Emergency medicine journal : EMJ
Primary care services in or alongside emergency departments look and function differently and are described using inconsistent terminology. Research to determine effectiveness of these models is hampered by outdated classification systems, limiting the opportunity for data synthesis to draw conclusions and inform decision-making and policy. We used findings from a literature review, a national survey of Type 1 emergency departments in England and Wales, staff interviews, other routine data sources and discussions from two stakeholder events to inform the taxonomy. ⋯ We then describe a conceptual spectrum of integration: identifying constructs that influence how the services function-from being closer to an emergency medicine service or to usual primary care. This taxonomy provides a basis for future evaluation of service models that will comprise the evidence base to inform policy-making in this domain. Commissioners and service providers can consider these constructs in characterising and designing services depending on local circumstances and context.
What is this?
This Korean study investigated 6,620 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) witnessed by emergency medical providers, covering a four year period of the Korean OHCA registry. They looked at outcome among those receiving advanced airway intervention, comparing arrest at scene to arrest in the ambulance.
Why is this interesting?
Past studies have suggested better OHCA outcomes when a supraglottic airway (SGA) is used rather than endotrachial intubation (ETI). We also know that repeated advanced airway attempts are detrimental, and that airway intervention can interrupt CPR.
What was not known is:
- Whether SGA placement is detrimental or beneficial, compared with basic airway support, and;
- Whether there is any difference if the arrest occurs at the scene or in the confines of an ambulance.
And they found:
There was no benefit from advanced airway intervention (SGA or ETI) for EMS witnessed out-of-hospital arrest – and in fact there was an associated worse neurological outcome for in-ambulance OHCA when the airway was instrumented compared to any other group.
Don’t be hasty...
Although the authors reasonably describe the ways in which providing advanced airway interventions in the confines of an ambulance may impede other resuscitation, thus worsening outcomes, it may also be that a patient who still arrests despite receiving EMS care in the back of an ambulance is by definition at risk of worse outcomes despite medical care.
Nevertheless, at worst this retrospective observational study suggests there is no benefit of advanced airways in OHCA.
The authors also provide an interesting overview of the Korean emergency medical system, servicing 50 million people in urban and rural areas. This is an enlightening insight into how one country has structured its EMS service.summary
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