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Prehospital point-of-care lactate (pLA) measurement may be a useful tool to assist paramedics with diagnosing a range of conditions, but only if it can be shown to be a reliable surrogate for serum lactate (sLA) measurement. The aim of this study was to determine whether pLA is a reliable predictor of sLA.
This was a retrospective study of adult patients over a 12-month period who had pLA measured by paramedics in an urban Australian setting and were transported by ambulance to a tertiary hospital where sLA was measured. Patients were excluded if they suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest at any time, had missing data, or if sLA was not measured within 24 hours of arrival. Levels of agreement were determined using methods proposed by Bland and Altman.
A total of 290 patients were transported with a pLA recorded. After exclusions, there were 155 patients (55.0% male; age 71 [SD=18] years) remaining who had sLA recorded within 24 hours. Elevated pLA (>2.0mMol/L) was associated with sLA measurement (76.1% vs 23.9%; OR 3.18; 95% CI, 1.88-5.37; P<.0001). Median time between measurements was 89 minutes (IQR=75). Overall, median pLA was higher than sLA (3.0 [IQR=2.0] mMol/L vs 1.7 [IQR=1.3]; P<.001). Bland-Altman analysis on all participants showed a mean difference of 1.48 mMol/L (95% CI, -3.34 to 6.31). Normal pLA was found to be a true negative in 82.9% of cases, and elevated pLA was a true positive in 48.3% of cases. When the time between measurements was less than 60 minutes (n=25), normal pLA predicted normal sLA with 100% accuracy, with a false-positive rate of 18.2%. As time between measurements increased, accuracy diminished and the false-positive rate increased.
Overall, the level of agreement between pLA and sLA was poor. Accuracy of pLA diminished markedly as the time between the two measurements increased. It may be possible to use pLA as a screening tool; when considered this way, pLA performed much better, though larger prospective trials would be needed to confirm this.
SwanKL, KeeneT, AvardBJ. A 12-Month Clinical Audit Comparing Point-of-Care Lactate Measurements Tested by Paramedics with In-Hospital Serum Lactate Measurements. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(1):36–42.
During a mass gathering, some participants may receive health care for injuries or illnesses that occur during the event. In-event first responders provide initial assessment and management at the event. However, when further definitive care is required, municipal ambulance services provide additional assessment, treatment, and transport of participants to acute care settings, such as hospitals. The impact on both ambulance services and hospitals from mass-gathering events is the focus of this literature review.
This literature review aimed to develop an understanding of the impact of mass gatherings on local health services, specifically pertaining to in-event and external health services.
This research used a systematic literature review methodology. Electronic databases were searched to find articles related to the aim of the review. Articles focused on mass-gathering health, provision of in-event health services, ambulance service transportation, and hospital utilization.
Twenty-four studies were identified for inclusion in this review. These studies were all case-study-based and retrospective in design. The majority of studies (n=23) provided details of in-event first responder services. There was variation noted in reporting of the number and type of in-event health professional services at mass gatherings. All articles reported that patients were transported to hospital by the ambulance service. Only nine articles reported on patients presenting to hospital. However, details pertaining to the impact on ambulance and hospital services were not reported.
There is minimal research focusing on the impact of mass gatherings on in-event and external health services, such as ambulance services and hospitals. A recommendation for future mass-gathering research and evaluation is to link patient-level data from in-event mass gatherings to external health services. This type of study design would provide information regarding the impact on health services from a mass gathering to more accurately inform future health planning for mass gatherings across the health care continuum.
RanseJ, HuttonA, KeeneT, LensonS, LutherM, BostN, JohnstonANB, CrillyJ, CannonM, JonesN, HayesC, BurkeB. Health Service Impact from Mass Gatherings: A Systematic Literature Review. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(1):71–77.
In the course of their duties, firefighters risk heat stroke and other medical conditions due to exertion in high-temperature environments. Infrared tympanic temperature measurement (TTym) is often used by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to assess the core body temperature of firefighters. The accuracy of TTym in this setting has been called into question.
This study aimed to examine the accuracy of TTym for core body temperature assessment at emergency firefighting events compared with gastrointestinal temperature measurement (TGI) as measured by ingestible thermometers.
Forty-five (42 male, three female) professional urban firefighters from an Australian fire service completed two 20-minute work periods in a 100°C (± 5°C) heat chamber while wearing personal protective clothing (PPC) and breathing apparatus (weighing approximately 22 kg). Measurements were taken immediately before entering, and on exiting, the heat chamber. Tympanic temperature was assessed by an infrared tympanic thermometer and TGI was measured by ingestible sensor and radio receiver.
Complete data were available for 37 participants. Participant temperatures were higher on exiting the heat chamber than at baseline (TTym: 35.9°C (SD=0.7) vs 37.5°C (SD=0.8); TGI: 37.2°C (SD=0.4) vs 38.6°C (SD=0.5)). Tympanic temperature underestimated TGI on average by 1.3°C (SD=0.5) before entering the chamber and by 1.0°C (SD=0.8) following the exercise. Using pooled data, the average underestimation was 1.2°C (SD=0.7).
Tympanic thermometers cause an unreliable measure of core body temperature for firefighters engaged in fire suppression activities. Accurate and practical measures of core body temperature are required urgently.
KeeneT, BrearleyM, BowenB, WalkerA. Accuracy of Tympanic Temperature Measurement in Firefighters Completing a Simulated Structural Firefighting Task. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(5):461–465.
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