Browsing by Subject "Emergency medical services"

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  • Torlen, Klara; Kurland, Lisa; Castren, Maaret; Olanders, Knut; Bohm, Katarina (2017)
    Background: Emergency medical dispatching should be as accurate as possible in order to ensure patient safety and optimize the use of ambulance resources. This study aimed to compare the accuracy, measured as priority level, between two Swedish dispatch protocols - the three-graded priority protocol Medical Index and a newly developed prototype, the four-graded priority protocol, RETTS-A. Methods: A simulation study was carried out at the Emergency Medical Communication Centre (EMCC) in Stockholm, Sweden, between October and March 2016. Fifty-three voluntary telecommunicators working at SOS Alarm were recruited nationally. Each telecommunicator handled 26 emergency medical calls, simulated by experienced standard patients. Manuscripts for the scenarios were based on recorded real-life calls, representing the six most common complaints. A cross-over design with 13 + 13 calls was used. Priority level and medical condition for each scenario was set through expert consensus and used as gold standard in the study. Results: A total of 1293 calls were included in the analysis. For priority level, n = 349 (54.0%) of the calls were assessed correctly with Medical Index and n = 309 (48.0%) with RETTS-A (p = 0.012). Sensitivity for the highest priority level was 82.6% (95% confidence interval: 76.6-87.3%) in the Medical Index and 54.0% (44.3-63.4%) in RETTS-A. Overtriage was 37.9% (34.2-41.7%) in the Medical Index and 28.6% (25.2-32.2%) in RETTS-A. The corresponding proportion of undertriage was 6.3% (4.7-8.5%) and 23.4% (20.3-26.9%) respectively. Conclusion: In this simulation study we demonstrate that Medical Index had a higher accuracy for priority level and less undertriage than the new prototype RETTS-A. The overall accuracy of both protocols is to be considered as low. Overtriage challenges resource utilization while undertriage threatens patient safety. The results suggest that in order to improve patient safety both protocols need revisions in order to guarantee safe emergency medical dispatching.
  • Saviluoto, Anssi; Harve-Rytsälä, Heini; Lääperi, Mitja; Kirves, Hetti; Jantti, Helena; Nurmi, Jouni (2020)
    Background Identifying stroke and other intracranial lesions in patients with a decreased level of consciousness may be challenging in prehospital settings. Our objective was to investigate whether the combination of systolic blood pressure, heart rate and age could be used to identify intracranial lesions. Methods We conducted a retrospective case-control study including patients with a decreased level of consciousness who had their airway secured during prehospital care. Patients with intracranial lesions were identified based on the final diagnoses at the end of hospitalization. We investigated the ability of systolic blood pressure, heart rate and age to identify intracranial lesions and derived a decision instrument. Results Of 425 patients, 127 had an intracranial lesion. Patients with a lesion were characterized by higher systolic blood pressure, lower heart rate and higher age (P <0.0001 for all). A systolic blood pressure >= 140 mmHg had an odds ratio (OR) of 3.5 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.7 to 7.0), and > 170 mmHg had an OR of 8.2 (95% CI 4.5-15.32) for an intracranial lesion (reference: <140 mmHg). A heart rate <100 beats/min had an OR of 3.4 (95% CI 2.0 to 6.0, reference: >= 100). Age 50-70 had an OR of 4.1 (95% CI 2.0 to 9.0), and > 70 years had an OR of 10.2 (95% CI 4.8 to 23.2), reference: <50. Logarithms of ORs were rounded to the nearest integer to create a score with 0-2 points for age and blood pressure and 0-1 for heart rate, with an increasing risk for an intracranial lesion with higher scores. The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve for the instrument was 0.810 (95% CI 0.850-0.890). Conclusions An instrument combining systolic blood pressure, heart rate and age may help identify stroke and other intracranial lesions in patients with a decreased level of consciousness in prehospital settings.
