduct of PHEA practice. Results were grouped into systems delivering a high volume of PHEA per year (>50 PHEAs) and low volume (≤50 PHEAs per annum). Standard and 'crash' (immediate) induction checklists were reviewed for length, content and layout. 59 UK physician-led prehospital services were identified of which 43 (74%) participated. Thirty services (70%) provide PHEA and perform approximately 1629 PHEAs annually. Ten 'high volume' services deliver 84% of PHEAs per year with PHEA being performed on a median of 11% of active missions. The most common indication for PHEA was trauma. 25 of the 30 services (83%) used a PHEA checklist prior to induction of anaesthesia and 24 (80%) had an SOP for the procedure. 19 (76%) of the 'standard' checklists and 5 (50%) of the 'crash' induction checklists used were analysed. On average, standard checklists contained 169 (range: 52-286) words and 41 (range: 28-70) individual checks. The style and language complexity varied significantly between different checklists. PHEA is now performed commonly in the UK. The use of checklists for PHEA is relatively common among prehospital systems delivering this intervention. Care must be taken to limit checklist length and to use simple, unambiguous language in order to maximise the safety of this high-risk intervention. © 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.: 26 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Accuracy of Pediatric Trauma Field Triage: A Systematic Review.

Abstract: Field triage of pediatric patients with trauma is critical for transporting the right patient to the right hospital. Mortality and lifelong disabilities are potentially attributable to erroneously transporting a patient in need of specialized care to a lower-level trauma center. To quantify the accuracy of field triage and associated diagnostic protocols used to identify children in need of specialized trauma care. MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, and Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials were searched from database inception to November 6, 2017, for studies describing the accuracy of diagnostic tests to identify children in need of specialized trauma care in a prehospital setting. Identified articles with a study population including patients not transported by emergency medical services were excluded. Quality assessment was performed using a modified version of the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2. After deduplication, 1430 relevant articles were assessed, a full-text review of 38 articles was conducted, and 5 of those articles were included. All studies were observational, published between 1996 and 2017, and conducted in the United States, and data collection was prospective in 1 study. Three different protocols were studied that analyzed a combined total of 1222 children in need of specialized trauma care. One protocol was specifically developed for a pediatric out-of-hospital cohort. The percentage of pediatric patients requiring specialized trauma care in each study varied between 2.6% (110 of 4197) and 54.7% (58 of 106). The sensitivity of the prehospital triage tools ranged from 49.1% to 87.3%, and the specificity ranged from 41.7% to 84.8%. No prehospital triage protocol alone complied with the international standard of 95% or greater sensitivity. Undertriage and overtriage rates, representative of the quality of the full diagnostic strategy to transport a patient to the right hospital, were not reported for inclusive trauma systems or emergency medical services regions. It is crucial to transport the right patient to the right hospital. Yet the quality of the full diagnostic strategy to determine the optimal receiving hospital is unknown. None of the investigated field triage protocols complied with current sensitivity targets. Improved efforts are needed to develop accurate child-specific tools to prevent undertriage and its potential life-threatening consequences.

Pub.: 26 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

[Prehospital application of tourniquets for life-threatening extremity hemorrhage : Systematic review of literature].

Abstract: The effectiveness of a tourniquet in the case of life-threatening hemorrhages of the extremities is well recognized and led to the recommendations on "Tourniquet" of the German Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (DGAI) in 2016. The aim of this systematic review was to re-evaluate the current medical literature in relation to the published DGAI recommendations. Based on the analysis of all studies published from January 2015 until January 2018 in the PubMed databases, the publicized recommendations for action on "Tourniquet" of the DGAI were critically re-evaluated. For this purpose, 17 questions on 6 subjects were formulated in advance. The systematic review followed the PRISMA recommendations and is registered in PROSPERO (International prospective register of systematic reviews, Reg.-ID: CRD42018091528). Of the 284 studies identified with the keywords tourniquet and trauma in the period from January 2015 to January 2018 in PubMed, 50 original papers discussing the prehospital application of tourniquet for life-threatening hemorrhage of the extremities were included. The overall level of evidence is low. No article addressed any of the formulated questions with a prospective randomized interventional study. Scientific deductions could be found only in an indirect way in a descriptive manner. The 50 original articles included in this qualitative, systematic review revealed that the recommendations "Tourniquet" of the DGAI published in 2016 are mostly still up to date despite an inhomogeneous study situation. A deviation occurred in the conversion of a tourniquet but due to the short prehospital treatment time in the civilian setting this is of little importance; however, in the future a strict distinction should be made between tourniquets which were placed for tactical reasons and those placed as a medical necessity.

