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Systematic Reviews in Prehospital Care


This board collates published Systematic Reviews on Prehospital Care and related topics.


The board is aimed at those working or resaerching in the area of prehospital care.


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.


Shorter Versus Longer Shift Durations to Mitigate Fatigue and Fatigue-Related Risks in Emergency Medical Services Personnel and Related Shift Workers: A Systematic Review.

Abstract: This study comprehensively reviewed the literature on the impact of shorter versus longer shifts on critical and important outcomes for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel and related shift worker groups.Six databases (e.g., PubMed/MEDLINE) were searched, including one website. This search was guided by a research question developed by an expert panel a priori and registered with the PROSPERO database of systematic reviews (2016:CRD42016040099). The critical outcomes of interest were patient safety and personnel safety. The important outcomes of interest were personnel performance, acute fatigue, sleep and sleep quality, retention/turnover, long-term health, burnout/stress, and cost to system. Screeners worked independently and full-text articles were assessed for relevance. Data abstracted from the retained literature were categorized as favorable, unfavorable, mixed/inconclusive, or no impact toward the shorter shift duration. This research characterized the evidence as very low, low, moderate, or high quality according to the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology.The searched yielded n = 21,674 records. Of the 480 full-text articles reviewed, 100 reported comparisons of outcomes of interest by shift duration. We identified 24 different shift duration comparisons, most commonly 8 hours versus 12 hours. No one study reported findings for all 9 outcomes. Two studies reported findings linked to both critical outcomes of patient and personnel safety, 34 reported findings for one of two critical outcomes, and 64 did not report findings for critical outcomes. Fifteen studies were grouped to compare shifts <24 hours versus shifts ≥24 hours. None of the findings for the critical outcomes of patient and personnel safety were categorized as unfavorable toward shorter duration shifts (<24 hours). Nine studies were favorable toward shifts <24 hours for at least one of the 7 important outcomes, while findings from one study were categorized as unfavorable. Evidence quality was low or very low.The quality of existing evidence on the impact of shift duration on fatigue and fatigue-related risks is low or very low. Despite these limitations, this systematic review suggests that for outcomes considered critical or important to EMS personnel, shifts <24 hours in duration are more favorable than shifts ≥24 hours. Key words: Shift duration; fatigue; safety; EMS.

Pub.: 13 Jan '18, Pinned: 13 Apr '18

33 Systematic review of the effectiveness of prehospital critical care following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Abstract: Improving survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a priority for modern emergency medical services (EMS) and prehospital research. Advanced life support (ALS) is now the standard of care in most EMS. In some EMS, prehospital critical care providers are also dispatched to attend OHCA. This systematic review presents the evidence for prehospital critical care for OHCA, when compared to standard ALS care.We searched the following electronic databases: PubMed, EmBASE, CINAHL Plus and AMED (viaEBSCO), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, DARE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, NHS Economic Evaluation Database, NIHR Health Technology Assessment Database, Google Scholar and ClinicalTrials.gov. Search terms related to cardiac arrest and prehospital critical care. All studies that compared patient-centred outcomes between prehospital critical care and ALS for OHCA were included.The review identified six full text publications that matched the inclusion criteria, all of which are observational studies. Three studies showed no benefit from prehospital critical care but were under-powered with sample sizes of 1028-1851. The other three publications showed benefit from prehospital critical care delivered by physicians. However, an imbalance of prognostic factors and hospital treatment in these studies systematically favoured the prehospital critical care group.emermed;34/12/A883-a/T1F1T1Table 1 CONCLUSION: Current evidence to support prehospital critical care for OHCA is limited by the logistic difficulties of undertaking high quality research in this area. Further research needs an appropriate sample size with adjustments for confounding factors in observational research design.

Pub.: 25 Nov '17, Pinned: 13 Apr '18

Meta-evaluation of published studies on evaluation of health disaster preparedness exercises through a systematic review.

Abstract: Exercise evaluation is one of the most important steps and sometimes neglected in designing and taking exercises, in this stage of exercise, it systematically identifying, gathering, and interpreting related information to indicate how an exercise has fulfilled its objectives. The present study aimed to assess the most important evaluation techniques applied in evaluating health exercises for emergencies and disasters.This was meta-evaluation study through a systematic review. In this research, we searched papers based on specific and relevant keywords in research databases including ISI web of science, PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, Ovid, ProQuest, Wiley, Google Scholar, and Persian database such as ISC and SID. The search keywords and strategies are followed; "simulation," "practice," "drill," "exercise," "instrument," "tool," "questionnaire," " measurement," "checklist," "scale," "test," "inventory," "battery," "evaluation," "assessment," "appraisal," "emergency," "disaster," "cricise," "hazard," "catastrophe,: "hospital", "prehospital," "health centers," "treatment centers," were used in combination with Boolean operators OR and AND.The research findings indicate that there are different techniques and methods for data collection to evaluate performance exercises of health centers and affiliated organizations in disasters and emergencies including debriefing inventories, self-report, questionnaire, interview, observation, shooting video, and photographing, electronic equipment which can be individually or collectively used depending on exercise objectives or purposes.Taking exercise in the health sector is one of the important steps in preparation and implementation of disaster risk management programs. This study can be thus utilized to improve preparedness of different sectors of health system according to the latest available evaluation techniques and methods for better implementation of disaster exercise evaluation stages.