  • Wennlund, Klara Torlen; Kurland, Lisa; Olanders, Knut; Castren, Maaret; Bohm, Katarina (2022)
    Background The requirement concerning formal education for emergency medical dispatcher (EMD) is debated and varies, both nationally and internationally. There are few studies on the outcomes of emergency medical dispatching in relation to professional background. This study aimed to compare calls handled by an EMD with and without support by a registered nurse (RN), with respect to priority level, accuracy, and medical condition. Methods A retrospective observational study, performed on registry data from specific regions during 2015. The ambulance personnel's first assessment of the priority level and medical condition was used as the reference standard. Outcomes were: the proportion of calls dispatched with a priority in concordance with the ambulance personnel's assessment; over- and undertriage; the proportion of most adverse over- and undertriage; sensitivity, specificity and predictive values for each of the ambulance priorities; proportion of calls dispatched with a medical condition in concordance with the ambulance personnel's assessment. Proportions were reported with 95% confidence intervals. chi(2)-test was used for comparisons. P-levels < 0.05 were regarded as significant. Results A total of 25,025 calls were included (EMD n = 23,723, EMD + RN n = 1302). Analyses relating to priority and medical condition were performed on 23,503 and 21,881 calls, respectively. A dispatched priority in concordance with the ambulance personnel's assessment were: EMD n = 11,319 (50.7%) and EMD + RN n = 481 (41.5%) (p < 0.01). The proportion of overtriage was equal for both groups: EMD n = 5904, EMD + RN n = 306, (26.4%) p = 0.25). The proportion of undertriage for each group was: EMD n = 5122 (22.9%) and EMD + RN n = 371 (32.0%) (p < 0.01). Sensitivity for the most urgent priority was 54.6% for EMD, compared to 29.6% for EMD + RN (p < 0.01), and specificity was 67.3% and 84.8% (p < 0.01) respectively. A dispatched medical condition in concordance with the ambulance personnel's assessment were: EMD n = 13,785 (66.4%) and EMD + RN n = 697 (62.2%) (p = 0.01). Conclusions A higher precision of emergency medical dispatching was not observed when the EMD was supported by an RN. How patient safety is affected by the observed divergence in dispatched priorities is an area for future research.
  • Kangasniemi, Heidi; Setälä, Piritta; Huhtala, Heini; Olkinuora, Anna; Kämäräinen, Antti; Virkkunen, Ilkka; Tirkkonen, Joonas; Yli-Hankala, Arvi; Jamsen, Esa; Hoppu, Sanna (2022)
    Background We investigated paramedic-initiated consultation calls and advice given via telephone by Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) physicians focusing on limitations of medical treatment (LOMT). Methods A prospective multicentre study was conducted on four physician-staffed HEMS bases in Finland during a 6-month period. Results Of all 6115 (mean 8.4/base/day) paramedic-initiated consultation calls, 478 (7.8%) consultation calls involving LOMTs were included: 268 (4.4%) cases with a pre-existing LOMT, 165 (2.7%) cases where the HEMS physician issued a new LOMT and 45 (0.7%) cases where the patient already had an LOMT and the physician further issued another LOMT. The most common new limitation was a do-not-attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) order (n = 122/210, 58%) and/or 'not eligible for intensive care' (n = 96/210, 46%). In 49 (23%) calls involving a new LOMT, termination of an initiated resuscitation attempt was the only newly issued LOMT. The most frequent reasons for issuing an LOMT during consultations were futility of the overall situation (71%), poor baseline functional status (56%), multiple/severe comorbidities (56%) and old age (49%). In the majority of cases (65%) in which the HEMS physician issued a new LOMT for a patient without any pre-existing LOMT, the physician felt that the patient should have already had an LOMT. The patient was in a health care facility or a nursing home in half (49%) of the calls that involved issuing a new LOMT. Access to medical records was reported in 29% of the calls in which a new LOMT was issued by an HEMS physician. Conclusion Consultation calls with HEMS physicians involving patients with LOMT decisions were common. HEMS physicians considered end-of-life questions on the phone and issued a new LOMT in 3.4% of consultations calls. These decisions mainly concerned termination of resuscitation, DNACPR, intubation and initiation of intensive care.
