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Mental health problems are elevated in autistic individuals but there is limited evidence on the developmental course of problems across childhood. We compare the level and growth of anxious-depressed, behavioral and attention problems in an autistic and typically developing (TD) cohort.
Latent growth curve models were applied to repeated parent-report Child Behavior Checklist data from age 2–10 years in an inception cohort of autistic children (Pathways, N = 397; 84% boys) and a general population TD cohort (Wirral Child Health and Development Study; WCHADS; N = 884, 49% boys). Percentile plots were generated to quantify the differences between autistic and TD children.
Autistic children showed elevated levels of mental health problems, but this was substantially reduced by accounting for IQ and sex differences between the autistic and TD samples. There was small differences in growth patterns; anxious-depressed problems were particularly elevated at preschool and attention problems at late childhood. Higher family income predicted lower base-level on all three dimensions, but steeper increase of anxious-depressed problems. Higher IQ predicted lower level of attention problems and faster decline over childhood. Female sex predicted higher level of anxious-depressed and faster decline in behavioral problems. Social-affect autism symptom severity predicted elevated level of attention problems. Autistic girls' problems were particularly elevated relative to their same-sex non-autistic peers.
Autistic children, and especially girls, show elevated mental health problems compared to TD children and there are some differences in predictors. Assessment of mental health should be integrated into clinical practice for autistic children.
From an evolutionary perspective, aggression is viewed as a flexible context-specific adaption that was selected for because it enhanced the survival and reproductive success of ancestral humans. Evolutionary pressures have impinged differentially on the sexes, leading to the hypothesis that sex differences should be manifest in aggressive behavior. Evidence to date supports key predictions made from sexual selection theory that women direct their aggression primarily toward same-sex competitors, which peaks as mate competition intensifies. Women demonstrate a notable preference across cultures for more indirect, as opposed to direct, forms of intrasexual rivalry as a likely consequence of heightened obligatory parental investment, lower lifetime reproductive potential, and the greater importance of maternal survival for the health and longevity of offspring. An evolutionary approach can yield unique insights into the sex-differentiated functions, development, and outcomes of aggressive behavior.
Introduction: An increasing number of Canadian paramedic services are creating Community Paramedic programs targeting treatment of long-term care (LTC) patients on-site. We explored the characteristics, clinical course and disposition of LTC patients cared for by paramedics during an emergency call, and the possible impact of Community Paramedic programs. Methods: We completed a health records review of paramedic call reports and emergency department (ED) records between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017. We utilized paramedic dispatch data to identify emergency calls originating from LTC centers resulting in transport to one of the two EDs of the Ottawa Hospital. We excluded patients with absent vital signs, a Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) score of 1, and whose transfer to hospital were deferrable or scheduled. We stratified remaining cases by month and selected cases using a random number generator to meet our apriori sample size. We collected data using a piloted standardized form. We used descriptive statistics and categorized patients into groups based on the ED care received and if the treatment received fit into current paramedic medical directives. Results: Characteristics of the 381 included patients were mean age 82.5 years, 58.5% female, 59.7% hypertension, 52.6% dementia and 52.1% cardiovascular disease. On arrival at hospital, 57.7% of patients waited in offload delay for a median time of 45 minutes (IQR 33.5-78.0). We could identify 4 groups: 1) Patients requiring no treatment or diagnostics in the ED (7.9%); 2) Patients receiving ED treatment within current paramedic medical directives and no diagnostics (3.2%); 3) Patients requiring diagnostics or ED care outside current paramedic directives (54.9%); and 4) patients requiring admission (34.1%). Most patients were discharged from the ED (65.6%), and 1.1% died. The main ED diagnoses were infection (18.6%) and musculoskeletal injury (17.9%). Of the patients that required ED care but were discharged, 64.1% required x-rays, 42.1% CT, and 3.4% ultrasound. ED care included intravenous fluids (35.7%), medication (67.5%), antibiotics (29.4%), non-opioid analgesics (29.4%) and opioids (20.7%). Overall, 11.1% of patients didn't need management beyond current paramedic capabilities. Conclusion: Many LTC patients could receive care by paramedics on-site within current medical directives and avoid a transfer to the ED. This group could potentially grow using Community Paramedics with an expanded scope of practice.
