Richard Lyon

Richard Lyon


Professor in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine

Biography

Biography

Richard is a Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Pre-hospital Care at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Clinical Lead for the Medic One flying squad. He is a Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) Consultant and Director of Research for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Born in Luxembourg, Richard developed an early passion for pre-hospital emergency care as a volunteer fireman. He studied at Edinburgh University where he developed close research links with the Scottish Ambulance Service. He undertook a unique doctorate thesis on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, a project that has developed into a national strategy for cardiac arrest in Scotland.

Richard has an established research portfolio in pre-hospital resuscitation, trauma care and emergency medicine with an extensive publication record. He has won numerous international awards including the top research award from the European Resuscitation Council and British Medical Journal Group Emergency Medicine Team of the Year.

Richard was a lead doctor for the London 2012 Olympic Stadium and takes leading role in Event Medicine. He is an active member of the UK International Search & Rescue Team and deployed to the Nepal Earthquake in 2015. Richard is a current member of the Resuscitation Council (UK) Executive Committee and author of several international pre-hospital guidelines.

My publications

Publications

Lyon R, de Sausmarez E, McWhirter E, Wareham G, Nelson M, Matthies A, Hudson A, Curtis L, Russell M (2017) Pre-hospital transfusion of packed red blood cells in 147 patients from a UK helicopter emergency medical service, Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 25 (12) BioMed Central
Background: Early transfusion of packed red blood cells (PRBC) has been associated with improved survival in patients with haemorrhagic shock. This study aims to describe the characteristics of patients receiving pre-hospital blood transfusion and evaluate their subsequent need for in-hospital transfusion and surgery. Methods: The decision to administer a pre-hospital PRBC transfusion was based on clinical judgment. All patients transfused pre-hospital PRBC between February 2013 and December 2014 were included. Pre-hospital and in-hospital records were retrospectively reviewed. Results: One hundred forty-seven patients were included. 142 patients had traumatic injuries and 5 patients had haemorrhagic shock from a medical origin. Median Injury Severity Score was 30. 90% of patients receiving PRBC had an ISS of >15. Patients received a mean of 2.4(±1.1) units of PRBC in the pre-hospital phase. Median time from initial emergency call to hospital arrival was 114 min (IQR 103?140). There was significant improvement in systolic (p
Lyon R, Crawford A, Crookston C, Short S, Clegg GR (2015) The combined use of mechanical CPR and a carry sheet to maintain quality resuscitation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients during extrication and transport, Resuscitation 93 pp. 102-106 Elsevier
Background

Quality of manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during extrication and transport of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims is known to be poor. Performing manual CPR during ambulance transport poses significant risk to the attending emergency medical services crew. We sought to use pre-hospital video recording to objectively analyse the impact of introducing mechanical CPR with an extrication sheet (Autopulse, Zoll) to an advanced, second-tier cardiac arrest response team.

Methods

The study was conducted prospectively using defibrillator downloads and analysis of pre-hospital video recording to measure the quality of CPR during extrication from scene and ambulance transport of the OHCA patient. Adult patients with non-traumatic OHCA were included. The interruption to manual CPR to during extrication and to deploy the mechanical CPR device was analysed.

Results

In the manual CPR group, 53 OHCA cases were analysed for quality of CPR during extrication. The median time that chest compression was interrupted to allow the patient to be carried from scene to the ambulance was 270 s (IQR 201?387 s). 119 mechanical CPR cases were analysed. The median time interruption from last manual compression to first Autopulse compression was 39 s (IQR 29?47 s). The range from last manual compression to first Autopulse compression was 14?118 s.

Conclusion

Mechanical CPR used in combination with an extrication sheet can be effectively used to improve the quality of resuscitation during extrication and ambulance transport of the refractory OHCA patient. The time interval to deploy the mechanical CPR device can be shortened with regular simulation training.

Lyon R, Perkins ZB, Chatterjee D, Lockey DJ, Russell MQ (2015) Significant modification of traditional rapid sequence induction improves safety and effectiveness of pre-hospital trauma anaesthesia, Critical Care 19 (134) BioMed Central
Introduction: Rapid Sequence Induction of anaesthesia (RSI) is the recommended method to facilitate emergency
tracheal intubation in trauma patients. In emergency situations, a simple and standardised RSI protocol may
improve the safety and effectiveness of the procedure. A crucial component of developing a standardised protocol
is the selection of induction agents. The aim of this study is to compare the safety and effectiveness of a traditional
RSI protocol using etomidate and suxamethonium with a modified RSI protocol using fentanyl, ketamine and
rocuronium.
Methods: We performed a comparative cohort study of major trauma patients undergoing pre-hospital RSI by a
physician-led Helicopter Emergency Medical Service. Group 1 underwent RSI using etomidate and suxamethonium
and Group 2 underwent RSI using fentanyl, ketamine and rocuronium. Apart from the induction agents, the RSI
protocol was identical in both groups. Outcomes measured included laryngoscopy view, intubation success,
haemodynamic response to laryngoscopy and tracheal intubation, and mortality.
Results: Compared to Group 1 (n = 116), Group 2 RSI (n = 145) produced significantly better laryngoscopy views
(p = 0.013) and resulted in significantly higher first-pass intubation success (95% versus 100%; p = 0.007). A hypertensive
response to laryngoscopy and tracheal intubation was less frequent following Group 2 RSI (79% versus 37%;
p each group developed true hypotension (SBP Conclusions: In a comparative, cohort study, pre-hospital RSI using fentanyl, ketamine and rocuronium produced
superior intubating conditions and a more favourable haemodynamic response to laryngoscopy and tracheal
intubation. An RSI protocol using fixed ratios of these agents delivers effective pre-hospital trauma anaesthesia.
Sunde GA, Heltne J-K, Lockey D, Burns B, Sandberg M, Fredriksen K, Hufthammer KO, Soti A, Lyon R, Jantti H, Kamarainen A, Reid BO, Silfvast T, Harm F, Sollid SJM (2015) Airway management by physician-staffed Helicopter Emergency Medical Services - a prospective, multicentre, observational study of 2,327 patients, SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF TRAUMA RESUSCITATION & EMERGENCY MEDICINE 23 ARTN 57 BIOMED CENTRAL LTD
Following the return of spontaneous circulation after cardiac arrest, neurological dysfunction, airway or ventilatory compromise can impede transport to early percutaneous coronary intervention, necessitating pre-hospital or emergency department anaesthesia to facilitate this procedure. There are no published reports of the ideal induction agents in these patients. We sought to describe haemodynamic changes associated with a midazolam (0.1mg/kg) fentanyl (2mcg/kg) rocuronium (1mg/kg) regimen developed from expert opinion, and adherence to the protocol by our pre-hospital teams. We performed a retrospective review of electronic vital-signs recorded during induction of return of spontaneous circulation patients over a 30-month period. We analysed the changes in systolic blood pressure and heart rate using a repeated-measures design, and the rate of new hypotension or hypertension. Sixty four patients had four consecutive measurements for analysis (one pre-induction and three post-induction). Systolic blood pressure was significantly lower than the pre-induction value at all three post-induction measurements. Heart rate did not differ between any time-point. New episodes of hypotension (systolic pressure
Sunde G, Sandberg M, Lyon R, Fredriksen K, Burns B, Hufthammer K, