The prehospital management of serious injury is a key skill required of pitch-side medical staff. Previously, specific training in sports prehospital-immediate care was lacking or not of a comparable standard to other aspects of emergency care. Many principles have been drawn from general prehospital care or in-hospital training courses. This article discusses sports prehospital- immediate care as a niche of general prehospital care, using spinal injury management as an illustration of the major differences. It highlights the need to develop the sport-specific prehospital evidence base, rather than relying exclusively on considerations relevant to prolonged immobilisation of multiply injured casualties from motor vehicle accidents, falls from height or burns. Link below to paper.
When responding to a major incident, planning must be a core part of every hospital’s emergency preparedness procedures. Within that context HMIMMS (Major Incident Medical Management & Support – The Hospital Response) provides an opportunity for all clinical and non-clinical personnel to understand its principles and adapt their own hospital plans and response accordingly, writes Brian Carlin
The need for regular table-top exercises, multi-disciplinary training programmes, and
the introduction of corporate responsibility (to make it mandatory for every hospital to test their own emergency response plan) were the main issues highlighted by some of the participants following the recent HMIMMS course in Dublin
This report describes the development of an evidence-based guideline for external hemorrhage control in the prehospital setting. This project included a systematic review of the liter- ature regarding the use of tourniquets and hemostatic agents for management of life-threatening extremity and junctional hemorrhage. Using the GRADE methodology to define the key clinical questions, an expert panel then reviewed the re- sults of the literature review, established the quality of the evidence and made recommendations for EMS care. A clini- cal care guideline is proposed for adoption by EMS systems.
Paramedic tracheal intubation has been practiced in the UK for more than 20 years and is currently a core skill for paramedics. Growing evidence suggests that tracheal intubation is not the optimal method of airway management by paramedics and may be detrimental to patient outcome. There is also evidence that the current initial training of 25 intubations performed in-hospital is inadequate and that the lack of ongoing intubation practice may compound this further. Supraglottic airway devices (SADs; e.g. laryngeal mask airway), that were not available when extended training and paramedic intubation was first introduced, are now in use in many ambulance services and are a suitable alternative pre-hospital airway device for paramedics.
Urgent analgesia is essential for all children who present in severe pain, but difficulties in obtaining venous access can delay the use of adequate opiate analgesia. Intranasal diamorphine (IND) is now in use in around 60% of emergency departments and is the preferred choice of analgesia as reported by both parents and healthcare professionals.
The ‘Pain Passport’ is a novel method of improving
the management of pain in children. It consists of
a leaflet carried by the patient which records serial pain scores. It attempts to empower patients and prompt medical and nursing staff to evaluate the child’s pain. Preliminary audit data in support of this concept are encouraging.
Over 15 years ago, Ron Walls and colleagues launched the National Emergency Airway Registry (NEAR), a multicenter effort to characterize airway management practices in United States (US) Emergency Departments (ED).1,2 Data from NEAR helped to demonstrate the competence of emergency physicians in the most advanced airway management techniques and to spotlight emergent airway management as a defining intervention in the state-of-art practice of EM.
Training requirements to perform safe prehospital endotracheal intubation (ETI) are not clearly known. This study aimed to determine differences in ETI performance between ‘proficient per- formers’ and ‘experts’ according to the Dreyfus & Dreyfus framework of expertise.
Why should anyone care that ultrasound can be used to confirm nasogastric tube position in the pre-hospital setting? To colleagues who see patients only several days after hospital admission, it may have little relevance. For those who are on the front lines in emer- gency departments (EDs), intensive care units (ICUs), and operating suites this is an important topic.
In emergency medicine, the gastric tube (GT) has many purposes, however in prehospital settings, the only indication is gastric decompression. To date, there is lack of recommendation on the diagnostic methods to verify correct GT placement in prehospital. The aim of this study is to estimate diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound in confirming gastric tubes placement in a prehospital setting.
Patients suffering head trauma are at high risk of having a concomitant cervical spine injury. A rigid cervical collar is usually applied to each patient until spinal stability is confirmed. Hard collars potentially cause venous outflow obstruction and are a nociceptive stimulus, which might elevate intracranial pressure (ICP). This study tested the hypothesis that application of a hard collar is associated with an increase in ICP.
TheCanadianC-Spine(cervical-spine)Rule(CCR)andtheNationalEmergencyX-Radi- ography Utilization Study (NEXUS) Low-Risk Criteria (NLC) are decision rules to guide the use of cervical-spine radiography in patients with trauma. It is unclear how the two decision rules compare in terms of clinical performance.