Introduction: Time-to-treatment plays a pivotal role in survival from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Every minute delay in defibrillation results in a 7-10% reduction in survival. This is particularly problematic in rural and remote regions, where bystander and EMS response is often prolonged and automated external defibrillators (AED) are often not available. Our objective was to examine the feasibility of a novel AED drone delivery method for rural and remote SCA. A secondary objective was to compare times between AED drone delivery and ambulance response to various mock SCA resuscitations. Methods: We conducted 6 simulations in two different rural communities in southern Ontario. During phase 1 (4 simulations) a “mock” call was placed to 911 and a single AED drone and an ambulance were simultaneously dispatched from the same location to a pre-determined destination. Once on scene, trained first responders retrieved the AED from the drone and initiated resuscitative efforts on a manikin. The second phase (2 scenarios) were done in a similar manner save for the drone being dispatched from a regionally optimized location for drone response. Results: Phase 1: The distance from dispatch location to scene varied from 6.6 km to 8.8 km. Mean (SD) response time from 911 call to scene arrival was 11.2 (+/- 1.0) minutes for EMS compared to 8.1 (+/- 0.1) for AED drone delivery. In all four simulations, the AED drone arrived before EMS, ranging from 2.1 to 4.4 minutes faster. The mean time for trained responders to retrieve the AED and apply it to the manikin was 35 (+/- 5) sec. No difficulties were encountered in drone activation by dispatch, drone lift off, landing or removal of the AED from the drone by responders. Phase 2: The ambulance response distance was 20km compared to 9km for the drone. Drones were faster to arrival at the scene by 7 minutes and 8 minutes with AED application 6 and 7 minutes prior to ambulance respectively. Conclusion: This implementation study suggests AED drone delivery is feasible with improvements in response time during a simulated SCA scenario. These results suggest the potential for AED drone delivery to decrease time to first defibrillation in rural and remote communities. Further research is required to determine the appropriate distance for drone delivery of an AED in an integrated EMS system as well as optimal strategies to simplify bystander application of a drone delivered AED.
Introduction: Emergency department (ED) crowding, long waits for care, and paramedic offload delay are of increasing concern. Older adults living in long-term care (LTC) are more likely to utilize the ED and are vulnerable to adverse events. We sought to identify existing programs that seek to avoid ED visits from LTC facilities where allied health professionals are the primary providers of the intervention and, to evaluate their efficacy and safety. Methods: We completed this systematic review based on a protocol we published apriori and following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement. We systematically searched Medline, CINAHL and EMBASE with terms relating to long-term care, emergency services, hospitalization and allied health personnel. Two investigators independently selected studies and extracted data using a piloted standardized form and evaluated the risk of bias of included studies. We report a narrative synthesis grouped by intervention categories. Results: We reviewed 11,176 abstracts and included 22 studies. Most studies were observational and few assessed patient safety. We found five categories of interventions including: 1) use of advanced practice nursing; 2) a program called Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers (INTERACT); 3) end-of-life care; 4) condition specific interventions; and 5) use of extended care paramedics. Of the 13 studies that reported ED visits, all (100%) reported a decrease, and of the 16/17 that reported hospitalization, 94.1% reported a decrease. Patient adverse events such as functional status and relapse were seldom reported (6/22) as were measures of emergency system function such as crowding/inability of paramedics to transfer care to the ED (1/22). Only 4/22 studies evaluated patient mortality and 3/4 found a non-statistically significant worsening. When measured, studies reported decreased hospital length of stay, more time spent with patients by allied health professionals and cost savings. Conclusion: We found five types of programs/interventions which all demonstrated a decrease in ED visits or hospitalization. Many identified programs focused on improved primary care for patients. Interventions addressing acute care issues such as those provided by community paramedics, patient preferences, and quality of life indicators all deserve more study.
Introduction: Prehospital field trauma triage (FTT) standards were reviewed and revised in 2014 based on the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The FTT standard allows a hospital bypass and direct transport, within 30 min, to a lead trauma hospital (LTH). Our objectives were to assess the impact of the newly introduced prehospital FTT standard and to describe the emergency department (ED) management and outcomes of patients that had bypassed closer hospitals. Methods: We conducted a 12-month multi-centred health record review of paramedic and ED records following the implementation of the 4 step FTT standard (step 1: vital signs and level of consciousness (physiologic), step 2: anatomical injury, step 3: mechanism and step 4: special considerations) in nine paramedic services across Eastern Ontario. We included adult trauma patients transported as urgent that met FTT standard, regardless of transport time. We developed and piloted a data collection tool and obtained consensus on all definitions. The primary outcome was the rate of appropriate triage to a LTH which was defined as: ISS ≥12, admitted to intensive care unit (ICU), non-orthopedic surgery, or death. We have reported descriptive statistics. Results: 570 patients were included: mean age 48.8, male 68.9%, falls 29.6%, motor vehicle collisions 20.2%, stab wounds 10.5%, transported to a LTH 76.5% (n = 436). 72.2% (n = 315) of patients transported to a LTH had bypassed a closer hospital and 126/306 (41.2%) of those were determined to be an appropriate triage to LTH (9 patients had missing outcomes). ED management included: CT head/cervical spine 69.9%, ultrasound 53.6%, xray 51.6%, intubation 15.0%, sedation 11.1%, tranexamic acid 9.8%, blood transfusion 8.2%, fracture reduction 6.9%, tube thoracostomy 5.9%. Outcomes included: ISS ≥ 12 32.7%, admitted to ICU 15.0%, non-orthopedic surgery 11.1%, death 8.8%. Others included: admission to hospital 57.5%, mean LOS 12.8 days, orthopedic surgery 16.3% and discharged from ED 37.3%. Conclusion: Despite a high number of admissions, the majority of trauma patients bypassed to a LTH were considered over-triaged, with a low number of ED procedures and non-orthopedic surgeries. Continued work is needed to appropriately identify patients requiring transport to a LTH.