  • Sunde, Geir Arne; Heltne, Jon-Kenneth; Lockey, David; Burns, Brian; Sandberg, Marten; Fredriksen, Knut; Hufthammer, Karl Ove; Soti, Akos; Lyon, Richard; Jantti, Helena; Kamarainen, Antti; Reid, Bjorn Ole; Silfvast, Tom; Harm, Falko; Sollid, Stephen J. M.; Airport Study Grp (2015)
    Background: Despite numerous studies on prehospital airway management, results are difficult to compare due to inconsistent or heterogeneous data. The objective of this study was to assess advanced airway management from international physician-staffed helicopter emergency medical services. Methods: We collected airway data from 21 helicopter emergency medical services in Australia, England, Finland, Hungary, Norway and Switzerland over a 12-month period. A uniform Utstein-style airway template was used for collecting data. Results: The participating services attended 14,703 patients on primary missions during the study period, and 2,327 (16 %) required advanced prehospital airway interventions. Of these, tracheal intubation was attempted in 92 % of the cases. The rest were managed with supraglottic airway devices (5 %), bag-valve-mask ventilation (2 %) or continuous positive airway pressure (0.2 %). Intubation failure rates were 14.5 % (first-attempt) and 1.2 % (overall). Cardiac arrest patients showed significantly higher first-attempt intubation failure rates (odds ratio: 2.0; 95 % CI: 1.5-2.6; p <0.001) compared to non-cardiac arrest patients. Complications were recorded in 13 %, with recognised oesophageal intubation being the most frequent (25 % of all patients with complications). For non-cardiac arrest patients, important risk predictors for first-attempt failure were patient age (a non-linear association) and administration of sedatives (reduced failure risk). The patient's sex, provider's intubation experience, trauma type (patient category), indication for airway intervention and use of neuromuscular blocking agents were not risk factors for first-attempt intubation failure. Conclusions: Advanced airway management in physician-staffed prehospital services was performed frequently, with high intubation success rates and low complication rates overall. However, cardiac arrest patients showed significantly higher first-attempt failure rates compared to non-cardiac arrest patients. All failed intubations were handled successfully with a rescue device or surgical airway.
  • Basic Life Support BLS; Pediatric Life Support PLS; Drennan, Ian R.; Geri, Guillaume; Brooks, Steve; Couper, Keith; Hatanaka, Tetsuo; Kudenchuk, Peter; Olasveengen, Theresa; Pellegrino, Jeffrey; Schexnayder, Stephen M.; Morley, Peter; Castren, Maaret (2021)
    Introduction: Cardiac arrest is a time-sensitive condition requiring urgent intervention. Prompt and accurate recognition of cardiac arrest by emergency medical dispatchers at the time of the emergency call is a critical early step in cardiac arrest management allowing for initiation of dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR and appropriate and timely emergency response. The overall accuracy of dispatchers in recognizing cardiac arrest is not known. It is also not known if there are specific call characteristics that impact the ability to recognize cardiac arrest. Methods: We performed a systematic review to examine dispatcher recognition of cardiac arrest as well as to identify call characteristics that may affect their ability to recognize cardiac arrest at the time of emergency call. We searched electronic databases for terms related to "emergency medical dispatcher", "cardiac arrest", and "diagnosis", among others, with a focus on studies that allowed for calculating diagnostic test characteristics (e.g. sensitivity and specificity). The review was consistent with Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) method for evidence evaluation. Results: We screened 2520 article titles, resulting in 47 studies included in this review. There was significant heterogeneity between studies with a high risk of bias in 18 of the 47 which precluded performing meta-analyses. The reported sensitivities for cardiac arrest recognition ranged from 0.46 to 0.98 whereas specificities ranged from 0.32 to 1.00. There were no obvious differences in diagnostic accuracy between different dispatching criteria/algorithms or with the level of education of dispatchers. Conclusion: The sensitivity and specificity of cardiac arrest recognition at the time of emergency call varied across dispatch centres and did not appear to differ by dispatch algorithm/criteria used or education of the dispatcher, although comparisons were hampered by heterogeneity across studies. Future efforts should focus on ways to improve sensitivity of cardiac arrest recognition to optimize patient care and ensure appropriate and timely resource utilization.
  • Hoikka, Marko; Silfvast, Tom; Ala-Kokko, Tero I. (2018)
    Objectives: The prehospital research field has focused on studying patient survival in cardiac arrest, as well as acute coronary syndrome, stroke, and trauma. There is little known about the overall short-term mortality and its predictability in unselected prehospital patients. This study examines whether a prehospital National Early Warning Score (NEWS) predicts 1-day and 30-day mortalities. Methods: Data from all emergency medical service (EMS) situations were coupled to the mortality data obtained from the Causes of Death Registry during a six-month period in Northern Finland. NEWS values were calculated from first clinical parameters obtained on the scene and patients were categorized to the low, medium and high-risk groups accordingly. Sensitivities, specificities, positive predictive values (PPVs), negative predictive values (NPVs), and likelihood ratios (PLRs and NLRs) were calculated for 1-day and 30-day mortalities at the cut-off risks. Results: A total of 12,426 EMS calls were included in the study. The overall 1-day and 30-day mortalities were 1.5 and 4.3%, respectively. The 1-day mortality rate for NEWS values = 13 higher than 20%. The high-risk NEWS group had sensitivities for 1-day and 30-day mortalities 0.801 (CI 0.74-0.86) and 0.42 (CI 0.38-0.47), respectively. Conclusion: In prehospital environment, the high risk NEWS category was associated with 1-day mortality well above that of the medium and low risk NEWS categories. This effect was not as noticeable for 30-day mortality. The prehospital NEWS may be useful tool for recognising patients at early risk of death, allowing earlier interventions and responds to these patients.