Pub.: 09 Feb '18, Pinned: 25 Feb '18

Systematic Review of Prehospital Tourniquet Use in Civilian Limb Trauma.

Abstract: Military enthusiasm for limb tourniquet use in combat casualty care has resulted in acceptance by the trauma community for use in the prehospital care of civilian limb injuries. To date there has been no report synthesizing the published data on civilian tourniquet use. The objective of this systematic review was to compile and analyze the content and quality of published data on the civilian use of tourniquets in limb trauma.The MEDLINE database was searched for studies on civilian limb tourniquet use in adults published between 2001 and 2017. Search terms were "tourniquet," "trauma," and "injury." Military reports and case series lacking systematic data collection were excluded. Counts and percentages were aggregated and weighted for analysis.Reports were included from six regional trauma centers and one inter-regional collaboration (total 572 cases). One national prehospital database report was included but analyzed separately (2,048 cases). All were retrospective cohort studies without prospective data collection. Three reports defined a primary outcome, two had a non-tourniquet control group, and no two papers reported the same variables. Limb injury severity and characteristics were inconsistently and incompletely described across reports, as were tourniquet indications and effectiveness. Arterial injury was reported in two studies and was infrequent among cases of tourniquet use. Mortality was low and limb-specific complications infrequent but variably reported.The rapid increase in the civilian use of tourniquets for limb hemorrhage control has occurred without a large amount or high quality of data. Adoption of a multicenter registry with standardized data collection specific to limb trauma and tourniquet use can serve to improve the trauma community's understanding of the safety and effectiveness of tourniquet use in civilian trauma settings.Systematic Review, level IV.

Pub.: 13 Feb '18, Pinned: 23 Feb '18

Implementing Prehospital Evidence-Based Guidelines: A Systematic Literature Review.

Abstract: As prehospital research advances, more evidence-based guidelines (EBGs) are implemented into emergency medical services (EMS) practice. However, incomplete or suboptimal prehospital EBG implementation may hinder improvement in patient outcomes. To inform future efforts, this study's objective was to review existing evidence pertaining to prehospital EBG implementation methods.This study was a systematic literature review and evaluation following the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology. PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and Google Advanced Search were searched without language or publication date filters for articles addressing prehospital EBG implementation. Conference proceedings, textbooks, and non-English articles were excluded. GRADE was applied to the remaining articles independently by three of five study investigators. Study characteristics and salient findings from the included articles are reported.The systematic literature review identified 1,367 articles, with 41 meeting inclusion criteria. Most articles described prehospital EBG implementation (n = 24, 59%), or implementation barriers (n = 13, 32%). Common study designs were statement documents (n = 12, 29%), retrospective cohort studies (n = 12, 29%), and cross-sectional studies (n = 9, 22%). Using GRADE, evidence quality was rated low (n = 18, 44%), or very low (n = 23, 56%). Salient findings from the articles included: (i) EBG adherence and patient outcomes depend upon successful implementation, (ii) published studies generally lack detailed implementation methods, (iii) EBG implementation takes longer than planned (mostly for EMS education), (iv) EMS systems' heterogeneity affects EBG implementation, and (v) multiple barriers limit successful implementation (e.g., financial constraints, equipment purchasing, coordination with hospitals, and regulatory agencies). This review found no direct evidence for best prehospital EBG implementation practices. There were no studies comparing implementation methods or implementation in different prehospital settings (e.g., urban vs. rural, advanced vs. basic life support).While prehospital EBG implementation barriers are well described, there is a paucity of evidence for optimal implementation methods. For scientific advances to reach prehospital patients, EBG development efforts must translate into EMS practice. Future research should consider comparing implementation methodologies in different prehospital settings, with a goal of defining detailed, reproducible best practices.

Pub.: 20 Jan '18, Pinned: 21 Jan '18

Effectiveness of interventions to prevent pre-frailty and frailty progression in older adults: a systematic review.