Introduction: In-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) most commonly occurs in non-monitored areas, where we observed a 10min delay before defibrillation (Phase I). Nurses (RNs) and respiratory therapists (RTs) cannot legally use Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) during IHCA without a medical directive. We sought to evaluate IHCA outcomes following usual implementation (Phase II) vs. a Theory-Based educational program (Phase III) allowing RNs and RTs to use AEDs during IHCA. Methods: We completed a pragmatic before-after study of consecutive IHCA. We used ICD-10 codes to identify potentially eligible cases and included IHCA cases for which resuscitation was attempted. We obtained consensus on all data definitions before initiation of standardized-piloted data extraction by trained investigators. Phase I (Jan.2012-Aug.2013) consisted of baseline data. We implemented the AED medical directive in Phase II (Sept.2013-Aug.2016) using usual implementation strategies. In Phase III (Sept.2016-Dec.2017) we added an educational video informed by key constructs from a Theory of Planned Behavior survey. We report univariate comparisons of Utstein IHCA outcomes using 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: There were 753 IHCA for which resuscitation was attempted with the following similar characteristics (Phase I n = 195; II n = 372; III n = 186): median age 68, 60.0% male, 79.3% witnessed, 29.7% non-monitored medical ward, 23.9% cardiac cause, 47.9% initial rhythm of pulseless electrical activity and 27.2% ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia (VF/VT). Comparing Phases I, II and III: an AED was used 0 times (0.0%), 21 times (5.6%), 15 times (8.1%); time to 1st rhythm analysis was 6min, 3min, 1min; and time to 1st shock was 10min, 10min and 7min. Comparing Phases I and III: time to 1st shock decreased by 3min (95%CI -7; 1), sustained ROSC increased from 29.7% to 33.3% (AD3.6%; 95%CI -10.8; 17.8), and survival to discharge increased from 24.6% to 25.8% (AD1.2%; 95%CI -7.5; 9.9). In the VF/VT subgroup, time to first shock decreased from 9 to 3 min (AD-6min; 95%CI -12; 0) and survival increased from 23.1% to 38.7% (AD15.6%; 95%CI -4.3; 35.4). Conclusion: The implementation of a medical directive allowing for AED use by RNs and RRTs successfully improved key outcomes for IHCA victims, particularly following the Theory-Based education video. The expansion of this project to other hospitals and health care professionals could significantly impact survival for VF/VT patients.
Introduction: The Canadian C-Spine rule (CCR) was validated for use by paramedics to selectively immobilize stable trauma patients. However, the CCR “Dangerous Mechanism” is highly prevalent in sports. Our objective was to compare the CCR performance in sport-related vs. non-sport-related injuries and describe sport-related mechanisms of injury. Methods: We reviewed data from the prospective paramedic CCR validation and implementation studies in 7 Canadian cities, which already included identification of sport-related injuries. A single trained reviewer further categorized mechanisms of injury using a pilot-tested standardized form, with the aid of a sport medicine physician in 15 ambiguous cases. We compared the CCR's recommendation to immobilize sport-injured versus non-sport-injured patients using chi-square and relative risk statistics with 95% confidence intervals. Results: There were 201 amateur sport-injuries among the 5,978 patients. Sport-injured patients were younger (mean age 36.2 vs. 42.4) and more predominantly male (60.5% vs 46.8%) than non-sport-injured patients. Paramedics did not miss any c-spine injuries when using the CCR. Although cervical spine injury rates were similar between sport (2/201; 1.0%) and non-sport injured patients (47/5,777; 0.8%), the absolute number of sport-related injuries was very small. Although CCR recommended immobilization equally between the two groups (46.4% vs 42.5% p = 0.29; RR 1.17 95%CI 0.87-1.57), the reason for immobilization was more likely to be a dangerous mechanism in sport injuries (68.6% vs 54.5%, p = 0.012). Although we observed a wide range of mechanisms, the most common dangerous mechanism responsible for immobilization in sport was axial load. Conclusion: The CCR identified all significant c-spine injuries in a cohort of patients assessed and transported by paramedics. Although an equal proportion of sport and non-sports related injuries were immobilized, a dangerous mechanism was most often responsible for immobilization in sport-related cases. These findings do not address the potential impact of using the CCR to evaluate all sport-related injuries in collegiate or pro athletes evaluated by sport medicine therapists and physicians, as these patients are rarely assessed by paramedics or transported to a hospital. It does support the safety and benefit of using the CCR in sport-injured patients for which paramedics are called.
