Browsing by Subject "Emergency medical service"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-7 of 7
  • Azbel, Michael; Heinänen, Mikko; Lääperi, Mitja; Kuisma, Markku (2021)
    Background The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects on the utilization of health care services, including Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Social distancing measures taken to prevent the spread of the disease have greatly affected the functioning of societies and reduced or halted many activities with a risk of injury. The aim of this study was to report the effects of lockdown measures on trauma-related EMS calls in the Finnish capital area. Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all EMS calls in the Helsinki University Hospital (HUH) catchment area between 1 January and 31 July 2020. Calls were identified from the HUH EMS database. Calls were grouped into pre-lockdown, lockdown, and post-lockdown periods according to the restrictions set by the Finnish government and compared to the mean number of calls for the corresponding periods in 2018 and 2019. Statistical comparisons were performed using Mann-Whitney U-test for weekly numbers and percentages. Results During the study period there was a total of 70,705 EMS calls, of which 14,998 (21.2%) were related to trauma; 67,973 patients (median age 61.6 years; IQR 35.3-78.6) were met by EMS. There was no significant change in the weekly number of total or trauma-related EMS calls during the pre-lockdown period. During the lockdown period, the number of weekly total EMS calls was reduced by 12.2% (p = 0.001) and the number of trauma-related calls was reduced by 23.3% (p = 0.004). The weekly number of injured patients met by EMS while intoxicated with alcohol was reduced by 41.8% (p = 0.002). During the post-lockdown period, the number of total and trauma-related calls and the number of injured patients intoxicated by alcohol returned to previous years' levels. Conclusions The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures reduced the number of trauma-related EMS calls. Lockdown measures had an especially significant effect on the number of injured patients intoxicated by alcohol met by the EMS.
  • Kupari, Petteri; Skrifvars, Markus; Kuisma, Markku (2017)
    Background: The return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) after cardiac arrest (RACA) score may have implications as a quality indicator for the emergency medical services (EMS) system. We aimed to validate this score externally in a physician staffed urban EMS system. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study. Data on resuscitation attempts from the Helsinki EMS cardiac arrest registry from 1.1.2008 to 31.12.2010 were collected and analyzed. For each attempted resuscitation the RACA score variables were collected and the score calculated. The endpoint was ROSC defined as palpable pulse over 30 s. Calibration was assessed by comparing predicted and observed ROSC rates in the whole sample, separately for shockable and non-shockable rhythm, and separately for resuscitations lead by a specialist, registrar or medical supervisor (i.e., senior paramedic). Data are presented as medians and interquartile ranges. Statistical testing included chi-square test, the Mann-Whitney U test, Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness of fit test and calculation of 95% confidence intervals (CI) for proportions. Results: A total of 680 patients were included of whom 340 attained ROSC. The RACA score was higher in patients with ROSC (0.62 [0.46-0.69] than in those without (0.46 [0.36-0.57]) (p <0.001). Observed against predicted ROSC indicated reasonable calibration overall (p = 0.30), with better calibration in patients with a shockable initial rhythm (p = 0.75) than in patients with a non-shockable rhythm (p = 0.04). There was no statistical difference between observed and predicted ROSC rates in resuscitations attended by a specialist (50% vs 53%, 95% CI 45-55) or registrar (55% vs 53%, 95% CI 48-62), but rates were lower than predicted in resuscitations lead by a medical supervisor (36% vs 49%, 95% CI 25-47). Discussion: Developing a practical severity-of-illness scoring system for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients would allow patient heterogeneity adjustment and measurement of quality of care in analogy to commoly used severity-of-illness-scores developed for the similar purposes for the general intensive care unit population. However, transferring RACA score to another country with different population and EMS system might affect the performance and generalizability of the score. Conclusions: This study found a good overall calibration and moderate discrimination of the RACA score in a physician staffed urban EMS system which suggests external validity of the score. Calibration was suboptimal in patients with a non-shockable rhythm which may due to a local do-not-attempt-resuscitation policy. The lower than expected overall ROSC rate in resuscitations attended by medical supervisors requires further study.