Previous studies have described the difficulties and the complexity of assessing an emergency call, and assessment protocols intended to support the emergency medical dispatcher’s (EMD) assessment have been developed and evaluated in recent years. At present, the EMD identifies about 50-70 % of patients suffering from cardiac arrest, acute myocardial infarction or stroke. The previous research has primarily been focused on specific conditions, and it is still unclear whether there are any overall factors that may influence the assessment of the call to the emergency medical communication centre (EMCC).
We aimed to compare rescuer fatigue and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) quality between standard 30:2 CPR (ST-CPR) and chest compression only CPR (CO-CPR) performed for 8 minutes on a realistic manikin by following the 2010 CPR guidelines.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and noninvasive ventilation (NIV) are frequently used inhospital for treating respiratory failure, especially in treatment of acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema and exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Early initiation of treatment is important for success and introduction already in the prehospital setting may be beneficial. Our goal was to assess the evidence for an effect of prehospital CPAP or NIV as a supplement to standard medical treatment alone on the following outcome measures; mortality, hospital length of stay, intensive care unit length of stay, and intubation rate. We undertook a systematic review based on a search in the three databases: PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane. We included 12 studies in our review, but only four of these were of acceptable size and quality to conclude on our endpoints of interest. All four studies examine prehospital CPAP. Of these, only one small, randomized controlled trial shows a reduced mortality rate and a reduced intubation rate with supplemental CPAP. The other three studies have neutral findings, but in two of these a trend toward lower intubation rate is found. The effect of supplemental NIV has only been evaluated in smaller studies with insufficient power to conclude on our endpoints. None of these studies have shown an effect on neither mortality nor intubation rate, but two small, randomized controlled trials show a reduction in intensive care unit length of stay and a trend toward lower intubation rate. The risk of both type two errors and publication bias is evident, and the findings are not consistent enough to make solid conclusion on supplemental prehospital NIV. Large, randomized controlled trials regarding the effect of NIV and CPAP as supplement to standard medical treatment alone, in the prehospital setting, are needed.
Effective treatment of stroke is time dependent. Pre-hospital management is an important link in reducing the time from occurrence of stroke symptoms to effective treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate time used by emergency medical services (EMS) for stroke patients during a five-year period in order to identify potential delays and evaluate the reorganization of EMS in Copenhagen in 2009.
Background: To investigate the injury pattern, severity, and mortality of elderly patients hospitalized for treatment of trauma following fall accidents.
The aim of this retrospective study is to investigate the therapeutic benefits and the bleeding risks of venovenous extracorporeal life support (VV-ECLS) when used for adult posttraumatic respiratory distress syndrome (posttraumatic ARDS).
Hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy is the main determinant of clinical outcome after cardiac arrest. The study was designed to determine long-term neurological and psychological status in cardiac arrest survivors, as well as to compare neuropsychological outcomes between patients treated with mild therapeutic hypothermia (MTH) and patients who did not undergo hypothermia treatment.
The aim of this study was to determine the early outcomes of using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in near-drowning patients with cardiac or pulmonary failure.
The incidence of cervical spine fractures (CS-fx) in the general population is sparingly assessed. The aim of the current study was to estimate the incidence of traumatic CS-fx and of open surgery of cervical spine injuries in the Norwegian population.
There are few studies on drowning-related out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in which patients are followed from the scene through to hospital discharge. This study aims to describe this population and their outcomes in the state of Victoria (Australia).
During cold weather months in much of the country, the temperatures in which prehospital care is delivered creates the potential for inadvertently cool intravenous fluids to be administered to patients during their transport and care by emergency medical services (EMS). There is some potential for patient harm from unintentional infusion of cool intravenous fluids. Prehospital providers in these cold weather environments are likely using fluids that are well below room temperature when prehospital intravenous fluid (IVF) warming techniques are not being employed. It was hypothesized that cold ambient temperatures during winter months in the study location would lead to the inadvertent infusion of cold intravenous fluids during prehospital patient care.
Emergency medical technicians intubate patients in unfamiliar surroundings and with less than ideal positioning. This study was designed to evaluate advanced life support (ALS) emergency medical technicians' (EMTs) ability to successfully intubate a simulated airway using a video-assisted semi-rigid fiberoptic stylet, the Clarus Video System (CVS).