Introduction: Delay of hospital admission until completion of assessment by consultants is a major contributor to emergency department (ED) crowding. We measured emergency physicians’ (EP) ability to predict patient admission, and estimated potential time saved if EPs could request a bed at the time of consultation. Methods: This is a prospective cohort study in a tertiary care center over 4 months using a convenience sample of ED patients requiring consultation. We consecutively recruited patients from purposefully selected shifts to balance day of the week and time of day. We excluded patients younger than 18 years or those likely to be admitted (traumas, strokes, STEMI codes, and CTAS1). We asked EPs to predict patient disposition (admission or alternate disposition) just before consultation. We defined admission as: admission to any service, admission within 48 hours of ED discharge, patients held overnight without bed request, or if bed request was delayed by 12 or more hours, and alternate disposition as any other disposition. We present EP prediction test characteristics using sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). The potential time saved was calculated from consultation to bed request for admitted patients. Results: Characteristics for the 454 included patients were: mean age 60.1 years, 48.4% male, 46.9% evening presentation, 69.4% were admitted (most commonly by Internal Medicine 26.9%), and median consult to bed request time was 3.5 hours (interquartile range 2.0 – 5.3 hours). Overall EP prediction sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV were 90.5% (95%CI 86.7-93.5), 84.2% (95%CI 77.0-89.8), 92.8% (95%CI 89.8-95.0) and 79.6% (95%CI 73.4-84.7) respectively. In other words, EPs correctly predicted 92.8% of patient admissions. The PPV for Internal Medicine was 95.7% (95%CI 89.7-98.4) and ranged from 78.9% (95%CI 53.9-93.0) for Psychiatry to 100% (95%CI 78.1-100) for Family Medicine. A total of 1113.5 hours of ED stretcher time (37.1 hours per shift) could have been saved if EPs initiated a concurrent bed request at time of consultation. Conclusion: EPs correctly predicted 92.8% of patient admissions across a broad field of disciplines. We estimate 1113.5 hours of ED stretcher time could have been saved over the study period if EPs triggered an inpatient bed request at the time of consultation, rather than waiting for the consultants’ disposition decision.
Introduction: Improving public access and training for epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs) can reduce time to initial treatment in anaphylaxis. Effective use of EAIs by the public requires bystanders to respond in a timely and proficient manner. We wished to examine optimal methods for assessing effective training and skill retention for public use of EAIs, including the use of microskills lists. Methods: In this prospective, stratified randomized study, 154 participants at 15 sites receiving installation of public EAIs were randomized to one of three experimental education interventions: A) didactic poster (POS) teaching; B) poster with video teaching (VID), and C) Poster, video, and simulation training (SIM). Participants were tested by participation in a standardized simulated anaphylaxis scenario at 0-months, immediately following training, and again at follow-up at 3 months. Participants’ responses were videoed and assessed by two blinded raters using microksills checklists. The microskills lists were derived from the best available evidence and interprofessional process mapping using a skills trainer. The interobserver reliability was assessed for each item in a 14 step microskill checklist composed of 3-point and 5-point Likert scale questions around EpiPen use, expressed as Kappa Values. Results: Overall there was poor agreement between the two raters. Being composed or panicked had the highest level of agreement K = 0.7, but a result that did not reach statistical significance (substantial agreement, p = 0.06) calling for EMS support has the second highest level of agreement, K = 0.6 (moderate agreement, p = 0.01), the remainder of the items had very low to moderate agreement with a Kappa value range of -103 to 0.48. Conclusion: Although microskills chesklists have been shown to identify areas where learners and interprofessional teams require deliberate practice, these results support previously published evidence that the use of microskills checklists to assess skills has poor reproducibility. Performance will be further assessed in this study using global rating scales, which have shown higher levels of agreement in other studies.