  • Raj, Rahul; Siironen, Jari; Kivisaari, Riku; Kuisma, Markku; Brinck, Tuomas; Lappalainen, Jaakko; Skrifvars, Markus B. (2013)
  • Vihonen, Hanna; Kuisma, Markku; Nurmi, Jouni (2018)
    Background: The current study investigates the incidence, aetiology, and outcome of hypoglycaemia of patients without diabetes in the EMS. Methods: The study was a retrospective cohort study that utilized electronic EMS patient record system (population of one million). All patients encountered by EMS with plasma glucose Results: From EMS cases with a plasma glucose measurement a total of 5467 hypoglycaemic patients without diabetes were encountered by EMS during the study period with an incidence of 1082 (CI95% 1019-1148) per 100,000 inhabitants per year, corresponding 41.6%, (CI95% 40.8-42.3) of all hypoglycaemic patients. Of those patients, 3856 [71.6%, (CI95% 70.4-72.8)] were transported to hospital and 910 [23.2%, (CI95% 22.0-24.6)] had serious hypoglycaemia. The three main diagnosis groups that appeared in the subsequent hospital treatment associated with hypoglycaemia in all transported cases without diabetes as well with serious hypoglycaemia cases were: alcohol abuse [41.2%, (CI95% 39.7-42.8) and 42.2%, (CI95% 39.0-45.4)], hypothermia [17.2%, (CI95% 16.0-18.4) and 27.4%, (CI95% 24.6-30.4)], and malnutrition [16.9%, (CI95% 15.8-18.1) and 25.1%, (CI95% 22.4-28.0)]. Mortality ranged from 0.6-65.4% depending of admission reason and increased significantly at long-term. Non-Diabetics survival was less than with diabetics, when serious hypoglycaemia was present. Discussion: The most common possible hypoglycaemia related aetiological causes encountered in the EMS, alcohol abuse, hypothermia, and malnutrition, although frequent are often relatively benign conditions. These possible causes of hypoglycaemia can often be treated at scene or need only short hospital admissions. Hence they are not so prevalent in hospital studies. Conclusions: Hypoglycaemia without diabetes is commonly observed among the hypoglycaemic EMS cases. Main causes for it are alcohol abuse, hypothermia, and malnutrition. Mortality correlated with age, higher priority dispatch codes, and plasma glucose rate in multivariate logistic regression analysis. Some of the etiological subgroups carry a markedly high mortality rate.
  • Howard, Ian; Cameron, Peter; Wallis, Lee; Castrén, Maaret; Lindström, Veronica (2019)
    Introduction Historically, performance within the Prehospital Emergency Care (PEC) setting has been assessed primarily based on response times. While easy to measure and valued by the public, overall, response time targets are a poor predictor of quality of care and clinical outcomes. Over the last two decades however, significant progress has been made towards improving the assessment of PEC performance, largely in the form of the development of PEC-specific quality indicators (QIs). Despite this progress, there has been little to no development of similar systems within the low- to middle-income country setting. As a result, the aim of this study was to identify a set of QIs appropriate for use in the South African PEC setting. Methods A three-round modified online Delphi study design was conducted to identify, refine and review a list of QIs for potential use in the South African PEC setting. Operational definitions, data components and criteria for use were developed for 210 QIs for inclusion into the study. Results In total, 104 QIs reached consensus agreement including, 90 clinical QIs, across 15 subcategories, and 14 non-clinical QIs across two subcategories. Amongst the clinical category, airway management (n = 13 QIs; 14%); out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (n = 13 QIs; 14%); and acute coronary syndromes (n = 11 QIs; 12%) made up the majority. Within the non-clinical category, adverse events made up the significant majority with nine QIs (64%). Conclusion Within the South Africa setting, there are a multitude of QIs that are relevant and appropriate for use in PEC. This was evident in the number, variety and type of QIs reaching consensus agreement in our study. Furthermore, both the methodology employed, and findings of this study may be used to inform the development of PEC specific QIs within other LMIC settings.
