Paramedic Recognition of Sepsis in the Prehospital Setting: A Prospective Observational Study.
ABSTRACT: Background. Patients with sepsis benefit from early diagnosis and treatment. Accurate paramedic recognition of sepsis is important to initiate care promptly for patients who arrive by Emergency Medical Services. Methods. Prospective observational study of adult patients (age ? 16 years) transported by paramedics to the emergency department (ED) of a Canadian tertiary hospital. Paramedic identification of sepsis was assessed using a novel prehospital sepsis screening tool developed by the study team and compared to blind, independent documentation of ED diagnoses by attending emergency physicians (EPs). Specificity, sensitivity, accuracy, positive and negative predictive value, and likelihood ratios were calculated with 95% confidence intervals. Results. Overall, 629 patients were included in the analysis. Sepsis was identified by paramedics in 170 (27.0%) patients and by EPs in 71 (11.3%) patients. Sensitivity of paramedic sepsis identification compared to EP diagnosis was 73.2% (95% CI 61.4-83.0), while specificity was 78.8% (95% CI 75.2-82.2). The accuracy of paramedic identification of sepsis was 78.2% (492/629, 52 true positive, 440 true negative). Positive and negative predictive values were 30.6% (95% CI 23.8-38.1) and 95.9% (95% CI 93.6-97.5), respectively. Conclusion. Using a novel prehospital sepsis screening tool, paramedic recognition of sepsis had greater specificity than sensitivity with reasonable accuracy.
Project description:To determine whether emergency physicians (EPs) and prehospital emergency medical services (EMS) personnel differ in their assessment of motor vehicle crash (MVC) severity and the potential for serious injury when viewing crash scene photographs.Attending and resident EPs, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) from a single emergency medicine system used a web-based survey platform to rate the severity of 100 crash photographs on a 10-point Likert scale (Crash Score) and the potential for serious injury on a 0-100% scale (Injury Score). Serious injury was defined as skull fracture or intracranial bleeding, spine fracture or spinal cord injury, intrathoracic or intraabdominal injury, or long bone fracture. Crash and Injury Scores were stratified into EP and paramedic/EMT (EMS) groups and the mean score was calculated for each photo. Spearman rank correlation coefficients with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) and Bland-Altman plots were constructed to assess agreement. Secondary analyses were performed after categorizing data into quartiles based on participants' estimations of MVC severity.A total of 54 attending and 53 resident EPs, 156 paramedics, and 34 EMTs were invited to participate in the survey. Of these, 39 (72%) attending and 46 (87%) resident EPs, 107 (69%) paramedics, and 17 (50%) EMTs completed the survey. A total of 183 (88%) surveys were completed in full. The overall Crash Score correlation coefficient between EPs and EMS was 0.98 (95% CI, 0.97-0.99). The Crash Score correlation coefficients for each quartile were 0.86 (0.57-0.97), 0.93 (0.85-0.96), 0.58 (0.16-0.85), and 0.88 (0.66-0.97), respectively. The overall Injury Score correlation coefficient between EPs and EMS was 0.98 (0.88-0.97). The Injury Score correlation coefficients for each quartile were 0.94 (0.48-0.91), 0.76 (0.50-0.92), 0.80 (0.69-1.00), and 0.94 (0.57-0.97), respectively.Although overall agreement between EPs and EMS personnel was excellent, differences in estimation of crash severity and potential for injury were identified among crashes estimated to be moderate in severity.
