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The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a 911 trauma re-triage protocol implemented at a new community hospital in a region with a high volume of trauma and frequent transports by private vehicle.
This retrospective cohort study included all trauma patients ≥15 years old transferred via 911 trauma re-triage from a new community hospital over a 10-month period from August 2015 through April 2016. Criteria for 911 trauma re-triage were developed with input from local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and trauma experts. An educational module, along with the criteria and implementation steps, was distributed to the emergency department (ED) personnel at the community hospital. Data were abstracted from the regional trauma registry, and the EMS patient care records were reviewed. Primary outcomes were: (1) median total transport time; and (2) proportion of patients who met the 911 re-triage criteria.
During the study period, 32 patients with traumatic injuries were transferred via 911 re-triage to the closest trauma center (TC). The median age of patients was 31 years (IQR 24-45 years) with 78% male and 66% suffering from a penetrating mechanism. The median prehospital provider scene time was 10 minutes (IQR 8-12 minutes) and transport time was seven minutes (IQR 6-9 minutes). Median total transport time was 17 minutes (IQR 15-20 minutes). Seventeen patients (53%) met 911 re-triage criteria as determined by study investigators. The most common criteria met was “penetrating injury to the head, neck, or torso” in 14 cases.
This study demonstrated that 911 re-triage was a feasible strategy to expeditiously transfer critical trauma patients to a TC within a mature trauma system in an urban-suburban setting with a median total transport time of 17 minutes.
Stroke is a major emergency that can cause a significant morbidity and mortality. Advancement in stroke management in recent years has allowed more patients to be diagnosed and treated by stroke teams; however, stroke is a time-sensitive emergency that requires a high level of coordination, particularly within the prehospital phase. This research is to determine whether patients received by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at a tertiary health care facility had shorter stroke team activation, time to computed tomography (CT), or time to receive intravenous thrombolytics.
This research is a prospective cohort study of adults with stroke symptoms who required stroke team activation at a tertiary medical facility. The study included all patients received from September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018. The primary outcome was the time difference to stroke team activation between patients received by EMS compared to patients that arrived by a private method of transportation. The secondary outcomes were the difference in time to CT scan and the time to receive intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA).
There were 75 (34.1%) patients who had been received by EMS, while 145 (65.9%) patients arrived via private transportation method (private car or by a friend/family member). The mean time to stroke team activation, time to CT, and time to receive thrombolytic therapy for the EMS group were: 8.19 (95% CI, 6.97 - 9.41) minutes; 18 (95% CI, 15.9 - 20.1) minutes; and 13.1 (95% CI, 6.95 - 19.3) minutes, respectively. Those for the private car group, on the other hand, were: 16 (95% CI, 12.4 - 19.6) minutes; 23.39 (95% CI, 19.6 - 27.2) minutes; and nine (95% CI, 4.54 -13.5) minutes, respectively. There was a significantly shorter time to stroke team activation for patients arriving via EMS compared to private car (P ≤ .00), but no significant difference was found on time to CT (P = .259) or time to receive rtPA (P = .100).
Emergency Medical Service transportation of stroke patients can significantly shorten the time to stroke team activation, leading to shorter triage and accelerated patient management. However, there was no statistical difference in time to CT or time to receive rtPA. Patients with stroke symptoms may benefit more from EMS transportation compared to private methods of transportation.
In 2010, South Africa (SA) hosted the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup (soccer). Emergency Medical Services (EMS) used the SA mass gathering medicine (MGM) resource model to predict resource allocation. This study analyzed data from the World Cup and compared them with the resource allocation predicted by the SA mass gathering model.
Prospectively, data were collected from patient contacts at 9 venues across the Western Cape province of South Africa. Required resources were based on the number of patients seeking basic life support (BLS), intermediate life support (ILS), and advanced life support (ALS). Overall patient presentation rates (PPRs) and transport to hospital rates (TTHRs) were also calculated.
BLS services were required for 78.4% (n = 1279) of patients and were consistently overestimated using the SA mass gathering model. ILS services were required for 14.0% (n = 228), and ALS services were required for 3.1% (n = 51) of patients. Both ILS and ALS services, and TTHR were underestimated at smaller venues.
The MGM predictive model overestimated BLS requirements and inconsistently predicted ILS and ALS requirements. MGM resource models, which are heavily based on predicted attendance levels, have inherent limitations, which may be improved by using research-based outcomes.
We aimed to compare access to gynecologic oncology care at a private and a city hospital, both of which closed for a period of time because of Hurricane Sandy.
This was a cross-sectional study of gynecologic oncology chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgical patients from October 29, 2012 (the eve of the storm), to February 7, 2013 (the reopening of the city hospital). New referrals during this time were excluded. Delays in chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery were compared.
Analysis included 113 patients: 59 private patients (52.2%) and 54 city patients (47.8%). Of the private patients, 33/59 received chemotherapy (55.9%), 1/59 received radiotherapy (1.7%), and 28/59 had planned surgery (47.5%). Of the city patients, 40/54 received chemotherapy (74.1%), 7/54 received radiotherapy (12.3%), and 18/54 had planned surgery (33.3%). The mean delay in chemotherapy was 7.6 days at the private hospital and 21.7 days at the city hospital (P=0.0004). The mean delay in scheduled surgery was 14.2 days at the private hospital and 22.7 days at the city hospital (P=0.3979). The mean delay in radiotherapy was 0.0 days at the private hospital and 25.0 days at the city hospital (P=0.0046). Loss to follow-up rates were 3/59 of the private patients (5.1%) and 3/54 of the city patients (5.6%).