This project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an innovative educational intervention in enhancing clinical decision making related to the management of hypertension in general practice. The relatively low level of uptake of clinical practice guidelines by clinicians is widely recognised as a problem that impacts on clinical outcomes. This project addresses this problem with a focus on hypertension guidelines. Hypertension is the most frequently managed problem in general practice but evidence suggests that management of Hypertension in general practice is sub-optimal.
Call taker triage of calls to the 112 emergency number, can be error prone because rapid decisions must be made based on limited information. Here we investigated the preventability and common characteristics of same-day deaths among patients who called 112 and were not assigned an ambulance with lights and sirens by the Emergency Medical Communication Centre (EMCC).
Motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) are the second most common injury mechanism resulting in emergency department (ED) visits by older adults. MVCs result in substantial pain and psychological distress among younger individuals, but little is known about the occurrence of these symptoms in older individuals. We describe the frequency of and characteristics associated with pain, distress, and anticipated time for physical and emotional recovery for older adults presenting to the ED after MVC in comparison to younger adults.
In 2011 the Hungarian Air Ambulance Nonprofit Limited Company introduced a new Rapid
Sequence Intubation standard operating procedure using a template from London’s Air
Ambulance. This replaced a previous ad-hoc and unsafe prehospital advanced airway
management practice. It was hoped that this would increase clinical standards including
internationally comparable results. All Rapid Sequence Intubations performed by the units of
the Hungarian Air Ambulance under the new procedure between June 2011 and November
2013 were reviewed in a retrospective database analysis. During this period the air ambulance
units completed 4880 missions with 433 intubations performed according to the new
procedure. The rate of intubations that were successful on first attempt was 95.4% (413),
while intubation was successful overall in 99.1% (429) of the cases; there was no failed
airway. 90 complications were noted with 73 (16.9%) patients. Average on scene time was 49
minutes (ranging between: 15–110 minutes). This data shows that it is possible to effectively
change a system that was in place for decades by implementing a new robust system that is
based on a good template.
The incidence of hypothermia is difficult to evaluate, and the data concerning the morbidity and mortality rates do not seem to fully represent the problem. The aim of the study was to estimate the actual prevalence of accidental hypothermia in Poland, as well as the methods of diagnosis and management procedures used in emergency rooms (ERs).
Many patients seeking emergency care are under the influence of alcohol, which in many cases implies a differential diagnostic problem. For this reason early objective alcohol screening is of importance not to falsely assign the medical condition to intake of alcohol and thus secure a correct medical assessment.
The high job stress among ambulance personnel is a widely known phenomenon. Purpose: to asses the self reported health status of ambulance workers.
Airway management to ensure sufficient gas exchange is of major importance in emergency care. The accepted basic technique is to maintain an open airway and perform artificial ventilation in emergency situations is bag-valve mask (BVM) ventilation with manual airway management without airway adjuncts or with an oropharyngeal tube (OPA) only. Endotracheal intubation (ETI) is often referred to as the golden standard of airway management, but is associated with low success rates and significant insertion-related complications when performed by non-anaesthetists. Supraglottic devices (SADs) are one alternative to ETI in these situations, but there is limited evidence regarding the use of SAD in non-cardiac arrest situations. LMA Supreme (LMA-S) is a new SAD which theoretically has an advantage concerning the risk of aspiration due to an oesophageal inlet gastric tube port.
To study functional neurologic and cognitive outcome and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in a cohort of patients included in a randomised controlled trial on glucose control following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) from ventricular fibrillation (VF) treated with therapeutic hypothermia.
Traumatic injury and mental health disorders are co-associated. Early identification of depression, anxiety and stress following injury, and subsequent preventive intervention, may reduce the long-term symptoms and negative impacts associated with depression and anxiety. The purpose of the study was to determine the incidence, severity and predictors of depression, anxiety and stress in injured patients in the acute phase of care, and at six months following injury, as well as the effectiveness of an in-hospital screening tool.
Wasp sting is not an uncommon incident. Around 56% to 94% of the population is stung at least once in their lifetime by a member of the order Hymenoptera which includes wasps, bees, and ants. The response to a wasp sting may vary from mild local reaction to severe systemic and anaphylactic reactions. The clinical picture and mortality rate tend to be more severe in adults compared to children. We present a 32-year-old agricultural worker who was bitten by multiple wasps while on a coconut tree. In spite of the heavy load of venom due to the multiple bites, the patient did not develop anaphylaxis. However, a delayed reaction did occur within 48 h in the form of severe multi-organ dysfunction. There was significant improvement by around 2 weeks; but it took another 6 months for the serum creatinine to normalize. This case highlights the occupational risk of Hymenoptera envenomation, the life-threatening complications that may follow and which may even be delayed as was the case with this patient, and the value of emergency care and intensive management which can result in a favorable clinical outcome.