Abstract: To summarize the best available evidence regarding the effectiveness of interventions for preventing frailty progression in older adults.Frailty is an age-related state of decreased physiological reserves characterized by an increased risk of poor clinical outcomes. Evidence supporting the malleability of frailty, its prevention and treatment, has been presented.The review considered studies on older adults aged 65 and over, explicitly identified as pre-frail or frail, who had been undergoing interventions focusing on the prevention of frailty progression. Participants selected on the basis of specific illness or with a terminal diagnosis were excluded. The comparator was usual care, alternative therapeutic interventions or no intervention. The primary outcome was frailty. Secondary outcomes included: (i) cognition, quality of life, activities of daily living, caregiver burden, functional capacity, depression and other mental health-related outcomes, self-perceived health and social engagement; (ii) drugs and prescriptions, analytical parameters, adverse outcomes and comorbidities; (iii) costs, and/or costs relative to benefits and/or savings associated with implementing the interventions for frailty. Experimental study designs, cost effectiveness, cost benefit, cost minimization and cost utility studies were considered for inclusion.Databases for published and unpublished studies, available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Dutch, from January 2001 to November 2015, were searched. Critical appraisal was conducted using standardized instruments from the Joanna Briggs Institute. Data was extracted using the standardized tools designed for quantitative and economic studies. Data was presented in a narrative form due to the heterogeneity of included studies.Twenty-one studies, all randomized controlled trials, with a total of 5275 older adults and describing 33 interventions, met the criteria for inclusion. Economic analyses were conducted in two studies. Physical exercise programs were shown to be generally effective for reducing or postponing frailty but only when conducted in groups. Favorable effects on frailty indicators were also observed after the interventions, based on physical exercise with supplementation, supplementation alone, cognitive training and combined treatment. Group meetings and home visits were not found to be universally effective. Lack of efficacy was evidenced for physical exercise performed individually or delivered one-to-one, hormone supplementation and problem solving therapy. Individually tailored management programs for clinical conditions had inconsistent effects on frailty prevalence. Economic studies demonstrated that this type of intervention, as compared to usual care, provided better value for money, particularly for very frail community-dwelling participants, and had favorable effects in some of the frailty-related outcomes in inpatient and outpatient management, without increasing costs.This review found mixed results regarding the effectiveness of frailty interventions. However, there is clear evidence on the usefulness of such interventions in carefully chosen evidence-based circumstances, both for frailty itself and for secondary outcomes, supporting clinical investment of resources in frailty intervention. Further research is required to reinforce current evidence and examine the impact of the initial level of frailty on the benefits of different interventions. There is also a need for economic evaluation of frailty interventions.

Pub.: 13 Jan '18, Pinned: 14 Jan '18

Health Outcomes for Children in Haiti Since the 2010 Earthquake: A Systematic Review.

Abstract: Haiti remains the poorest country in the Americas and one of the poorest in the world. Children in Haiti face many health concerns, some of which were exacerbated by the 2010 earthquake. This systematic review summarizes published research conducted since the 2010 earthquake, focusing on health outcomes for children in Haiti, including physical, psychological, and socioeconomic well-being.A literature search was conducted identifying articles published from January 2010 through May 2016 related to pediatric health outcomes in Haiti. Two reviewers screened articles independently. Included research articles described at least one physical health, psychological health, or socioeconomic outcome among children less than 18 years of age in Haiti since the January 2010 earthquake.Fifty-eight full-length research articles were reviewed, covering infectious diseases (non-cholera [N=12] and cholera [N=7]), nutrition (N=11), traumatic injuries (N=11), mental health (N=9), anemia (N=4), abuse and violence (N=5), and other topics (N=3). Many children were injured in the 2010 earthquake, and care of their injuries is described in the literature. Infectious diseases were a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among children following the earthquake, with cholera being one of the most important etiologies. The literature also revealed that large numbers of children in Haiti have significant symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), peri-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety, and that food insecurity and malnutrition continue to be important issues.Future health programs in Haiti should focus on provision of clean water, sanitation, and other measures to prevent infectious diseases. Mental health programming and services for children also appear to be greatly needed, and food insecurity/malnutrition must be addressed if children are to lead healthy, productive lives. Given the burden of injury after the 2010 earthquake, further research on long-term disabilities among children in Haiti is needed. Dube A , Moffatt M , Davison C , Bartels S . Health outcomes for children in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake: a systematic review.

Pub.: 19 Dec '17, Pinned: 22 Dec '17

A systematic review of emergency department based HIV testing and linkage to care initiatives in low resource settings.

Abstract: Only 45% of people currently living with HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa are aware of their HIV status. Unmet testing needs may be addressed by utilizing the Emergency Department (ED) as an innovative testing venue in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). The purpose of this review is to examine the burden of HIV infection described in EDs in LMICs, with a focus on summarizing the implementation of various ED-based HIV testing strategies.We performed a systematic review of Pubmed, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library on June 12, 2016. A three-concept search was employed with emergency medicine (e.g., Emergency department, emergency medical services), HIV/AIDS (e.g., human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), and LMIC terms (e.g., developing country, under developed countries, specific country names). The search returned 2026 unique articles. Of these, thirteen met inclusion criteria and were included in the final review. There was a large variation in the reported prevalence of HIV infection in the ED population ranging from to 2.14% in India to 43.3% in Uganda. The proportion HIV positive patients with previously undiagnosed infection ranged from 90% to 65.22%.In the United States ED-based HIV testing strategies have been front and center at curbing the HIV epidemic. The limited number of ED-based studies we observed in this study may represent the paucity of HIV testing in this venue in LMICs. All of the studies in this review demonstrated a high prevalence of HIV infection in the ED and an extraordinarily high percentage of previously undiagnosed HIV infection. Although the numbers of published reports are few, these diverse studies imply that in HIV endemic low resource settings EDs carry a large burden of undiagnosed HIV infections and may offer a unique testing venue.

Pub.: 03 Nov '17, Pinned: 04 Nov '17

Barriers and facilitators to public access defibrillation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a systematic review.