Pub.: 26 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Tourniquet use in the prehospital setting: Are they being used appropriately?

Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate tourniquet use in the Hartford prehospital setting during a 34-month period after the Hartford Consensus was published, which encouraged increasing tourniquet use in light of military research. This was a retrospective review of patients with bleeding from a serious extremity injury to determine appropriateness of tourniquet use or omission. Level II trauma center between April 2014 and January 2017. Eighty-four patients met inclusion criteria and were stratified based on tourniquet use during prehospital care. Five of the 84 patients received a tourniquet. All five of those tourniquets (100 percent of the group, 6.0 percent of the population) were not indicated and deemed inappropriate. Three of the 84 patients did not receive a tourniquet when one was indicated (3.8 percent of the group, 3.6 percent of the population) and these omissions were also deemed inappropriate. Total error rate was 9.5 percent (8/84). There was a significant association between Mangled Extremity Severity Score (MESS) and likelihood of requiring a tourniquet (p = 0.0013) but not between MESS and likelihood of receiving a tourniquet (p = 0.1055). There was also a significant association between wrongly placed tourniquets and the type of providers who placed them [first responders, p = 0.0029; Emergency Medicine Technicians (EMTs), p = 0.0001]. Tourniquets are being used inappropriately in the Hartford prehospital setting. Misuse is associated with both EMTs and first responders, highlighting the need for better training and more consistent protocols.

Pub.: 26 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

002 Persistent improvement in door-to-needle times after implementation of the helsinki protocol for routine acute stroke care

Abstract: Introduction Intravenous thrombolysis for acute ischaemic stroke is a time-critical intervention. Time to treatment may be reduced by implementing measures known as the Helsinki protocol. We aimed to investigate the effectiveness of implementing the Helsinki protocol at a large tertiary teaching hospital. Methods The protocol for treatment of acute stroke at Westmead hospital was modified to mirror the Helsinki protocol. Focus was placed on reducing time factors after patient arrival to hospital, without changes to the existing infrastructure. This included: education of triage staff to improve stroke recognition; transferring patients directly from the ambulance to CT; intravenous contrast administration as standard CT imaging; and tissue plasminogen activator preparation in CT. The primary endpoints were ‘door-to-CT’ time (DCT) and ‘door-to-needle’ time (DNT). Results Data from stroke calls made in-hours were compared from 2016–2017. In the 12 months prior to implementation, 156 stroke calls occurred and 26 patients received thrombolysis. In the initial ten-week study, 49 stroke calls occurred and seven patients received thrombolysis. Median DNT was significantly reduced (77.5 vs 28 min, p=0.0477). In the following six months, 93 stroke calls occurred and eight patients received thrombolysis. Median DNT remained significantly reduced (77.5 vs 39 min, p=0.012). DCT was unchanged across the eight-month period (26 vs 23 min, p=0.646). Post-implementation, fewer patients received thrombolysis (17% vs 11%), but the number of calls increased (13 vs 18 per month). Conclusion Introduction of the Helsinki protocol for acute stroke calls resulted in a significant reduction in DNT. The changes persisted notwithstanding routine changes in junior staff. Fewer patients received thrombolysis, despite the focus on minimising delays. This might be because there were more calls, reflecting the preference for sensitivity over specificity. Reduction in DNT has significant implications for patient recovery and the effects of simple process changes persist beyond a dedicated study period.