  • Ericsson, Christoffer R.; Nordquist, Hilla; Lindström, Veronica; Rudman, Ann (2021)
    Background Paramedics experience traumatic events and social emergencies during assignments while also being subjected to verbal and physical threats. Consequently, they are at risk for burnout and secondary traumatic stress, factors inherent to professional quality of life. Defusing and peer-support potentially decrease such symptoms; however, perceived defusing needs and use are not always balanced. Our aim was to explore Finnish paramedics' professional quality of life, using the Professional Quality of Life Scale, with associations to EMS assignment experiences as well as formal and informal defusing need and use over a 12-month period. Methods A quantitative study of 257 Finnish paramedics using a cross-sectional design. Study outcomes were secondary traumatic stress (STS), compassion satisfaction (CS), and burnout (BO) scores using the modified 9-item Short Professional Quality of Life scale (ProQOL). Likert-type scales were used to collect participants' recollections of assignment experiences and defusing from a 12-month period. Associations were explored using Spearman's correlation coefficients. Results Short ProQOL score medians were STS 4.00 (IQR 3), BO 6.00 (IQR 3) and CS 13.00 (IQR 3). STS and BO correlated to experiences of social emergencies and traumatic events while BO correlated to experiences of threat situations (r = 0.206, p = .001). Paramedics perceived a need for defusing in general associated with STS (r = 0.178, p < .001) and participated in informal defusing. Participation in defusing of any form did not associate with ProQOL scores. Conclusions Finnish paramedics' more frequent experiences of social emergencies, traumatic events, and paramedic-directed threat situations were associated with higher levels of STS and BO. STS was also associated with paramedics' increased need for defusing and use of informal peer defusing, although neither STS, BO or CS scores associated to any defusing form. Managing paramedics STS and BO, while fostering CS, could therefore be a future research focus.
  • Varg, Sofi; Vicente, Veronica; Castren, Maaret; Lindgren, Peter; Rehnberg, Clas (2020)
    Background A decision system in the ambulance allowing alternative pathways to alternate healthcare providers has been developed for older patients in Stockholm, Sweden. However, subsequent healthcare resource use resulting from these pathways has not yet been addressed. The aim of this study was therefore to describe patient pathways, healthcare utilisation and costs following ambulance transportation to alternative healthcare providers. Methods The design of this study was descriptive and observational. Data from a previous RCT, where a decision system in the ambulance enabled alternative healthcare pathways to alternate healthcare providers were linked to register data. The receiving providers were: primary acute care centre or secondary geriatric ward, both located at the same community hospital, or the conventional pathway to the emergency department at an acute hospital. Resource use over 10 days, subsequent to assessment with the decision system, was mapped in terms of healthcare pathways, utilisation and costs for the 98 included cases. Results Almost 90% were transported to the acute care centre or geriatric ward. The vast majority arriving to the geriatric ward stayed there until the end of follow-up or until discharged, whereas patients conveyed to the acute care centre to a large extent were admitted to hospital. The median patient had 6 hospital days, 2 outpatient visits and costed roughly 4000 euros over the 10-day period. Arrival destination geriatric ward indicated the longest hospital stay and the emergency department the shortest. However, the cost for the 10-day period was lower for cases arriving to the geriatric ward than for those arriving to the emergency department. Conclusions The findings support the appropriateness of admittance directly to secondary geriatric care for older adults. However, patients conveyed to the acute care centre ought to be studied in more detail with regards to appropriate level of care.