Abstract: Public access defibrillation initiatives make automated external defibrillators available to the public. This facilitates earlier defibrillation of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims and could save many lives. It is currently only used for a minority of cases. The aim of this systematic review was to identify barriers and facilitators to public access defibrillation. A comprehensive literature review was undertaken defining formal search terms for a systematic review of the literature in March 2017. Studies were included if they considered reasons affecting the likelihood of public access defibrillation and presented original data. An electronic search strategy was devised searching MEDLINE and EMBASE, supplemented by bibliography and related-article searches. Given the low-quality and observational nature of the majority of articles, a narrative review was performed. Sixty-four articles were identified in the initial literature search. An additional four unique articles were identified from the electronic search strategies. The following themes were identified related to public access defibrillation: knowledge and awareness; willingness to use; acquisition and maintenance; availability and accessibility; training issues; registration and regulation; medicolegal issues; emergency medical services dispatch-assisted use of automated external defibrillators; automated external defibrillator-locator systems; demographic factors; other behavioural factors. In conclusion, several barriers and facilitators to public access defibrillation deployment were identified. However, the evidence is of very low quality and there is not enough information to inform changes in practice. This is an area in urgent need of further high-quality research if public access defibrillation is to be increased and more lives saved. PROSPERO registration number CRD42016035543.

Pub.: 19 Oct '17, Pinned: 21 Oct '17

Seeking ambulance treatment for 'primary care' problems: a qualitative systematic review of patient, carer and professional perspectives.

Abstract: To understand the reasons behind, and experience of, seeking and receiving emergency ambulance treatment for a 'primary care sensitive' condition.A comprehensive, qualitative systematic review. Medline, Embase, PsychInfo, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health, Health Management Information Systems, Healthcare Management Information Consortium, OpenSigle, EThOS and Digital Archive of Research Theses databases were systematically searched for studies exploring patient, carer or healthcare professional interactions with ambulance services for 'primary care sensitive' problems. Studies using wholly qualitative approaches or mixed-methods studies with substantial use of qualitative techniques in both the methods and analysis sections were included. An analytical thematic synthesis was undertaken, using a line-by-line qualitative coding method and a hierarchical inductive approach.Of 1458 initial results, 33 studies met the first level (relevance) inclusion criteria, and six studies met the second level (methodology and quality) criteria. The analysis suggests that patients define situations worthy of 'emergency' ambulance use according to complex socioemotional factors, as well as experienced physical symptoms. There can be a mismatch between how patients and professionals define 'emergency' situations. Deciding to call an ambulance is a process shaped by practical considerations and a strong emotional component, which can be influenced by the views of caregivers. Sometimes the value of a contact with the ambulance service is principally in managing this emotional component. Patients often wish to hand over responsibility for decisions when experiencing a perceived emergency. Feeling empowered to take control of a situation is a highly valued aspect of ambulance care.When responding to a request for 'emergency' help for a low-acuity condition, urgent-care services need to be sensitive to how the patient's emotional and practical perception of the situation may have shaped their decision-making and the influence that carers may have had on the process. There may be novel ways to deliver some of the valued aspects of urgent care, more geared to the resource-limited environment.

Pub.: 05 Aug '17, Pinned: 02 Oct '17

Comparison of trauma care systems in Asian countries: A systematic literature review.

Abstract: The study aims to compare the trauma care systems in Asian countries.Asian countries were categorised into three groups; 'lower middle-income country', 'upper middle-income country' and 'high-income country'. The Medline/PubMed database was searched for articles published from January 2005 to December 2014 using relevant key words. Articles were excluded if they examined a specific injury mechanism, referred to a specific age group, and/or did not have full text available. We extracted information and variables on pre-hospital and hospital care factors, and regionalised system factors and compared them across countries.A total of 46 articles were identified from 13 countries, including Pakistan, India, Vietnam and Indonesia from lower middle-income countries; the Islamic Republic of Iran, Thailand, China, Malaysia from upper middle-income countries; and Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore from high-income countries. Trauma patients were transported via various methods. In six of the 13 countries, less than 20% of trauma patients were transported by ambulance. Pre-hospital trauma teams primarily comprised emergency medical technicians and paramedics, except in Thailand and China, where they included mainly physicians. In Iran, Pakistan and Vietnam, the proportion of patients who died before reaching hospital exceeded 50%. In only three of the 13 countries was it reported that trauma surgeons were available. In only five of the 13 countries was there a nationwide trauma registry.Trauma care systems were poorly developed and unorganised in most of the selected 13 Asian countries, with the exception of a few highly developed countries.

Pub.: 08 Aug '17, Pinned: 02 Oct '17

Health-Related Disaster Communication and Social Media: Mixed-Method Systematic Review.

Abstract: This mixed-method evidence synthesis drew on Cochrane methods and principles to systematically review literature published between 2003 and 2016 on the best social media practices to promote health protection and dispel misinformation during disasters. Seventy-nine studies employing quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods on risk communication during disasters in all UN-languages were reviewed, finding that agencies need to contextualize the use of social media for particular populations and crises. Social media are tools that still have not become routine practices in many governmental agencies regarding public health in the countries studied. Social media, especially Twitter and Facebook (and equivalents in countries such as China), need to be incorporated into daily operations of governmental agencies and implementing partners to build familiarity with them before health-related crises happen. This was especially observed in U.S. agencies, local government, and first responders but also for city governments and school administrations in Europe. For those that do use social media during health-related risk communication, studies find that public relations officers, governmental agencies, and the general public have used social media successfully to spread truthful information and to verify information to dispel rumors during disasters. Few studies focused on the recovery and preparation phases and on countries in the Southern hemisphere, except for Australia. The vast majority of studies did not analyze the demographics of social media users beyond their geographic location, their status of being inside/outside the disaster zone; and their frequency and content of posting. Socioeconomic demographics were not collected and/or analyzed to drill deeper into the implications of using social media to reach vulnerable populations. Who exactly is reached via social media campaigns and who needs to be reached with other means has remained an understudied area.