Introduction: Many drugs, including cannabis and alcohol, cause impairment and contribute to motor vehicle collisions (MVCs). Policy makers require knowledge of the prevalence of drug use in crash-involved drivers, and types of drugs used in order to develop effective prevention programs. This issue is particularly relevant with the recent legalization of cannabis. We aim to study the prevalence of alcohol, cannabis, sedating medications, and other drugs in injured drivers from 4 Canadian Provinces. Methods: This prospective cohort study obtained excess clinical blood samples from consecutive injured drivers who attended a participating Canadian trauma centre following a MVC. Blood samples were analyzed using a broad spectrum toxicology screen capable of detecting cannabinoids, cocaine, amphetamines (including their major analogues), and opioids as well as psychotropic pharmaceuticals (including antihistamines, benzodiazepines, other hypnotics, and sedating antidepressants). Alcohol and cannabinoids were quantified. Health records were reviewed to extract demographic, medical, and MVC information using a standardized data collection tool. Results: This study has been collecting data in 4 trauma centres in British Columbia (BC) since 2011 and was launched in 2 trauma centres in Alberta (AB), 1 in Saskatchewan (SK), and 2 in Ontario (ON) in 2018. In preliminary results from BC (n = 2412), 8% of injured drivers tested positive for THC and 13% for alcohol. Preliminary results from other provinces (n = 301) suggest a regional variation in prevalence of drivers testing positive for THC (10% - 27%), alcohol (17% - 29%), and other drugs. By May 2018, an estimated 4500 cases from BC, 600 from AB, 150 from SK, and 650 from ON will have been analyzed. We will report the prevalence of positive tests for alcohol, THC, other recreational drugs, and sedating medications, pre and post cannabis legalization. The number of cases with alcohol and/or THC levels above Canadian per se limits will also be reported. Results will be reported according to province, driver sex, age, single vs. multi vehicle crashes, and requirement for hospital admission. Conclusion: This will be among the largest international datasets on drug use by injured drivers. Our findings will provide patterns of drug and alcohol impairment in 4 Canadian provinces pre and post cannabis legalization. The significance of these findings and implication for impaired driving policy and prevention programs in Canada will be discussed.
Introduction: Trauma and injury play a significant role in the population's burden of disease. Limited research exists evaluating the role of trauma bypass protocols. The objective of this study was to assess the impact and effectiveness of a newly introduced prehospital field trauma triage (FTT) standard, allowing paramedics to bypass a closer hospital and directly transport to a trauma centre (TC) provided transport times were within 30 minutes. Methods: We conducted a 12-month multi-centred health record review of paramedic call reports and emergency department health records following the implementation of the 4 step FTT standard (step 1: vital signs and level of consciousness, step 2: anatomical injury, step 3: mechanism and step 4: special considerations) in nine paramedic services across Eastern Ontario. We included adult trauma patients transported as an urgent transport to hospital, that met one of the 4 steps of the FTT standard and would allow for a bypass consideration. We developed and piloted a standardized data collection tool and obtained consensus on all data definitions. The primary outcome was the rate of appropriate triage to a TC, defined as any of the following: injury severity score ≥12, admitted to an intensive care unit, underwent non-orthopedic operation, or death. We report descriptive and univariate analysis where appropriate. Results: 570 adult patients were included with the following characteristics: mean age 48.8, male 68.9%, attended by Advanced Care Paramedic 71.8%, mechanisms of injury: MVC 20.2%, falls 29.6%, stab wounds 10.5%, median initial GCS 14, mean initial BP 132, prehospital fluid administered 26.8%, prehospital intubation 3.5%, transported to a TC 74.6%. Of those transported to a TC, 308 (72.5%) had bypassed a closer hospital prior to TC arrival. Of those that bypassed a closer hospital, 136 (44.2%) were determined to be “appropriate triage to TC”. Bypassed patients more often met the step 1 or step 2 of the standard (186, 66.9%) compared to the step 3 or step 4 (122, 39.6%). An appropriate triage to TC occurred in 104 (55.9%) patients who had met step 1 or 2 and 32 (26.2%) patients meeting step 3 or 4 of the FTT standard. Conclusion: The FTT standard can identify patients who should be bypassed and transported to a TC. However, this is at a cost of potentially burdening the system with poor sensitivity. More work is needed to develop a FTT standard that will assist paramedics in appropriately identifying patients who require a trauma centre.
Introduction: 9-1-1 telecommunicators receive minimal education on agonal breathing, often resulting in unrecognized out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). We successfully piloted an educational intervention that significantly improved telecommunicators’ OHCA recognition and bystander CPR rates in Ottawa. We sought to better understand the operations of Canadian 9-1-1 communications centers (CC) in preparation for a multi-centre study of this intervention. Methods: We conducted a National survey of all Canadian CCs. Survey domains included information on organizational structure, dispatch system used, education curriculum, and performance monitoring. It was peer-reviewed, translated in French, pilot-tested, and distributed electronically using a modified Dillman method. We designated respondents in each CC before distribution and used targeted follow-up and small incentives to increase response rate. Respondents also described functioning of neighboring CCs if known. Results: We received information from 51/51 provincial and 1/25 territorial CCs, representing 99.7% of the Canadian population. CCs largely utilize the Medical Dispatch Priority System (MPDS) platform (93%), many are Province/Ministry regulated (50%) and most require a High School diploma as minimum entry level education (78%). Telecommunicators receive initial in-class training (median 1.3 months, IQR 0.3-1.9; range 0.1-2.2), often followed by a preceptorship (84.4%) (median 1.0 months, IQR 0.7-1.7; range 0.4-6.0). Educational curriculum includes information on agonal breathing in 41% of CC, without audio examples in 34%. Among responding CCs, over 39,000 suspected OHCA 9-1-1 calls are received annually. Few CCs maintain local performance statistics on OHCA recognition (25%), bystander CPR rates (25%) or survival rates (50%). Most (97%) expressed interest in future research collaborations. Conclusion: Most Canadian telecommunicators receive no or minimal education in recognizing agonal breathing. Further training and improved OHCA monitoring may assist recognition and enhance outcomes.