  • REAPPROPRIATE Study Grp; Druwe, Patrick; Monsieurs, Koenraad G.; Gagg, James; Nurmi, Jouni; Benoit, Dominique D. (2021)
    Introduction: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in patients with a poor prognosis increases the risk of perception of inappropriate care leading to moral distress in clinicians. We evaluated whether perception of inappropriate CPR is associated with intention to leave the job among emergency clinicians. Methods: A cross-sectional multi-centre survey was conducted in 24 countries. Factors associated with intention to leave the job were analysed by conditional logistic regression models. Results are expressed as odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals. Results: Of 5099 surveyed emergency clinicians, 1836 (36.0%) were physicians, 1313 (25.7%) nurses, 1950 (38.2%) emergency medical technicians. Intention to leave the job was expressed by 1721 (33.8%) clinicians, 3403 (66.7%) often wondered about the appropriateness of a resuscitation attempt, 2955 (58.0%) reported moral distress caused by inappropriate CPR. After adjustment for other covariates, the risk of intention to leave the job was higher in clinicians often wondering about the appropriateness of a resuscitation attempt (1.43 [1.23-1.67]), experiencing associated moral distress (1.44 [1.24 -1.66]) and who were between 30-44 years old (1.53 [1.21-1.92] compared to Conclusion: Resuscitation attempts perceived as inappropriate by clinicians, and the accompanying moral distress, were associated with an increased likelihood of intention to leave the job. Interprofessional collaboration, teamwork, and regular interdisciplinary debriefing were associated with a lower risk of intention to leave the job.
  • Hoikka, Marko; Länkimäki, Sami; Silfvast, Tom; Ala-Kokko, Tero I. (2016)
    Background: In Finland, calls for emergency medical services are prioritized by educated non-medical personnel into four categories-from A (highest risk) to D (lowest risk)-following a criteria-based national dispatch protocol. Discrepancies in triage may result in risk overestimation, leading to inappropriate use of emergency medical services units and to risk underestimation that can negatively impact patient outcome. To evaluate dispatch protocol accuracy, we assessed association between priority assigned at dispatch and the patient's condition assessed by emergency medical services on the scene using an early warning risk assessment tool. Methods: Using medical charts, clinical variables were prospectively recorded and evaluated for all emergency medical services missions in two hospital districts in Northern Finland during 1.1.2014-30.6.2014. Risk assessment was then re-categorized as low, medium, or high by calculating the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) based on the patients' clinical variables measured at the scene. Results: A total of 12,729 emergency medical services missions were evaluated, of which 616 (4.8%) were prioritized as A, 3193 (25.1%) as B, 5637 (44.3%) as C, and 3283 (25.8%) as D. Overall, 67.5% of the dispatch missions were correctly estimated according to NEWS. Of the highest dispatch priority missions A and B, 76.9 and 78.3%, respectively, were overestimated. Of the low urgency missions (C and D), 10.7% were underestimated; 32.0% of the patients who were assigned NEWS indicating high risk had initially been classified as low urgency C or D priorities at the dispatch. Discussion and conclusion: The present results show that the current Finnish medical dispatch protocol is suboptimal and needs to be further developed. A substantial proportion of EMS missions assessed as highest priority were categorized as lower risk according to the NEWS determined at the scene, indicating over-triage with the protocol. On the other hand, only a quarter of the high risk NEWS patients were classified as the highest priority at dispatch, indicating considerable under-triage with the protocol.
  • Listo, Inari; Salmi, Heli; Hästbacka, Matti; Lääperi, Mitja; Oulasvirta, Jelena; Etelälahti, Tiina; Kuisma, Markku; Harve-Rytsälä, Heini (2021)
    Background: Identifying pediatric populations at risk for traumas would enable development of emergency medical services and emergency departments for children. Elucidation of the nature of socioeconomic differences in the incidence of pediatric out-of-hospital emergencies is needed to overcome inequities in child health. Methods: We retrieved all ambulance contacts during 17.12.2014-16.12.2018 involving children (0-15 years) in Helsinki, Finland and separated traumatic and nontraumatic emergencies. We compared the incidences of these emergencies in the pediatric population with socioeconomic markers of the scene of the emergency and of the residential area of the child. Results: Of 11,742 ambulance contacts involving children 4113 (35.0%) were traumatic. Traumatic emergencies occurred more often in neighborhoods with lower median income/household (P= 0.043) and were more common in children living in areas with lower median income/inhabitant (P = 0.001), higher unemployment (P < 0.001), and lower education (P < 0.001). The associations were weaker for traumatic than nontraumatic emergencies. Higher proportion of a pediatric population in a residential area (P= 0.005) had a protective effect. Exclusion of clinically unnecessary ambulance responses did not change the results. Conclusion: Traumatic emergencies in children are more common in areas with lower socioeconomic status. The possible protective effect of urban planning merits further studies. Type of study: Prognostic. Level of evidence: II. (c) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • EMS-AHF Study Grp; Harjola, Pia; Miro, Oscar; Martin-Sanchez, Francisco J.; Kuisma, Markku; Tarvasmäki, Tuukka; Harjola, Veli-Pekka; Hoppu, Sanna; Iirola, Timo; Kurola, Jouni; Lund, Vesa; Martikainen, Matti; Makela, Pekka; Torronen, Kari; Wilen, Susanna (2020)
