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P058: Paramedic recognition and management of anaphylaxis in the prehospital setting

  • M. Welsford (a1), R. Gupta (a1), K. Samoraj (a1), S. Sandhanwalia (a1), M. Kerslake (a1), L. Ryan (a1) and C. Shortt (a1)...

Abstract

Introduction: Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition that paramedics are equipped to treat effectively in the field. Current literature suggests improvements in paramedic recognition and treatment of anaphylaxis could be made. The aim of this study was to compare the proportion of cases of anaphylaxis appropriately treated with epinephrine by paramedics before and after a targeted educational intervention. Methods: This was a retrospective medical records review of patients with anaphylaxis managed by primary or advanced care paramedics in five Emergency Medical Service areas in Ontario, before and after an educational module was introduced. This module included education on anaphylaxis diagnosis, recognition, treatment priorities, and feedback on the recognition and management from the before period. All paramedic call records (PCRs) coded as local allergic reaction or anaphylaxis during 12-month periods before and after the intervention were reviewed by trained data abstractors to determine if patients met an international definition of anaphylaxis. The details of interventions performed by the paramedics were used to determine primary and secondary outcomes. Results: Of the 600 PCRs reviewed, 99/120 PCRs in the before and 300/480 in the after period were included. Of the charts included, 63/99 (63.6%) in the before and 136/300 (45.3%) in the after period met criteria for anaphylaxis (p=0.002). Of the cases meeting anaphylaxis criteria, 41/63 (65.1%) in the before and 88/136 (64.7%) in the after period were correctly identified as anaphylaxis (p=0.96). Epinephrine was administered in 37/63 (58.7%) of anaphylaxis cases in the before period and 76/136 (55.9%) in the after period (p=0.70). Anaphylactic patients with only two-system involvement received epinephrine in 20/40 (50.0%) cases in the before period and 45/93 (48.4%) in the after period (p=0.86). Conclusion: There are gaps in paramedic recognition and management of anaphylaxis, particularly in cases of two-system involvement. These gaps persisted after the implementation of an educational intervention. Other quality interventions and periodic refreshers may be necessary to improve prehospital treatment of anaphylaxis. Limitations include an increase in overall cases and decrease in rate of true anaphylaxis in the after period, which may relate to better case identification after electronic PCR implementation and changes in paramedic recognition.

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