Introduction: Improving public access and training for epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs) can reduce time to initial treatment in anaphylaxis. Effective use of EAIs by the public requires bystanders to respond in a timely and proficient manner. We wished to examine optimal methods for effective training and skill retention for public use of EAIs. Methods: In this prospective, stratified randomized study, 154 participants at 15 sites receiving installation of public EAIs were randomized to one of three experimental education interventions: A) didactic poster (POS) teaching; B) poster with video teaching (VID), and C) Poster, video, and simulation training (SIM). Participants were tested by participation in a standardized simulated anaphylaxis scenario at 0-months, immediately following training, and again at follow-up at 3 months. Participants responses were videoed and assessed by blinded raters. Patient recorded experience measures (PREMs) assessed participant-patient interaction for every scenario. Data that was non-normally distributed was analyzed using non-parametric testing (Kruskall-Wallis-Rank Sum-Test). Results: Initial analysis showed differences between group baseline characteristics for age and first aid training; with a multivariable analysis providing the effect size of these differences. PREM data and video assessment data were not normally distributed. Analysis of PREM data revealed significantly higher scores in the SIM group at 0-months (median=6.5, IQR=5; p=0.05) and 3-months (median=5, IQR=3; p<0.01), compared to those groups that did not receive SIM. Video assessment performance scores show trends in higher skills and knowledge retention for SIM participants at 3-months; full data analysis will be performed at a later date. Final video assessment analysis will involve a weighted scoring system, using a consensus process, and an inter-rater agreement analysis. Conclusion: Simulation training improves interaction, essential skills, and retention of knowledge in simulated anaphylaxis response with public EAIs compared to non-simulation-based training.
Introduction: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is associated with high mortality, and CPR quality is one of the few modifiable factors associated with improved outcomes. Particularly, bystander CPR has been shown to improve survival and neurological outcomes in OHCA. However, the quality of CPR performed by bystanders in OHCA is unknown. We evaluated bystander CPR quality during OHCA, utilizing data stored within Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), and matched with cases enrolled in the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) database. Methods: This cohort study included adult OHCA cases from the Ottawa ROC site between 2011-2016, which were of presumed cardiac etiology, not witnessed by EMS, and where an AED was utilized by a bystander with > 1 minute of CPR process data available. AED data from Ottawa Paramedic Services was matched to each case identified by the ROC database. AED data was analyzed using manufacturer software to determine overall measures of bystander CPR quality, changes in bystander CPR quality over time, and bystander adherence to existing 2010 Resuscitation Guidelines. Results: 100 cases met all inclusion criteria. 75.0% of patients were male, with a mean age of 62.3 years. 58.0% of arrests occurred in the home setting, and 24.0% were witnessed arrests. Initial rhythm was ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia in 36.0% of cases. Overall survival rate was 42.0%, with a modified Rankin Score of 3.7 (95% CI: 2.9-4.5). Bystanders demonstrated high-quality CPR over the course of resuscitation, with a chest compression fraction (CCF) of 75.9% (73.6-78.1), a compression depth of 5.26 cm (5.03-5.49), and a compression rate of 111.2/min (107.7-114.7). Mean peri-shock pause was 26.8 seconds (24.6-29.1). Adherence rates to 2010 Resuscitation Guidelines for compression rate and depth were 66.0% (60.9-71.1) and 54.9% (48.6-61.3), respectively. CPR quality was lowest in the first minute of resuscitation, during which rhythm analysis took place (mean 40.5 sec). In cases involving a shockable rhythm, overall latency from initiation of AED to shock delivery was 59.2 sec (45.5-72.8). Conclusion: We found that bystanders perform high-quality CPR, with strong adherence rates to existing Resuscitation Guidelines. Our findings provide evidence of the quality of bystander CPR performed during OHCA.