Pub.: 22 Aug '17, Pinned: 02 Oct '17

Medical leadership, a systematic narrative review: do hospitals and healthcare organisations perform better when led by doctors?

Abstract: Despite common assumptions that doctors are well placed to lead hospitals and healthcare organisations, the peer-reviewed literature contains little evidence on the performance of doctors in leadership roles in comparison with that of non-medical managers.To determine whether there is an association between the leader's medical background and management performance in terms of organisational performance or patient outcomes.We searched for peer-reviewed, English language studies using Medline, Embase and Emerald Management between 2005 and 2017. We included quantitative, qualitative and mixed method empirical studies on the performance of senior healthcare managers where participants were described as doctors or leaders and where comparative performance data were provided on non-medical leaders. Studies without full text available, or no organisational, leadership behaviour or patient measures, were excluded.The search, conducted in Medline (n=3395), Embase (n=1913) and Emerald Management (n=454) databases, yielded 3926 entries. After the application of inclusion and exclusion criteria, 16 studies remained. Twelve studies found that there were positive differences between medical and non-medical leaders, and eight studies correlated those findings with hospital performance or patient outcomes. Six studies examined the composition of boards of directors; otherwise, there were few common areas of investigation. Five inter-related themes emerged from a narrative analysis: the impact of medical leadership on outcomes; doctors on boards; contribution of qualifications and experience; the medical leader as an individual or part of a team and doctors transitioning into the medical leadership role.A modest body of evidence supports the importance of including doctors on organisational governing boards. Despite many published articles on the topic of whether hospitals and healthcare organisations perform better when led by doctors, there were few empirical studies that directly compared the performance of medical and non-medical managers. This is an under-researched area that requires further funding and focus.

Pub.: 28 Sep '17, Pinned: 02 Oct '17

The Effects of Public Access Defibrillation on Survival After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Systematic Review of Observational Studies.

Abstract: Background -Despite recent advances, the average survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) remains below 10%. Early defibrillation by an automated external defibrillator (AED) is the most important intervention for OHCA patients, showing survival proportions above 50%. Accordingly, placement of AEDs in the community as part of a public access defibrillation program (PAD) is recommended by international guidelines. However, different strategies have been proposed on how exactly to increase and make use of public available AEDs. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the effect of PAD and the different PAD strategies on survival after OHCA. Methods -Pubmed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library were systematically searched on August 31, 2015 for observational studies reporting survival to hospital discharge in OHCA patients where an AED had been used by non-emergency medical services. PAD was divided into three groups according to who applied the defibrillator: non-dispatched lay first responders, professional first responders (firefighters/police) dispatched by the Emergency Medical Dispatch Center (EMDC) or lay first responders dispatched by the EMDC. Results -A total of 41 studies were included; 18 reported PAD by non-dispatched lay first responders, 20 reported PAD by EMDC-dispatched professional first responders (firefighters/police) and three reported both. We identified no qualified studies reporting survival after PAD by EMDC-dispatched lay first responders. The overall survival to hospital discharge after OHCA treated with PAD showed a median of 40.0% (range 9.1-83.3). Defibrillation by non-dispatched lay first responders was associated with the highest survival with a median of 53.0% (range 26.0-72.0) while defibrillation by EMDC-dispatched professional first responders (firefighters/police) was associated with a median survival of 28.6% (range 9.0-76.0). A meta-analysis of the different survival outcomes could not be performed due to the large heterogeneity of the included studies. Conclusions -This systematic review showed a median overall survival of 40% for OHCA patients treated by PAD. Defibrillation by non-dispatched lay first responders was found to correlate with the highest impact on survival compared to EMDC-dispatched professional first responders. PAD by EMDC-dispatched lay first responders could be a promising strategy, but evidence is lacking.

Pub.: 09 Jul '17, Pinned: 02 Oct '17

Administration of Hypertonic Solutions for Hemorrhagic Shock: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Clinical Trials.

Abstract: Several clinical trials on hypertonic fluid administration have been completed, but the results have been inconclusive. The objective of this study is to summarize current evidence for treating hypovolemic patients with hypertonic solutions by performing a systematic review and meta-analysis.Major electronic databases were searched from inception through June 2014. We included only randomized controlled trials involving hemorrhagic shock patients treated with hypertonic solutions. After screening 570 trials, 12 were eligible for the final analysis. Pooled effect estimates were calculated with a random effect model.The 12 studies included 6 trials comparing 7.5% hypertonic saline (HS) with 0.9% saline or Ringer's lactate solution and 11 trials comparing 7.5% hypertonic saline with dextran (HSD) with isotonic saline or Ringer's lactate. Overall, there were no statistically significant survival benefits for patients treated with HS (relative risk [RR], 0.96; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82-1.12) or HSD (RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.80-1.06). Treatment with hypertonic solutions was also not associated with increased complications (RR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.78-1.36). Subgroup analysis on trauma patients in the prehospital or emergency department settings did not change these conclusions. There was no evidence of significant publication bias. Metaregression analysis did not find any significant sources of heterogeneity.Current evidence does not reveal increased mortality when the administration of isotonic solutions is compared to HS or HSD in trauma patients with hemorrhagic shock. HS or HSD may be a viable alternative resuscitation fluid in the prehospital setting. Further studies are needed to determine the optimum volume and regimen of intravenous fluids for the treatment of trauma patients.