Pub.: 24 May '18, Pinned: 18 Jun '18

Predictive ability and efficacy for shortening door-to-balloon time of a new prehospital electrocardiogram-transmission flow chart in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction - Results of the CASSIOPEIA study.

Abstract: The purposes of this study were to create a new flow-chart of prehospital electrocardiography (ECG)-transmission, evaluate its predictive ability for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and shorten door-to-balloon time (DTBT). The new transmission flow-chart was created using symptoms from previous medical records of STEMI patients. A total of 4090 consecutive patients transferred emergently to our hospital were divided into two groups: those in ambulances with an ECG-transmission device with the new flow-chart (ECGT-FC) and those transferred without an ECG-transmission device (non-ECGT) groups. A STEMI group comprising walk-in patients during the same period was used as a control group. The predictive ability of STEMI and the effectiveness of shortening the DTBT by the new flow-chart of ECG-transmission was evaluated. In the ECGT-FC group, the prevalence of STEMI in the ECG-transmission by the new flow-chart were significantly higher than in the non-ECG-transmission patients (6.71% vs. 0.19%; p<0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of the new ECG-transmission flow-chart were 83.3% and 88.1%, respectively. The median DTBT was significantly shortened (p=0.045) and the prevalence of DTBT<90min was significantly higher in the ECGT-FC group (p=0.018) than the other groups. The sensitivity and specificity of the new flow-chart for ECG-transmission were high. The new flow-chart combined with an ECG-transmission device could detect STEMI efficiently and shorten DTBT. Copyright © 2018 Japanese College of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

Evaluation of a community paramedicine health promotion and lifestyle risk assessment program for older adults who live in social housing: a cluster randomized trial.

Abstract: Low-income older adults who live in subsidized housing have higher mortality and morbidity. We aimed to determine if a community paramedicine program - in which paramedics provide health care services outside of the traditional emergency response - reduced the number of ambulance calls to subsidized housing for older adults. We conducted an open-label pragmatic cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT) with parallel intervention and control groups in subsidized apartment buildings for older adults. We selected 6 buildings using predefined criteria, which we then randomly assigned to intervention (Community Paramedicine at Clinic [CP@clinic] for 1 yr) or control (usual health care) using computer-generated paired randomization. CP@clinic is a paramedic-led, community-based health promotion program to prevent diabetes, cardiovascular disease and falls for residents 55 years of age and older. The primary outcome was building-level mean monthly ambulance calls. Secondary outcomes were individual-level changes in blood pressure, health behaviours and risk of diabetes assessed using the Canadian Diabetes Risk Questionnaire. We analyzed the data using generalized estimating equations and hierarchical linear modelling. The 3 intervention and 3 control buildings had 455 and 637 residents, respectively. Mean monthly ambulance calls in the intervention buildings (3.11 [standard deviation (SD) 1.30] calls per 100 units/mo) was significantly lower (-0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.45 to -1.30) than in control buildings (3.99 [SD 1.17] calls per 100 units/mo), when adjusted for baseline calls and building pairs. Survey participation was 28.4% ( = 129) and 20.3% ( = 129) in the intervention and control buildings, respectively. Residents living in the intervention buildings showed significant improvement compared with those living in control buildings in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) (mean difference 0.09, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.17) and ability to perform usual activities (odds ratio 2.6, 95% CI 1.2 to 5.8). Those who received the intervention had a significant decrease in systolic (mean change 5.0, 95% CI 1.0 to 9.0) and diastolic (mean change 4.8, 95% CI 1.9 to 7.6) blood pressure. A paramedic-led, community-based health promotion program (CP@clinic) significantly lowered the number of ambulance calls, improved QALYs and ability to perform usual activities, and lowered systolic blood pressure among older adults living in subsidized housing. Clinicaltrials.gov, no. NCT02152891. © 2018 Joule Inc. or its licensors.

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

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