Project description:Importance:Early administration of intravenous fluids is recommended for all patients with sepsis, but the association of this treatment with mortality may depend on the patient's initial blood pressure. Objective:To test the association between early administration of intravenous fluids by paramedics and in-hospital mortality among patients with sepsis, accounting for patients' initial blood pressure. Design, Setting, and Participants:Cohort study in which multiple analyses were conducted using a 1-year (from April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2016) cohort of 1871 patients with sepsis who were transported to the hospital by paramedics from a large emergency medical services system in Alberta, Canada. Multivariable logistic regression and a propensity-matched analysis adjusting for baseline patient characteristics were used to minimize confounding by indication and test the association between early administration of intravenous fluids by paramedics and in-hospital mortality. Nonparametric additive regression was used to assess the association of early administration of intravenous fluids with prehospital and in-hospital treatment times. Exposures:Intravenous fluids administered by paramedics at the point of first contact and during transportation to the hospital. Main Outcomes and Measures:The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes included prehospital and emergency department treatment times. Results:A total of 1871 patients with sepsis were identified (955 women and 916 men; median age, 77 years [interquartile range, 64-85 years]), with an overall in-hospital mortality of 28.2% (n?=?528). More than half of patients (1015 [54.2%]) received intravenous fluids from paramedics; the median volume provided was 400 mL (interquartile range, 250-500 mL). The association of intravenous fluids with mortality depended on the patient's initial systolic blood pressure (range, 42-222 mm Hg; P?<?.001 for interaction). For example, in a typical patient with an initial systolic blood pressure of 100 mm Hg, intravenous fluids were associated with decreased mortality (odds ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.56-0.95), but for a typical patient with the median initial systolic blood pressure of 125 mm Hg, intravenous fluids were not associated with in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 1.41; 95% CI, 0.81-2.44). Similar results were obtained in the propensity-matched analysis. The administration of intravenous fluids was associated with increased prehospital time compared with patients who did not receive intravenous fluids (median difference, 3.2 minutes; 95% CI, 1.7-4.7 minutes) but was not associated with time to assessment in the emergency department (median difference, 2.4 minutes; 95% CI, -2.4 to 7.3 minutes). Conclusions and Relevance:Intravenous fluids provided by paramedics were associated with reduced in-hospital mortality for patients with sepsis and hypotension but not for those with a higher initial systolic blood pressure.
Project description:It has been suggested that prehospital care teams that can provide advanced prehospital interventions may decrease the transit time through the ED to CT scan and subsequent surgery. This study is an exploratory analysis of data from the Head Injury Retrieval Trial (HIRT) examining the relationship between prehospital team type and time intervals during the prehospital and ED phases of management.Three prehospital care models were compared; road paramedics, and two physician staffed Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) - HIRT HEMS and the Greater Sydney Area (GSA) HEMS. Data on prehospital and ED time intervals for patients who were randomised into the HIRT were extracted from the trial database. Additionally, data on interventions at the scene and in the ED, plus prehospital entrapment rate was also extracted. Subgroups of patients that were not trapped or who were intubated at the scene were also specifically examined.A total of 3125 incidents were randomised in the trial yielding 505 cases with significant injury that were treated by road paramedics, 302 patients treated by the HIRT HEMS and 45 patients treated by GSA HEMS. The total time from emergency call to CT scan was non-significantly faster in the HIRT HEMS group compared with road paramedics (medians of 1.9 hours vs. 2.1 hours P = 0.43) but the rate of prehospital intubation was 41% higher in the HIRT HEMS group (46.4% vs. 5.3% P?<?0.001). Most time intervals for the GSA HEMS were significantly longer with a regression analysis indicating that GSA HEMS scene times were 13 (95% CI, 7-18) minutes longer than the HIRT HEMS independent of injury severity, entrapment or interventions performed on scene.This study suggests that well-rehearsed and efficient interventions carried out on-scene, by a highly trained physician and paramedic team can allow earlier critical care treatment of severely injured patients without increasing the time elapsed between injury and hospital-based intervention. There is also indication that role specialisation improves time intervals in physician staffed HEMS which should be confirmed with purpose designed trials.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Within the UK, chest pain is one of the most common reasons for emergency (999) ambulance calls and the most common reason for emergency hospital admission. Diagnosing acute coronary syndromes (ACS) in a patient with chest pain in the prehospital setting by a paramedic is challenging. The Troponin-only Manchester Acute Coronary Syndromes (T-MACS) decision rule is a validated tool used in the emergency department (ED) to stratify patients with suspected ACS following a single blood test.We are seeking to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the T-MACS decision aid algorithm to 'rule out' ACS when used in the prehospital environment with point-of-care troponin assays. If successful, this could allow paramedics to immediately rule out ACS for patients in the 'very low risk' group and avoid the need for transport to the ED, while also risk stratifying other patients using a single blood sample taken in the prehospital setting. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:We will recruit patients who call emergency (999) ambulance services where the responding paramedic suspects cardiac chest pain. The data required to apply T-MACS will be prospectively recorded by paramedics who are responding to each patient. Paramedics will be required to draw a venous blood sample at the time of arrival to the patient. Blood samples will later be tested in batches for cardiac troponin, using commercially available troponin assays. The primary outcome will be a diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, established at the time of initial hospital admission. The secondary outcomes will include any major adverse cardiac events within 30 days of enrolment. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The study obtained approval from the National Research Ethics Service (reference: 18/ES/0101) and the Health Research Authority. We will publish our findings in a high impact general medical journal. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:Registration number: ClinicalTrials.gov, study ID: NCT03561051.