Pub.: 21 Sep '17, Pinned: 29 Sep '17

Validity and reliability of clinical prediction rules used to screen for cervical spine injury in alert low-risk patients with blunt trauma to the neck: part 2. A systematic review from the Cervical Assessment and Diagnosis Research Evaluation (CADRE) Collaboration.

Abstract: To update findings of the 2000-2010 Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain and its Associated Disorders (Neck Pain Task Force) on the validity and reliability of clinical prediction rules used to screen for cervical spine injury in alert low-risk adult patients with blunt trauma to the neck.We searched four databases from 2005 to 2015. Pairs of independent reviewers critically appraised eligible studies using the modified QUADAS-2 and QAREL criteria. We synthesized low risk of bias studies following best evidence synthesis principles.We screened 679 citations; five had a low risk of bias and were included in our synthesis. The sensitivity of the Canadian C-spine rule ranged from 0.90 to 1.00 with negative predictive values ranging from 99 to 100%. Inter-rater reliability of the Canadian C-spine rule varied from k = 0.60 between nurses and physicians to k = 0.93 among paramedics. The inter-rater reliability of the Nexus Low-Risk Criteria was k = 0.53 between resident physicians and faculty physicians.Our review adds new evidence to the Neck Pain Task Force and supports the use of clinical prediction rules in emergency care settings to screen for cervical spine injury in alert low-risk adult patients with blunt trauma to the neck. The Canadian C-spine rule consistently demonstrated excellent sensitivity and negative predictive values. Our review, however, suggests that the reproducibility of the clinical predictions rules varies depending on the examiners level of training and experience.

Pub.: 25 Sep '17, Pinned: 29 Sep '17

Social and occupational factors associated with psychological wellbeing among occupational groups affected by disaster: a systematic review.

Abstract: The psychological impact of disasters has been well-documented; less attention has been paid to factors affecting the wellbeing of those exposed to disasters as occupational groups.To conduct a systematic literature review identifying social and occupational factors affecting the wellbeing of disaster-exposed employees; to use these factors to identify recommendations for potential interventions.Four electronic literature databases were searched; reference lists of relevant papers were hand-searched.A total of 18 005 papers were found, 571 full texts were read and 36 included in the review. The psychological impact of disasters on employees was associated with pre-disaster factors (experience/training; income; life events/health; job satisfaction), peri-disaster factors (exposure; peri-traumatic experiences; perceptions of safety; injury), social factors (organisational support; social support generally) and post-disaster factors (impact on life).It is important to build a resilient workforce outside of a crisis. Pre-disaster training in recognising signs of distress, understanding vulnerability factors such as those described above, which may put certain employees at greater risk of distress and how to support colleagues may be useful. Further research into the effectiveness of post-disaster interventions is needed.

Pub.: 22 Jun '17, Pinned: 23 Jun '17

Risk factors and protective factors associated with incident or increase of frailty among community-dwelling older adults: A systematic review of longitudinal studies.

Abstract: Frailty is one of the greatest challenges facing our aging population, as it can lead to adverse outcomes such as institutionalization, hospitalization, and mortality. However, the factors that are associated with frailty are poorly understood. We performed a systematic review of longitudinal studies in order to identify the sociodemographic, physical, biological, lifestyle-related, and psychological risk or protective factors that are associated with frailty among community-dwelling older adults.A systematic literature search was conducted in the following databases in order to identify studies that assessed the factors associated with of frailty among community-dwelling older adults: Embase, Medline Ovid, Web of Science, Cochrane, PsychINFO Ovid, CINAHL EBSCOhost, and Google Scholar. Studies were selected if they included a longitudinal design, focused on community-dwelling older adults aged 60 years and older, and used a tool to assess frailty. The methodological quality of each study was assessed using the Quality of Reporting of Observational Longitudinal Research checklist.Twenty-three studies were included. Significant associations were reported between the following types of factors and frailty: sociodemographic factors (7/7 studies), physical factors (5/6 studies), biological factors (5/7 studies), lifestyle factors (11/13 studies), and psychological factors (7/8 studies). Significant sociodemographic factors included older age, ethnic background, neighborhood, and access to private insurance or Medicare; significant physical factors included obesity and activities of daily living (ADL) functional status; significant biological factors included serum uric acid; significant lifestyle factors included a higher Diet Quality Index International (DQI) score, higher fruit/vegetable consumption and higher tertile of all measures of habitual dietary resveratrol exposure; significant psychological factors included depressive symptoms.A broad range of sociodemographic, physical, biological, lifestyle, and psychological factors show a longitudinal association with frailty. These factors should be considered when developing interventions aimed at preventing and/or reducing the burden associated with frailty among community-dwelling older adults.

