Monthly Archives: March 2010

Spine immobilisation in penetrating trauma

In a retrospective study of 45,284 penetrating trauma patients, unadjusted mortality was twice as high in the 4.3% of  patients who underwent spine immobilisation, compared with those who were not immobilised. An accompanying editorial comments: ‘The number needed to treat with … Continue reading

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College of Paramedics stands its ground

Articles in this month’s EMJ demonstrate an interesting conflict within UK pre-hospital care. The Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee Airway Working Group, heavily represented by anaesthetists, recommend the removal of tracheal intubation from UK paramedic practice. The College of … Continue reading

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Intubation harder on the floor or in an ambulance

An abstract from the The National Association of EMS Physicians® 2010 Scientific Assembly published in a Supplement of Prehospital Emergency Care describes a study comparing cadaveric intubation success rates by paramedics in different positions: on the floor, on an elevated … Continue reading

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Is defibrillation an electric threat for bystanders?

No rescuer or bystander has ever been seriously harmed by receiving an inadvertent shock while in direct or indirect contact with a patient during defibrillation. New evidence suggests that it might even be electrically safe for the rescuer to continue … Continue reading

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Stopping infusions before PCI transfer

An interhospital transport service introduced a no infusions policy for patients being transferred for primary coronary intervention, instead giving a bolus of heparin and glycoprotein 2b-3a inhibitor prior to transfer, along with non-intravenous nitrates (if needed). Discontinuing infusions during transport resulted … Continue reading

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Better TBI outcome with HEMS

A retrospective study from Italy compared outcomes of head injured patients cared for by a ground ambulance service (GROUND) with those managed by a HEMS team that included an experienced pre-hospital anaesthetist. Interestingly 73% of the ground group were also … Continue reading

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Ketamine use by paramedics

A poster presentation at the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine’s Annual Scientific Conference in Melbourne in November 2009 reports 100 cases of pre-hospital ketamine use for analgesia by paramedics in New Zealand – reproduced below with permission of the author: … Continue reading

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