    Aim To illustrate the pre-hospital management arsenals and protocols in different EMS units, and to estimate the perceived difficulty of diagnosing suspected acute heart failure (AHF) compared with other common pre-hospital conditions. Methods and results A multinational survey included 104 emergency medical service (EMS) regions from 18 countries. Diagnostic and therapeutic arsenals related to AHF management were reported for each type of EMS unit. The prevalence and contents of management protocols for common medical conditions treated pre-hospitally was collected. The perceived difficulty of diagnosing AHF and other medical conditions by emergency medical dispatchers and EMS personnel was interrogated. Ultrasound devices and point-of-care testing were available in advanced life support and helicopter EMS units in fewer than 25% of EMS regions. AHF protocols were present in 80.8% of regions. Protocols for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, chest pain, and dyspnoea were present in 95.2, 80.8, and 76.0% of EMS regions, respectively. Protocolized diagnostic actions for AHF management included 12-lead electrocardiogram (92.1% of regions), ultrasound examination (16.0%), and point-of-care testings for troponin and BNP (6.0 and 3.5%). Therapeutic actions included supplementary oxygen (93.2%), non-invasive ventilation (80.7%), intravenous furosemide, opiates, nitroglycerine (69.0, 68.6, and 57.0%), and intubation 71.5%. Diagnosing suspected AHF was considered easy to moderate by EMS personnel and moderate to difficult by emergency medical dispatchers (without significant differences between de novo and decompensated heart failure). In both settings, diagnosis of suspected AHF was considered easier than pulmonary embolism and more difficult than ST-elevation myocardial infarction, asthma, and stroke. Conclusions The prevalence of AHF protocols is rather high but the contents seem to vary. Difficulty of diagnosing suspected AHF seems to be moderate compared with other pre-hospital conditions.
  • Koski, Anssi; Kouvonen, Anne; Nordquist, Hilla (2021)
    Background: Mass gatherings create a need for careful pre-planning and preparedness due to their impact on authorities' resources and potential delays in response for emergencies. The aim of this study was to investigate all aspects of preparedness for mass gatherings from a multi-sector expert board's point of view. Method: Delphi-process was carried out involving experts from rescue service, emergency medical services, event organizers and on-site medical care providers. The Delphi questionnaire for Round 1 was based on previous research. The criterion for consensus was set at minimum 80% agreement in any of the three categories: important, neutral, and not important. Mean values were calculated using a five-point Likert scale. New claims were constructed from the results of open-ended questions. Results: The expert board found consensus in 50 out of 55 claims. Consensus percentages ranged from 100% to 53% and the mean values from 4.96 to 3.29 after the final, Round 3. Based on the results, authorities need to prepare for mass gatherings with additional operative resources. However, the focus of their preparedness should be outside of the event area itself. Regarding on-site medical care, in the largest and high-risk mass gatherings medical care should be provided by professionals rather than by volunteer based service. Conclusion: The multi-sector expert board found consensus on the majority of claims regarding preparedness for mass gatherings. The results of this study can be utilized in harmonization of practices and operative resources planning. Predicting authorities’ workload requires further research in order to enable more accurate resource deployment.
  • Koski, Anssi; Pappinen, Jukka; Kouvonen, Anne; Nordquist, Hilla (2022)
    Background: Mass gathering (MG) events may cause delayed emergency responses via various mechanisms and strain the resources of local emergency services. Therefore, preparedness, including adequate pre-planning and sufficient resourcing during MG events, is vital. The aim of this retrospective register study was to investigate the impact of MG events on the workload of rescue and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel during events to enable more precise and sufficient deployment of these authorities’ operative resources. Methods: The data from Finland covered of 25,124 EMS and rescue service missions during a three-year period (2015–2017), including data from nine MG events and reference material for the same weekdays two weeks before and after the event. The data were analysed through statistical and geospatial analyses. Results: Our findings showed that missions increased in most events included in this study. Analysis of the missions’ reasons showed that the categories of violence, traffic accidents and other accidents and injuries increased during events, with violence-related missions showing the highest relative risk (RR 1.87, 95% CI 1.43–2.44). In the four-grade (A–D) urgency grading, the analysis showed an increase in category C missions and a decrease in non-urgent category D missions. The analysis indicated an increase in missions during the evening and night-time. The geospatial analysis revealed dense hotspots of missions in the vicinity of the event area. Conclusion: The workload for EMS and rescue service personnel increases during MG events. Most of the increase is allocated to EMS staff, peaking in evening and night hours. The geospatial analysis showed hotspots of missions on the outskirts of the actual event area during events; thus, the workload can also increase for those authority resources that are not directly allocated to the event. Detailed information regarding workloads is valuable for the authorities that are responsible for resource planning and preparedness for MG events. Replicating the study internationally would improve the methodology for the future.