Introduction: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) are questionnaires that can be used to elicit care outcome information from patients. We sought to develop and validate the first PROM for adult patients without a primary mental health or addictions presentation receiving emergency department (ED) care and who were not hospitalized. Methods: PROM development used a multi-phase process based on national and international guidance (FDA, NQF, ISPOR). Phase 1: ED outcome conceptual framework qualitative interviews with ED patients post-discharge informed four core domains (previously published). Phase 2: Item generation scoping review of the literature and existing instruments identified candidate questions relevant for each domain for inclusion in tool. Phase 3: Cognitive debriefing existing and newly written questions were tested with ED patients post-discharge for comprehension and wording preference. Phase 4: Field and validity testing revised tool pilot tested on a national online survey panel and then again at 2 weeks (test-retest). Phase 5: Final item reduction using a Delphi process involving ED clinicians, researchers, patients and system administrators. Phase 6: Validation - psychometric testing of PROM-ED 1.0. Results: Four core outcome domains were defined in Phase 1: (1) understanding; (2) symptom relief; (3) reassurance and (4) having a plan. The domains informed a review of existing relevant questionnaires and instruments and the writing of additional questions creating an initial long-form questionnaire. Eight patients participated in cognitive debriefing of the long-form questionnaire. Expert clinicians, researchers and patient partners provided input on item refinement and reduction. Four hundred forty-four patients completed a second version of the long-form questionnaire (add in retest numbers) which informed the final item reduction process by a modified Delphi method involving 21 diverse contributors. The questionnaire was validated and underwent final revisions to create the 21 questions that constitute PROM-ED 1.0. Conclusion: Using accepted PROM instrument development methodology, we developed the first outcome questionnaire for use with adult ED patients who are not hospitalized. This questionnaire can be used to systematically gather patient-reported outcome information that could support and inform improvement work in ED care.
Introduction: Medical transport services are essential in the regionalization of trauma care. Given the limited number of designated trauma centers, transport times can be prolonged, with patient care managed by paramedics for the duration of their transfer. Pain management is a paramount component, but oligoanalgesia can occur. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate pain management practices during transport of trauma patients by air. Methods: We conducted a 12-month review of ORNGE electronic paramedic records. ORNGE is the exclusive provider of air and land transport in Ontario, Canada. Cases from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015 were screened. Patients were identified according to inclusion (≥18 years old requiring transportation to designated trauma center) and exclusion criteria (GCS<14; intubation; accompanied by a nurse or physician). Information was collected in a standardized, piloted data form used by a single trained data extractor. Demographics, injury description, and transportation parameters were recorded. Outcomes included pain assessment according to changes on a 10-point numeric rating scale (NRS), patterns of analgesia administration, and analgesia-related adverse events (AEs). Results were reported as mean, (standard deviation), [range], or percentage. Results: Of 600 potential records, 372 patients met our inclusion criteria with the following characteristics: age 47.0 [19-92] years; 70.4% male; 97.0% blunt injury. Duration of transport was 82.4 (46.3) minutes. Pain was initially assessed in 90.0% of patients. Overall, NRS at baseline was 4.9 (2.8). Of the 62.4% who received analgesia, NRS at baseline was 5.9 (2.5). Fentanyl was most commonly administered (78.5%) at 44.3 [25-60] mcg. NRS after the first dose of analgesia decreased by 1.1 (1.6) points. A total of 73.7% of patients received further analgesia, equal to 2.4 [1-19] additional doses. While 23.4% of patients had no change in NRS after the first dose of analgesia, subsequent doses resulted in no change in NRS in over 65% [65.4-71.3] of patients. A total of 43 AEs (6.7%) were recorded after 638 doses of analgesia, and the most common AE was nausea (39.5%). Conclusion: The majority of patients were assessed for pain. Although the first analgesia administration had minimal effect on NRS, subsequent doses appeared to have even less of an impact. AEs were infrequent.
Introduction: In Ottawa, STEMI patients are transported directly to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) by advanced care paramedics (ACPs), primary care paramedics (PCPs), or transferred from PCP to ACP crew (ACP-intercept). PCPs have a limited skill set to address complications during transport.The objective of this study was to determine what clinically important events (CIEs) occurred in STEMI patients transported for primary PCI via a PCP crew, and what proportion of such events could only be treated by ACP protocols. Methods: We conducted a health record review of STEMI patients transported for primary PCI from Jan 1, 2011-Dec 21, 2015. Ottawa has a single PCI center and its EMS system employs both PCP and ACP paramedics. We identified consecutive STEMI bypass patients transported by PCP-only and ACP-intercept using the dispatch database. A data extraction form was piloted and used to extract patient demographics, transport times, and primary outcomes: CIEs and interventions performed during transport, and secondary outcomes: hospital diagnosis, and mortality. CIEs were reviewed by two investigators to determine if they would be treated differently by ACP protocols. We present descriptive statistics. Results: We identified 967 STEMI bypass cases among which 214 (118 PCP-only and 96 ACP-intercept) met all inclusion criteria. Characteristics were: mean age 61.4 years, 78% male, 31.8% anterior and 44.4% inferior infarcts, mean response time 6 min, total paramedic contact time 29 min, and in cases of ACP-intercept 7 min of PCP-only contact time.A CIE occurred in 127 (59%) of cases: SBP<90 mmHg 26.2%, HR<60 30.4%, HR>100 20.6%, malignant arrhythmias 7.5%, altered mental status 6.5%, airway intervention 2.3%, 2 patients (0.9%) arrested, both survived. Of the CIE identified, 54 (42.5%) could be addressed differently by ACP vs PCP protocols (25.2% of total cases). The majority related to fluid boluses for hypotension (44 cases; 35% of CIE). ACP intervention for CIEs within the ACP intercept group was 51.6%. There were 6 in-hospital deaths (2.8%) with no difference in transport crew type. Conclusion: CIEs are common in STEMI bypass patients however a smaller proportion of such CIE would be addressed differently by ACP protocols compared to PCP protocols. The vast majority of CIE appeared to be transient and of limited clinical significance.