Pub.: 16 Jun '17, Pinned: 19 Jun '17

Categorization and Analysis of Disaster Health Publications: An Inventory.

Abstract: Disaster Medicine is a relatively new discipline. Understanding of the current status of its science is needed in order to develop a roadmap for the direction and structure of future studies that will contribute to building the science of the health aspects of disasters (HADs). The objective of this study was to examine the existing, peer-reviewed literature relevant to the HADs to determine the status of the currently available literature underlying the science of the HADs. A total of 709 consecutive, peer-reviewed articles published from 2009-2014 in two disaster-health-related medical journals, Prehospital and Disaster Medicine (PDM) and Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness (DMPHP), were examined. Of these, 495 were disaster-related (PDM, 248; DMPHP, 247). Three major categories defined these disaster-related research articles: (1) Epidemiological studies comprised 50.5%; (2) Interventional, 20.3%; and (3) Syntheses, 26.9%. Interventional studies were sub-categorized into: (a) Relief Responses, 23.0%; (b) Recovery Responses, 2.0%; or (c) Risk-Reduction Interventions, 75.0%. Basically, the inventories were consistent within the two journals. Reported indicators of outcomes related to the responses were constrained to achievement indicators (numbers accomplished). Syntheses articles were sub-categorized into: (a) Literature Reviews, 17.6%; (b) Opinions, 25.2%; (c) Models, 24.4%; (d) Frameworks, 6.9%; (e) Guidelines, 13.0%; (f) Tools, 3.0%; (g) Protocols, Policies, or Criteria, 2.3%; or (h) Conference Summaries, 7.6%. Trend analyses indicated that the relative proportions of articles in each category and sub-category remained relatively constant over the five years. No randomized controlled trials (RTCs), non-randomized, comparative controlled trials (CCTs), or systematic reviews were published in these journals during the period examined. Each article also was examined qualitatively for objectives, study type, content, language, and structure. There was no common structure used for any category or sub-categories. In addition, the terminology used was inconsistent and often confusing. This categorization process should be applied to other peer-reviewed journals that publish research related to HADs. As evidenced in the current study, the evidence base for HADs is far from robust and is disorganized, making the development of scientific evidence on which to base best practices difficult. A stronger evidence base is needed to develop the science associated with the HADs. This will require a common structure and terminology to facilitate comparisons. Greater depth of reporting is needed in order to render the Epidemiological studies more useful in mitigating the negative health impacts of hazard-related events. Interventional studies must be structured and include outcomes, impacts, benefits, and costs with robust indicators. The outcomes and impacts of Risk-Reduction Interventions will require the evaluation of changes in the epidemiology documented in future events or exercises. Birnbaum ML , Adibhatla S , Dudek O , Ramsel-Miller J . Categorization and analysis of disaster health publications: an inventory. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(5):1-10 .

Pub.: 01 Jun '17, Pinned: 05 Jun '17

A Systematic Review of the Prevalence and Types of Adverse Events in Interfacility Critical Care Transfers by Paramedics.

Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate if paramedics can safely transfer interfacility critically ill adult patients and to determine the prevalence and types of adverse events when paramedics lead interfacility critical care transfers.MEDLINE, Web of Science, Embase, and CINAHL databases were searched from 1990 up to February 2016. Eligibility criteria were adult patients (16 years and over), interfacility transfer (between two health care facilities), quantitative or qualitative description of adverse events, and a paramedic as the primary care provider or the sole health care provider.Seven publications had paramedics as the sole health care provider conducting interfacility critical care transfers. All seven studies were observational studies published in the English language. The study duration ranged from 14 months to 10 years. The frequency of adverse events seen by paramedics in interfacility transfers ranges from 5.1% to 18%.There is a gap in literature on the safety and adverse events in interfacility transfers by paramedics. The prevalence of in-transit adverse events is well established; however, because the published literature is lacking longitudinal monitoring of patients and only reporting in-transit events, we believe that further research in this area might provide the basis of paramedics safety in interfacility transfers.

Pub.: 14 May '17, Pinned: 15 May '17

Prehospital notification for major trauma patients requiring emergency hospital transport: a systematic review.

Abstract: This systematic review aimed to determine the effect of prehospital notification systems for major trauma patients on overall (< 30 days) and early (< 24 hours) mortality, hospital reception and trauma team presence (or equivalent) on arrival, time to critical interventions and length of hospital stay.Experimental and observational studies of pre-hospital notification compared with no notification or another type of notification in major trauma patients requiring emergency transport were included. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane ACROBAT-NRSI tool. A narrative synthesis was conducted and evidence quality rated using the GRADE criteria.Three observational studies of 72,423 major trauma patients were included. All were conducted in high-income countries in hospitals with established trauma services, with two studies undertaking retrospective analysis of registry data. Two studies reported overall mortality, one demonstrating a reduction in mortality; (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.61, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.39 to 0.94, 72,073 participants); and the other demonstrating a non-significant change (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.23 to 1.64, 81 participants). The quality of this evidence was rated as very low.Limited research on the topic constrains conclusive evidence on the effect of pre-hospital notification on patient-centred outcomes after severe trauma. Composite interventions that combine pre-hospital notification with effective actions on arrival to hospital such as trauma bay availability, trauma team presence and early access to definitive management may provide more robust evidence towards benefits of early interventions during trauma reception and resuscitation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Pub.: 04 May '17, Pinned: 04 May '17

Predicting risk and outcomes for frail older adults: an umbrella review of frailty screening tools.