  • Pirneskoski, Jussi; Tamminen, Joonas; Kallonen, Antti; Nurmi, Jouni; Kuisma, Markku; Olkkola, Klaus T.; Hoppu, Sanna (2020)
    Aim of the study: The National Early Warning Score (NEWS) is a validated method for predicting clinical deterioration in hospital wards, but its performance in prehospital settings remains controversial. Modern machine learning models may outperform traditional statistical analyses for predicting short-term mortality. Thus, we aimed to compare the mortality prediction accuracy of NEWS and random forest machine learning using prehospital vital signs. Methods: In this retrospective study, all electronic ambulance mission reports between 2008 and 2015 in a single EMS system were collected. Adult patients (>= 18 years) were included in the analysis. Random forest models with and without blood glucose were compared to the traditional NEWS for predicting one-day mortality. A ten-fold cross-validation method was applied to train and validate the random forest models. Results: A total of 26,458 patients were included in the study of whom 278 (1.0%) died within one day of ambulance mission. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for one-day mortality was 0.836 (95% CI, 0.810-0.860) for NEWS, 0.858 (95% CI, 0.832-0.883) for a random forest trained with NEWS variables only and 0.868 (0.843-0.892) for a random forest trained with NEWS variables and blood glucose. Conclusion: A random forest algorithm trained with NEWS variables was superior to traditional NEWS for predicting one-day mortality in adult prehospital patients, although the risk of selection bias must be acknowledged. The inclusion of blood glucose in the model further improved its predictive performance.
  • Tommila, Miretta; Pappinen, Jukka; Raatiniemi, Lasse; Saviluoto, Anssi; Toivonen, Tuukka; Björkman, Johannes; Nurmi, Jouni (2022)
    Background Prehospital medical problem reporting is essential in the management of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) operations. The consensus-based template for reporting and documenting in physician-staffed prehospital services exists and the classification of medical problems presented in the template is widely used in research and quality improvement. However, validation of the reported prehospital medical problem is lacking. This study aimed to describe the in-hospital diagnoses, patient characteristics and medical interventions in different categories of medical problems. Methods This retrospective, observational registry study examined the 10 most common in-hospital International Statistical Classification of Disease (ICD-10) diagnoseswithin different prehospital medical problem categories, defined by the HEMS physician/paramedic immediately after the mission was completed. Data were gathered from a national HEMS quality registry and a national hospital discharge registry. Patient characteristics and medical interventions related to different medical problem categories are also described. Results A total of 33,844 patients were included in the analyses. All the medical problem categories included a broad spectrum of ICD-10 diagnoses (the number of diagnosis classes per medical problem category ranged from 73 to 403). The most frequent diagnoses were mainly consistent with the reported medical problems. Overlapping of ICD-10 diagnoses was mostly seen in two medical problem categories: stroke and acute neurology excluding stroke. Additionally, typical patient characteristics and disturbances in vital signs were related to adequate medical problem categories. Conclusions Medical problems reported by HEMS personnel have adequate correspondence to hospital discharge diagnoses. However, the classification of cerebrovascular accidents remains challenging.