Project description:Medication dosing errors remain commonplace and may result in potentially life-threatening outcomes, particularly for pediatric patients where dosing often requires weight-based calculations. Novel medication delivery systems that may reduce dosing errors resonate with national healthcare priorities. Our goal was to evaluate novel, prefilled medication syringes labeled with color-coded volumes corresponding to the weight-based dosing of the Broselow Tape, compared to conventional medication administration, in simulated prehospital pediatric resuscitation scenarios.We performed a prospective, block-randomized, cross-over study, where 10 full-time paramedics each managed two simulated pediatric arrests in situ using either prefilled, color-coded syringes (intervention) or their own medication kits stocked with conventional ampoules (control). Each paramedic was paired with two emergency medical technicians to provide ventilations and compressions as directed. The ambulance patient compartment and the intravenous medication port were video recorded. Data were extracted from video review by blinded, independent reviewers.Median time to delivery of all doses for the intervention and control groups was 34 (95% CI: 28-39) seconds and 42 (95% CI: 36-51) seconds, respectively (difference=9 [95% CI: 4-14] seconds). Using the conventional method, 62 doses were administered with 24 (39%) critical dosing errors; using the prefilled, color-coded syringe method, 59 doses were administered with 0 (0%) critical dosing errors (difference=39%, 95% CI: 13-61%).A novel color-coded, prefilled syringe decreased time to medication administration and significantly reduced critical dosing errors by paramedics during simulated prehospital pediatric resuscitations.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To explore paramedics' experience of delivering fascia iliaca compartment block (FICB) to patients with suspected hip fracture at the scene of injury. DESIGN:Focus groups within a randomised controlled trial. SETTING:Paramedics based at ambulance stations in the catchment area of one Emergency Department in South Wales, recruited and trained in a feasibility study about an alternative to routine prehospital pain management for patients with suspected hip fracture. PARTICIPANTS:11 paramedics. INTERVENTION:Paramedic-administered FICB to patients with suspected hip fracture. We randomly allocated eligible patients to FICB, a local anaesthetic injection directly into the hip region-or usual care, most commonly morphine - using audited scratch cards. OUTCOMES:Paramedics' experiences of administering FICB gathered through thematic analysis of interview transcripts by two researchers, one paramedic and one lay member. RESULTS:Respondents believed that FICB was a suitable intervention for paramedics to deliver. It aligned with routine practice and was within people's capabilities. They said it took up to 10 minutes longer than usual care to prepare and deliver, in part due to nervousness and unfamiliarity with a new procedure. They praised the training provided but said they were anxious about causing harm by injecting into the wrong location. Confidence increased after one paramedic team successfully treated a patient for local anaesthetic toxicity. Reported challenges related to the emergency context: patients often waited many hours for ambulance arrival; moving patients exacerbated their pain; family and neighbours were present as paramedics administered treatment. CONCLUSIONS:Paramedics are willing and able to administer FICB to patients with suspected hip fracture before ambulance transport to hospital. Feasibility study findings will inform further research. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:ISRCTN60065373; Pre results.