Abstract: A scoping search identified systematic reviews on diagnostic accuracy and predictive ability of frailty measures in older adults. In most cases, research was confined to specific assessment measures related to a specific clinical model.To summarize the best available evidence from systematic reviews in relation to reliability, validity, diagnostic accuracy and predictive ability of frailty measures in older adults.Older adults aged 60 years or older recruited from community, primary care, long-term residential care and hospitals.Available frailty measures in older adults.Cardiovascular Health Study phenotype model, the Canadian Study of Health and Aging cumulative deficit model, Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment or other reference tests.Frailty defined as an age-related state of decreased physiological reserves characterized by an increased risk of poor clinical outcomes.Quantitative systematic reviews.A three-step search strategy was utilized to find systematic reviews, available in English, published between January 2001 and October 2015.Assessed by two independent reviewers using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal checklist for systematic reviews and research synthesis.Two independent reviewers extracted data using the standardized data extraction tool designed for umbrella reviews.Data were only presented in a narrative form due to the heterogeneity of included reviews.Five reviews with a total of 227,381 participants were included in this umbrella review. Two reviews focused on reliability, validity and diagnostic accuracy; two examined predictive ability for adverse health outcomes; and one investigated validity, diagnostic accuracy and predictive ability. In total, 26 questionnaires and brief assessments and eight frailty indicators were analyzed, most of which were applied to community-dwelling older people. The Frailty Index was examined in almost all these dimensions, with the exception of reliability, and its diagnostic and predictive characteristics were shown to be satisfactory. Gait speed showed high sensitivity, but only moderate specificity, and excellent predictive ability for future disability in activities of daily living. The Tilburg Frailty Indicator was shown to be a reliable and valid measure for frailty screening, but its diagnostic accuracy was not evaluated. Screening Letter, Timed-up-and-go test and PRISMA 7 (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) demonstrated high sensitivity and moderate specificity for identifying frailty. In general, low physical activity, variously measured, was one of the most powerful predictors of future decline in activities of daily living.Only a few frailty measures seem to be demonstrably valid, reliable and diagnostically accurate, and have good predictive ability. Among them, the Frailty Index and gait speed emerged as the most useful in routine care and community settings. However, none of the included systematic reviews provided responses that met all of our research questions on their own and there is a need for studies that could fill this gap, covering all these issues within the same study. Nevertheless, it was clear that no suitable tool for assessing frailty appropriately in emergency departments was identified.

Pub.: 12 Apr '17, Pinned: 15 Apr '17

Long-Term Mortality of Emergency Medical Services Patients.

Abstract: Emergency medical services (EMS) provides out-of-hospital care to patients with life-threatening conditions, but the long-term outcomes of EMS patients are unknown. We seek to determine the long-term mortality of EMS patients in Denmark.We analyzed linked EMS, hospital, and vital status data from 3 of 5 geographic regions in Denmark. We included events from July 1, 2011, to December 31, 2012. We classified EMS events according to primary dispatch category (unconsciousness/cardiac arrest, accidents/trauma, chest pain, dyspnea, neurologic symptoms, and other EMS patients). The primary outcome was 1-year mortality adjusted for age, sex, and Charlson comorbidity index.Among 142,125 EMS events, primary dispatch categories were unconsciousness or cardiac arrest 5,563 (3.9%), accidents or trauma 40,784 (28.7%), chest pain 20,945 (14.7%), dyspnea 9,607 (6.8%), neurologic symptoms 17,804 (12.5%), and other EMS patients 47,422 (33.4%). One-year mortality rates were unconscious or cardiac arrest 54.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 53.4% to 56.1%), accidents or trauma 7.8 (95% CI 7.5% to 8.1%), chest pain 8.5% (95% CI 8.1% to 9.0%), dyspnea 27.7% (95% CI 26.7% to 28.7%), neurologic symptoms 14.1% (95% CI 13.6% to 14.7%), and other EMS patients 11.1% (95% CI 10.8% to 11.4%). Compared with other EMS conditions, adjusted 1-year mortality was higher in unconsciousness or cardiac arrest (risk ratio [RR] 2.6; 95% CI 2.5 to 2.7), dyspnea (RR 1.5; 95% CI 1.4 to 1.5), and in neurologic symptoms (RR 1.1; 95% CI 1.0 to 1.1), but lower in chest pain (RR 0.6; 95% CI 0.6 to 0.7) and accidents or trauma (RR 0.8; 95% CI 0.8 to 0.8).EMS patients with unconsciousness or cardiac arrest, dyspnea, and neurologic symptoms are at highest risk of long-term mortality. Our results suggest a potential for outcome improvement in these patients.

Pub.: 30 Mar '17, Pinned: 30 Mar '17