  • Collaboration Group; Heino, Anssi; Raatiniemi, Lasse; Iirola, Timo; Meriläinen, Merja; Liisanantti, Janne; Tommila, Miretta; Harve-Rytsälä, Heini; Nurmi, Jouni (2021)
    BACKGROUND: The helicopter emergency services (HEMS) Benefit Score (HBS) is a nine-level scoring system developed to evaluate the benefits of HEMS missions. The HBS has been in clinical use for two decades in its original form. Advances in prehospital care, however, have produced demand for a revision of the HBS. Therefore, we developed the emergency medical services (EMS) Benefit Score (EBS) based on the former HBS. As reflected by its name, the aim of the EBS is to measure the benefits produced by the whole EMS systems to patients. METHODS: This is a four-round, web-based, international Delphi consensus study with a consensus definition made by experts from seven countries. Participants reviewed items of the revised HBS on a 5-point Likert scale. A content validity index (CVI) was calculated, and agreement was defined as a 70% CVI. Study included experts from seven European countries. Of these, 18 were prehospital expert panellists and 11 were in-hospital commentary board members. RESULTS: The first Delphi round resulted in 1248 intervention examples divided into ten diagnostic categories. After removing overlapping examples, 413 interventions were included in the second Delphi round, which resulted in 38 examples divided into HBS categories 3-8. In the third Delphi round, these resulted in 37 prehospital interventions, examples of which were given revised version of the score. In the fourth and final Delphi round, the expert panel was given an opportunity to accept or comment on the revised scoring system. CONCLUSIONS: The former HBS was revised by a Delphi methodology and EBS developed to represent its structural purpose better. The EBS includes 37 exemplar prehospital interventions to guide its clinical use. Trial registration The study permission was requested and granted by Turku University Hospital (decision number TP2/010/18).
  • Castren, M.; Mäkinen, Marja Tuulikki; Nilsson, J.; Lindstrom, V. (2017)
    The aim of the study was to investigate whether interprofessional education (IPE) and interprofessional collaboration (IPC) during the educational program had an impact on prehospital emergency care nurses' (PECN) self-reported competence towards the end of the study program. A cross-sectional study using the Nurse Professional Competence (NPC) Scale was conducted. A comparison was made between PECN students from Finland who experienced IPE and IPC in the clinical setting, and PECN students from Sweden with no IPE and a low level of IPC. Forty-one students participated (Finnish n = 19, Swedish n = 22). The self-reported competence was higher among the Swedish students. A statistically significant difference was found in one competence area; legislation in nursing and safety planning (p <0.01). The Finnish students scored significantly higher on items related to interprofessional teamwork. Both the Swedish and Finnish students' self-reported professional competence was relatively low according to the NPC Scale. Increasing IPC and IPE in combination with offering a higher academic degree may be an option when developing the ambulance service and the study program for PECNs. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • EURODEM Study Grp; Harjola, Pia; Tarvasmäki, Tuukka; Barletta, Cinzia; Tolonen, Jukka; Palomäki, Ari; Harjola, Veli-Pekka; Laribi, Said; Kokkonen, Liisa; Valli, Juha; Kiljunen, Minna (2022)
    Background Acute heart failure patients are often encountered in emergency departments (ED) from 11% to 57% using emergency medical services (EMS). Our aim was to evaluate the association of EMS use with acute heart failure patients' ED management and short-term outcomes. Methods This was a sub-analysis of a European EURODEM study. Data on patients presenting with dyspnoea were collected prospectively from European EDs. Patients with ED diagnosis of acute heart failure were categorized into two groups: those using EMS and those self-presenting (non- EMS). The independent association between EMS use and 30-day mortality was evaluated with logistic regression. Results Of the 500 acute heart failure patients, with information about the arrival mode to the ED, 309 (61.8%) arrived by EMS. These patients were older (median age 80 vs. 75 years, p < 0.001), more often female (56.4% vs. 42.1%, p = 0.002) and had more dementia (18.7% vs. 7.2%, p < 0.001). On admission, EMS patients had more often confusion (14.2% vs. 2.1%, p < 0.001) and higher respiratory rate (24/min vs. 21/min, p = 0.014; respiratory rate > 30/min in 17.1% patients vs. 7.5%, p = 0.005). The only difference in ED management appeared in the use of ventilatory support: 78.3% of EMS patients vs. 67.5% of non- EMS patients received supplementary oxygen (p = 0.007), and non-invasive ventilation was administered to 12.5% of EMS patients vs. 4.2% non- EMS patients (p = 0.002). EMS patients were more often hospitalized (82.4% vs. 65.9%, p < 0.001), had higher in-hospital mortality (8.7% vs. 3.1%, p = 0.014) and 30-day mortality (14.3% vs. 4.9%, p < 0.001). The use of EMS was an independent predictor of 30-day mortality (OR = 2.54, 95% CI 1.11-5.81, p = 0.027). Conclusion Most acute heart failure patients arrive at ED by EMS. These patients suffer from more severe respiratory distress and receive more often ventilatory support. EMS use is an independent predictor of 30-day mortality.