Gynecologic oncology care was maintained during a natural disaster despite temporary closure and relocation of services. Disparity in care was in access to chemotherapy. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:605–608)
Patient transfers among medical facilities are high-risk situations. Despite this, there is very little training of physicians regarding the medical and legal aspects of transport medicine.
To examine the effects of a one hour, educational intervention on Emergency Medicine (EM) residents’ and Critical Care (CC) fellows’ knowledge regarding the medical and legal aspects of interfacility patient transfers.
Prior to the intervention, physician knowledge regarding 12 key concepts in patient transfer was assessed using a pre-test instrument. A one hour, interactive, educational session followed immediately thereafter. Following the intervention, a post-intervention test was given between two and four weeks after delivery. Participants were also asked to describe any prior transportation-medicine-related education, their opinions as they relate to the relevance of the topic, and their comfort levels with patient transfers before and after the intervention.
Only a minority of participants had received any formal training in patient transfers prior to the intervention, despite dealing with patient transfers on a frequent, often daily, basis. Both groups improved in several categories on the post-intervention test. They reported improved comfort levels with the medicolegal aspects of interfacility patient transfers after the intervention and felt well-prepared to manage transfers in their daily practice.
A one hour, educational intervention objectively increased EM and CC physician trainees’ understanding of some of the medicolegal aspects of interfacility patient transfers. The study demonstrated a lack of previous training on this important topic and improved levels of comfort with transfers after study participation.
BeckerTK, SkibaJF, SozenerCB. An Educational Measure to Significantly Increase Critical Knowledge Regarding Interfacility Patient Transfers. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(3):1-5
Timely transfer of patients among facilities within a regionalized critical-care system remains a large obstacle to effective patient care. For medical transport systems where dispatchers are responsible for planning these interfacility transfers, accurate estimates of interfacility transfer times play a large role in planning and resource-allocation decisions. However, the impact of adverse weather conditions on transfer times is not well understood.
Precipitation negatively impacts driving conditions and can decrease free-flow speeds and increase travel times. The objective of this research was to quantify and model the effects of different precipitation types on land travel times for interfacility patient transfers. It was hypothesized that the effects of precipitation would accumulate as the distance of the transfer increased, and they would differ based on the type of precipitation.
Urgent and emergent interfacility transfers carried out by the medical transport system in Ontario from 2005 through 2011 were linked to Environment Canada's (Gatineau, Quebec, Canada) climate data. Two linear models were built to estimate travel times based on precipitation type and driving distance: one for transfers between cities (intercity) and another for transfers within a city (intracity).
Precipitation affected both transfer types. For intercity transfers, the magnitude of the delays increased as driving distance increased. For median-distance intercity transfers (48 km), snow produced delays of approximately 9.1% (3.1 minutes), while rain produced delays of 8.4% (2.9 minutes). For intracity transfers, the magnitude of delays attributed to precipitation did not depend on distance driven. Transfers in rain were 8.6% longer (1.7 minutes) compared to no precipitation, whereas only statistically marginal effects were observed for snow.
Precipitation increases the duration of interfacility land ambulance travel times by eight percent to ten percent. For transfers between cities, snow is associated with the longest delays (versus rain), but for transfers within a single city, rain is associated with the longest delays.
GiangWCW, DonmezB, AhghariM, MacDonaldRD. The Impact of Precipitation on Land Interfacility Transport Times. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(6):1-7.
To clarify case mix, mode of transport and reasons for interfacility transfer from rural emergency departments (EDs) and to make recommendations for improved emergency health care delivery in rural settings.
This was a multi-centre descriptive study, based in 5 rural Ontario EDs. Over a 1-year period, all ED patients who required transfer to another hospital were studied. Data collection forms were completed prospectively by the most responsible nurse involved in the transfer. Main measurements included patient age, gender, place of residence, circumstances and reason for transfer, primary diagnosis, mode of transport and receiving hospital.
Of 53 796 patients who presented to the 5 participating EDs, 98.4% were managed locally and 836 (1.6%) were transferred to referral centres. Most patients (86%) were transferred because they required treatment beyond the scope of the local hospital. The need for orthopedic care, CT and pediatric care accounted for 23.6%, 14.1% and 8.7% of transfers respectively.
These data suggest that rural family physicians may benefit from increased orthopedic and pediatric training and support. The study also identified a need for increased specialist availability in our rural setting. The high number of transfers for CT scans suggests that some rural health regions should consider acquiring a “regional” CT scanner. The development of a regional hospital, with a CT scanner and specialist resources, especially a general surgery on-call system, would reduce the need for transfer outside the region.
As the role of paramedics evolves, evaluation of their ability to accomplish an expanded scope of practice is necessary. The objective of this study was to determine whether specially trained paramedics can monitor and treat patients appropriately during interfacility transports that traditionally have required the use of supplemental, hospital-based personnel.
A paramedic-staffed mobile intensive care unit was developed as a cooperative program between Huron Valley Ambulance and the Washtenaw/Livingston County Medical Control Authority. This prospective observational study involved 111 patients requiring interfacility transport, conveyed by a paramedic-staffed mobile intensive care unit. A change in the Acute Physiologic and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II) score components of mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate at the beginning and end of the transport was used to evaluate the ability of the paramedics to accomplish the transfer appropriately.
APACHE II scares increased in 20 patients, decreased in 16, and were unchanged in 75. The mean value for the change in APACHE score was 0.11 (95% confidence interval: −0.11−0.33).
Specially trained paramedics can monitor and treat patients appropriately during interfacility transfers that traditionally would have required supplementation with additional hospital staff.
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