Although the international guidelines emphasize early and systematic use of rescue intubation techniques, there is little evidence to support this notion. We aimed to test the hypothesis that preceding multiple failed intubation attempts are associated with a decreased success rate on the first rescue intubation in emergency departments (EDs).
Multiple failed intubation attempts are associated with decreased success rates on the first rescue intubation in the emergency department- a retrospective analysis of multicentre observational data.pdf
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.
In The Netherlands, standard prehospital trauma care is provided by emergency medical services and can be supplemented with advanced trauma care by Mobile Medical Teams. Due to observed over and undertriage in the dispatch of the Mobile Medical Team for major trauma patients, the accuracy of the dispatch criteria has been disputed. In order to obtain recommendations to invigorate the dispatch criteria, this study aimed at reaching consensus in expert opinion on the question; which acute trauma patient is in need of care by a Mobile Medical Team? In this paper we describe the protocol of the DENIM study (a Delphi-procedure on the identification of prehospital trauma patients in need of care by Mobile Medical Teams).
In prehospital emergency medical services, one of the key factors in the successful delivery of appropriate care is the efficient management and supervision of the area’s emergency medical services units. Paramedic field supervisors have an important role in this task. One of the key factors in the daily work of paramedic field supervisors is ensuring that they have enough of the right type of information when co-operating with other authorities and making decisions. However, a gap in information sharing still exists especially due to information overload. The aim of this study was to find out what type of critical information paramedic field supervisors need during multi-authority missions in order to manage their emergency medical services area successfully. The study also investigated both the flow of information, and interactions with the paramedic field supervisors and the differences that occur depending on the incident type.
Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) orders in patients with traumatic injury are insufficiently described. The objective is to describe the epidemiology and outcomes of DNR orders in trauma patients.
Meta-analyses of nonrandomized studies have provided conflicting data on therapeutic hypothermia, or targeted temperature management (TTM), at 33°C in patients successfully resuscitated after nonshockable cardiac arrest. Nevertheless, the latest recommendations issued by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation and by the European Resuscitation Council recommend therapeutic hypothermia. New data are available on the adverse effects of therapeutic hypothermia, notably infectious complications. The risk/benefit ratio of therapeutic hypothermia after nonshockable cardiac arrest is unclear.
Haemorrhage is a leading cause of death in paediatric trauma patients. Predefined massive transfusion protocols (MTP) have the potential to significantly reduce mortality by treating haemorrhagic shock and coagulopathy, in adhering to the principles of haemostatic resuscitation with rapid administration of balanced ratios of packed red blood cells (RBC), fresh frozen plasma (FFP) and platelets (PLT).
Because of their substantial physiological reserve, initial vital signs may not be good predictors of early haemorrhage in paediatric patients. Determining the triggers for MTP activation in paediatric trauma patients is challenging, and the optimal blood product ratio that will increase survival in massively bleeding paediatric trauma patients has yet to be determined. To date, only a few small descriptive studies and case reports have investigated the use of predefined MTP in paediatric trauma patients.
MTP with increased FFP or PLT to RBC ratios combined with viscoelastic haemostatic assay (VHA) guided haemostatic resuscitation have not yet been tested in paediatric populations but based on results from adult trauma patients, this therapeutic approach seems promising.
Considering the high prevalence of early coagulopathy in paediatric trauma patients, immediate identification and implementation of VHA-directed treatment of traumatic coagulopathy could ensure faster haemostasis and thereby, potentially, reduce bleeding as well as the total transfusion requirements and further improve outcome in paediatric trauma patients. Prospective randomized trials investigating this therapeutic approach in paediatric trauma patients are highly warranted.