Project description:This study estimates the prevalence of injured patients requiring prehospital supplemental oxygen based on existing recommendations, and determines whether actual use exceeds those recommendations.Prehospital oxygen use and continuous peripheral oxygen saturation measurements were prospectively collected on a purposive sample of injured civilians transported to an urban level 1 trauma center by paramedics. Structured chart review determined injury characteristics and outcomes. Supplemental oxygen administration indications were hypoxemia (peripheral oxygen saturation ? 90%), hemorrhagic shock (systolic blood pressure < 100 mmHg), or paramedic suspicion of traumatic brain injury.Paramedics enrolled 224/290 screened subjects. Median (range) age was 34 (18-84) years, 48.7% were nonwhite, 75.4% were male, and Injury Severity Score was 5 (1-75). Half (54.5%) were admitted; 36.2% sustained a penetrating injury. None underwent prehospital endotracheal intubation. Hypoxemia occurred in 86 (38.4%), paramedics suspected traumatic brain injury in 22 (9.8%), and 20 (8.9%) were hypotensive. Any indication for supplemental oxygen (107/224 [47.8%, 95%CI 41.3%-54.3%]) and prehospital administration of oxygen (141/224 [62.9%, 95%CI 56.2%-69.2%]) was common. Many (35/141 [24.8%]) received oxygen without indication.On the basis of current guidelines, less than half of adult trauma patients have an indication for prehospital supplemental oxygen, yet is frequently administered in the absence of clinical indication.
Project description:Importance:Rapid thrombolysis treatment for acute ischemic stroke reduces disability among patients who are carefully selected, but service delivery is challenging. Objective:To determine whether an enhanced Paramedic Acute Stroke Treatment Assessment (PASTA) intervention increased hospital thrombolysis rates. Design, Setting, and Participants:This multicenter, cluster randomized clinical trial took place between December 2015 and July 2018 in 3 ambulance services and 15 hospitals. Clusters were paramedics based within ambulance stations prerandomized to PASTA or standard care. Patients attended by study paramedics were enrolled after admission if a hospital specialist confirmed a stroke and paramedic assessment started within 4 hours of onset. Allocation to PASTA or standard care reflected the attending paramedic's randomization status. Interventions:The PASTA intervention included additional prehospital information collection, a structured hospital handover, practical assistance up to 15 minutes after handover, a predeparture care checklist, and clinician feedback. Standard care reflected national guidelines. Main Outcomes and Measures:Primary outcome was the proportion of patients receiving thrombolysis. Secondary outcomes included time intervals and day 90 health (with poor status defined as a modified Rankin Score >2, to represent dependency or death). Results:A total of 11?478 patients were screened following ambulance transportation; 1391 were eligible and approached, but 177 did not consent. Of 1214 patients enrolled (mean [SD] age, 74.7 [13.2] years; 590 women [48.6%]), 500 were assessed by 242 paramedics trained in the PASTA intervention and 714 were assessed by 355 paramedics continuing with standard care. The paramedics trained in the PASTA intervention took a mean of 13.4 (95% CI, 9.4-17.4) minutes longer (P?<?.001) to complete patient care episodes. There was less thrombolysis among the patients in the PASTA group, but this was not significant (PASTA group, 197 of 500 patients [39.4%] vs the standard care group, 319 of 714 patients [44.7%]; adjusted odds ratio, 0.81 [95% CI, 0.61-1.08]; P?=?.15). Time from a paramedic on scene to thrombolysis was a mean of 8.5 minutes longer in the PASTA group (98.1 [37.6] minutes) vs the standard care group (89.4 [31.1] minutes; P?=?.01). Poor health outcomes did not differ significantly but occurred less often among patients in the PASTA group (313 of 489 patients [64.0%]) vs the standard care group (461 of 690 patients [66.8%]; adjusted odds ratio, 0.86 [95% CI, 0.60-1.20]; P?=?.39). Conclusions and Relevance:An enhanced paramedic assessment did not facilitate thrombolysis delivery. The unexpected combination of thrombolysis and health outcomes suggests possible alternative influences on treatment decisions by the intervention, requiring further evaluation. Trial Registration:ISRCTN Registry Identifier: ISRCTN12418919.