  • Jousi, Milla; Mäkinen, Marja; Kaartinen, Johanna; Meriläinen, Leena; Castrén, Maaret (2021)
    Background: In the pre-hospital setting, non-urgent patients with non-specific chief complaints pose assessment challenges for the emergency medical systems (EMS). Severely ill patients should be identified among these patients, and unnecessary transport to the emergency department (ED) should be avoided. Unnecessary admissions burden EDs, deplete EMS resources and can even be harmful to patients, especially elderly patients. Therefore, tools for facilitating pre-hospital decision-making are needed. They could be based on vital signs or point-of-care laboratory biomarkers. In this study, we examined whether the biomarker soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR), either alone or combined with C-reactive protein (CRP) and/or lactate, could predict discharge from the ED and act as a pre-hospital support tool for non-conveyance decision-making. Methods: This was a prospective, observational study of adult patients with normal or near-normal vital signs transported by an EMS to an ED with a code referring to deteriorated general condition. The levels of suPAR, CRP and lactate in the patients’ pre-hospital blood samples were analysed. The values of hospitalized patients were compared to those of discharged patients to determine whether these biomarkers could predict direct discharge from the ED. Results: A total of 109 patients (median age: 81 years) were included in the study. Of those, 52% were hospitalized and 48% were discharged from the ED. No statistically significant association was found between suPAR and the ED discharge vs hospitalization outcome (OR: 1.04, 95% CI 0.97–1.13, AUROC: 0.58, 95% CI 0.47–0.69). Adding CRP (AUROC: 0.64, 95% CI 0.54–0.75) or lactate (AUROC: 0.60, 95% CI 0.49–0.71) to the regression models did not improve their diagnostic accuracy. None of the patients with a suPAR value of less than 2 ng/ml were admitted to hospital, while 64% of the patients with a suPAR value of more than 6 ng/ml were hospitalized. Conclusion: Pre-hospital suPAR measurements alone or combined with CRP and/or lactate measurements could not predict the ED discharge or hospital admission of 109 non-urgent EMS patients with non-specific chief complaints and normal or near-normal vital signs.
  • Ivic, Robert; Kurland, Lisa; Vicente, Veronica; Castren, Maaret; Bohm, Katarina (2020)
    Background Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are faced daily with patients presenting with a non-specific chief complaints (NSC); i.e. decreased general condition, general malaise, sense of illness, or just being unable to cope with usual daily activities. Patients presenting with NSCs often have normal vital signs. It has previously been established that however, NSCs may have a serious underlying condition that has yet to be identified. The primary outcome of this study was to determine the prevalence of serious conditions in patients presenting with NSCs to the EMS. Method A retrospective cohort study of patients >= 18 years of age who were reported as presenting with chief complaints compatible with NSCs to the EMS in Stockholm Region and transported to an emergency department between January 1st, 2013 and December 31st, 2013. Patients were identified via the EMS electronic health care record and followed via records from the National Patient Registry and Causes of Death Registry at Sweden's National Board for Health and Welfare. The definition of serious condition was defined by expert consensus. Descriptive statistics as well as regression analyses were used. Results A total of 3780 patients were included, with a median age of 77 years. A serious condition was present in 35.3% of the patients. The in-hospital mortality rate for the group with serious conditions was 10.1% (OR 6.8, CI 95%, 4.1-11.3), and the 30-day mortality rate was 20.2% (OR 3.1, CI 95%, 2.3-4.0). In the group with no serious conditions the rates were 1.0 and 4.2%, respectively. The total hospitalization rate was 67.6%. The presence of serious conditions as well as increased mortality rates were associated with Rapid Emergency Triage and Treatment system (RETTS) as well as National Early Warning Score (NEWS) irrespective of triage score. Conclusion More than one-third of the patients presenting with NSCs to EMS had a serious underlying condition which was associated with increased mortality and hospitalization rates.