Introduction: Most ambulance communication officers receive minimal education on agonal breathing, often leading to unrecognized out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). We sought to evaluate the impact of an educational program on cardiac arrest recognition, and on bystander CPR and survival rates. Methods: Ambulance communication officers in Ottawa, Canada received additional training on agonal breathing, while the control site (Windsor, Canada) did not. Sites were compared to their pre-study performance (before-after design), and to each other (concurrent control). Trained investigators used a piloted-standardized data collection tool when reviewing the recordings for all potential OHCA cases submitted. OHCA was confirmed using our local OHCA registry, and we requested 9-1-1 recordings for OHCA cases not initially suspected. Two independent investigators reviewed medical records for non-OHCA cases receiving telephone-assisted CPR in Ottawa. We present descriptive and chi-square statistics. Results: There were 988 confirmed and suspected OHCA in the “before” (540 Ottawa; 448 Windsor), and 1,076 in the “after” group (689 Ottawa; 387 Windsor). Characteristics of “after” group OHCA patients were: mean age (68.1 Ottawa, 68.2 Windsor); Male (68.5% Ottawa, 64.8% Windsor); witnessed (45.0% Ottawa, 41.9% Windsor); and initial rhythm VF/VT (Ottawa 28.9, Windsor 22.5%). Before-after comparisons were: for cardiac arrest recognition (from 65.4% to 71.9% in Ottawa p=0.03; from 70.9% to 74.1% in Windsor p=0.37); for bystander CPR rates (from 23.0% to 35.9% in Ottawa p=0.0001; from 28.2% to 39.4% in Windsor p=0.001); and for survival to hospital discharge (from 4.1% to 12.5% in Ottawa p=0.001; from 3.9% to 6.9% in Windsor p=0.03). “After” group comparisons between Ottawa and Windsor (control) were not statistically different, except survival (p=0.02). Agonal breathing was common (25.6% Ottawa, 22.4% Windsor) and present in 18.5% of missed cases (15.8% Ottawa, 22.2% Windsor p=0.27). In Ottawa, 31 patients not in OHCA received chest compressions resulting from telephone-assisted CPR instructions. None suffered injury or adverse effects. Conclusion: While all OHCA outcomes improved over time, the educational intervention significantly improved OHCA recognition in Ottawa, and appeared to mitigate the impact of agonal breathing.
Introduction: There is strong evidence that socio-economic factors such as income, housing and ethnicity are linked to health outcome disparities for emergency department (ED) patients. However, lack of real-time patient data has limited our ability to identify, understand and address health disparities. During a 14-week period, we assessed the feasibility and acceptability of the systematic collection of patient-level equity data in a busy tertiary care urban ED. Methods: We assessed feasibility by directly observing impact on registration time, percentage of patients on which data was collected, and ambulance patient data collection. We also assessed acceptability to patients, registration staff and clinicians through structured interviews of patients systematically sampled, focus group and surveys of registration staff and survey of clinicians. Results: Over the course of the study, equity data was collected on 2017 patients. Capture rate peaked in week 7 with 51% of eligible patients offered the equity questions and 30% answering. Average patient registration time increased from 215 seconds to 345 seconds (60%). Data collection with ambulance patients did not appear feasible. Patients (n=30) reported being comfortable with most questions except income (47% comfortable). 93% believed it could improve health services. However, a small number of patients voiced concern that the data could result in discrimination. Registration staff required sustained support and engagement, but some continued to feel uncomfortable with offering the questionnaire to some patients. Conclusion: Large scale collection of equity data is feasible but requires additional resources and sustained staff and patient support. Patient participation rate is likely to remain relatively low and is likely to underestimate disadvantaged groups. Data collection at multiple points within an institution may improve capture rate.