Blunt chest trauma is associated with a high risk of morbidity and mortality. Complications in blunt chest trauma develop secondary to rib fractures as a consequence of pain and inadequate ventilation. This literature review aimed to examine clinical interventions in rib fractures and their impact on patient and hospital outcomes. A systematic search strategy, using a structured clinical question and defined search terms, was performed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library. The search was limited to studies of adult humans from 1990-March 2014 and yielded 977 articles, which were screened against inclusion/exclusion criteria. A hand search was then performed of the articles that met the eligibility criteria, 40 articles were included in this review. Each article was assessed using a quantitative cri- tiquing guideline. From these articles, interventions were categorised into four main groups: analgesia, surgical fixation, clinical protocols and other interventions. Surgical fixation was effective in patients with flail chest at improving patient outcomes. Epidural analgesia, compared to both patient controlled analgesia and intravenous narcotics in patients with three or more rib fractures improved both hospital and patient outcomes, including pain relief and pulmonary function. Clinical pathways improve outcomes in patients ≥ 65 with rib fractures. The majority
of reviewed papers recommended a multi-disciplinary approach including allied health (chest physiotherapy and nutritionist input), nursing, medical (analgesic review) and surgical intervention (stabilisation of flail chest). However there was a paucity of evidence describing methods to implement and evaluate such multidisciplinary interventions. Isolated interventions can be effective in improving patient and health service outcomes for patients with blunt chest injuries, however the literature recommends implementing strategies such as clinical pathways to improve the care and outcomes of thesetre patients. The implementation of evidence-practice interventions in this area is scarce, and evaluation of interventions scarcer still.
Major incidents are complex, dynamic and bewildering task environments characterised by simultaneous, rapidly changing events, uncertainty and ill-structured problems. Efficient management, communication, decision-making and allocation of scarce medical resources at the chaotic scene of a major incident is challenging and often relies on sparse information and data. Communication and information sharing is primarily voice-to-voice through phone or radio on specified radio frequencies. Visual cues are abundant and difficult to communicate between teams and team members that are not co-located.
The aim was to assess the concept and feasibility of using a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) system to support remote sensing in simulated major incident exercises.
Airway management during resuscitation attempts is pivotal for treating hypoxia, and endotracheal intubation is the standard procedure. This German Resuscitation Registry analysis investigates the influence of airway management on primary outcomes after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, in a physician-based emergency system.
Supraglottic devices are helpful for inexperienced providers who perform ventilation in emergency situations. Most supraglottic devices do not allow secondary tracheal intubation through the device. The novel intubating laryngeal tube (iLTS-D®) and the intubating laryngeal mask (FastrachTM) are devices that offer supraglottic ventilation and secondary tracheal intubation.
Therapeutic hypothermia, recently termed target temperature management (TTM), is the cornerstone of neuroprotective strategy. Dating to the pioneer works of Fay, nearly 75 years of basic and clinical evidence support its therapeutic value. Although hypothermia decreases the metabolic rate to restore the supply and demand of O2, it has other tissue-specific effects, such as decreasing excitotoxicity, limiting inflammation, preventing ATP depletion, reducing free radical production and also intracellular calcium overload to avoid apoptosis. Currently, mild hypothermia (33°C) has become a standard in post-resuscitative care and perinatal asphyxia. However, evidence indicates that hypothermia could be useful in neurologic injuries, such as stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage and traumatic brain injury. In this review, we discuss the basic and clinical evidence supporting the use of TTM in critical care for acute brain injury that extends beyond care after cardiac arrest, such as for ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and traumatic brain injury. We review the historical perspectives of TTM, provide an overview of the techniques and protocols and the pathophysiologic consequences of hypothermia. In addition, we include our experience of managing patients with acute brain injuries treated using endovascular hypothermia.
Point-of Care analysis is increasingly being applied in the prehospital scene. Arterial blood gas analysis is one of many new initiatives adding to the diagnostic tools of the prehospital physician. In this paper we present a study on the feasibility of the Radiometer ABL-90 in a ground-based Mobile Emergency Care Unit and report on some clinical situations in which the apparatus has proven beneficial.
Despite numerous studies on prehospital airway management, results are difficult to compare due to inconsistent or heterogeneous data. The objective of this study was to assess advanced airway management from international physician-staffed helicopter emergency medical services.
This study aims to remodel the Broselow Pediatric Emergency Tape for the Indian pediatric population. The Broselow tape overestimates the heights of the Indian pediatric population and remits inaccurate predicted weights for all color zones with varying degrees and could result in overresuscitation of Indian children in emergency settings. The Indian children are underweight for their age and height.
Major incidents are resource-demanding situations that require urgent and effective medical management. The possibility to extract learning from them is therefore important. Comparative analysis of information based on uniform data collection from previous incidents may facilitate learning. The Major Incident Reporting Collaborators have developed a template for reporting of the medical pre-hospital response to major incidents. The template is accompanied by an open access webpage (www.majorincidentreporting.org) for online reporting and access to published reports. This commentary presents the experiences from the first year of implementing the template including a presentation of the five published reports.