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To evaluate effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of Computerised Clinical Decision Support (CCDS) for paramedics attending older people who fall.<h4>Design</h4>Cluster trial randomised by paramedic; modelling.<h4>Setting</h4>13 ambulance stations in two UK emergency ambulance services.<h4>Participants</h4>42 of 409 eligible paramedics, who attended 779 older patients for a reported fall.<h4>Interventions</h4>Intervention paramedics received CCDS on Tablet computers to guide patient care. Control paramedics provided care as usual. One service had already installed electronic data capture.<h4>Main outcome measures</h4>Effectiveness: patients referred to falls service, patient reported quality of life and satisfaction, processes of care.<h4>Safety</h4>Further emergency contacts or death within one month.<h4>Cost-effectiveness</h4>Costs and quality of life. We used findings from published Community Falls Prevention Trial to model cost-effectiveness.<h4>Results</h4>17 intervention paramedics used CCDS for 54 (12.4%) of 436 participants. They referred 42 (9.6%) to falls services, compared with 17 (5.0%) of 343 participants seen by 19 control paramedics [Odds ratio (OR) 2.04, 95% CI 1.12 to 3.72]. No adverse events were related to the intervention. Non-significant differences between groups included: subsequent emergency contacts (34.6% versus 29.1%; OR 1.27, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.72); quality of life (mean SF12 differences: MCS -0.74, 95% CI -2.83 to +1.28; PCS -0.13, 95% CI -1.65 to +1.39) and non-conveyance (42.0% versus 36.7%; OR 1.13, 95% CI 0.84 to 1.52). However ambulance job cycle time was 8.9 minutes longer for intervention patients (95% CI 2.3 to 15.3). Average net cost of implementing CCDS was £208 per patient with existing electronic data capture, and £308 without. Modelling estimated cost per quality-adjusted life-year at £15,000 with existing electronic data capture; and £22,200 without.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Intervention paramedics referred twice as many participants to falls services with no difference in safety. CCDS is potentially cost-effective, especially with existing electronic data capture.<h4>Trial registration</h4>ISRCTN Register ISRCTN10538608.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Prehospital scales have been developed to identify patients with acute cerebral ischemia (ACI) because of large vessel occlusion (LVO) for direct routing to Comprehensive Stroke Centers (CSCs), but few have been validated in the prehospital setting, and their impact on routing of patients with intracranial hemorrhage has not been delineated. The purpose of this study was to validate the Los Angeles Motor Scale (LAMS) for LVO and CSC-appropriate (LVO ACI and intracranial hemorrhage patients) recognition and compare the LAMS to other scales. METHODS:The performance of the LAMS, administered prehospital by paramedics to consecutive ambulance trial patients, was assessed in identifying (1) LVOs among all patients with ACI and (2) CSC-appropriate patients among all suspected strokes. Additionally, the LAMS administered postarrival was compared concurrently with 6 other scales proposed for paramedic use and the full National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale. RESULTS:Among 94 patients, age was 70 (±13) and 49% female. Final diagnoses were ACI in 76% (because of LVO in 48% and non-LVO in 28%), intracranial hemorrhage in 19%, and neurovascular mimic in 5%. The LAMS administered by paramedics in the field performed moderately well in identifying LVO among patients with ACI (C statistic, 0.79; accuracy, 0.72) and CSC-appropriate among all suspected stroke transports (C statistic, 0.80; accuracy, 0.72). When concurrently performed in the emergency department postarrival, the LAMS showed comparable or better accuracy versus the 7 comparator scales, for LVO among ACI (accuracies LAMS, 0.70; other scales, 0.62-0.68) and CSC-appropriate (accuracies LAMS, 0.73; other scales, 0.56-0.73). CONCLUSIONS:The LAMS performed in the field by paramedics identifies LVO and CSC-appropriate patients with good accuracy. The LAMS performs comparably or better than more extended prehospital scales and the full National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale.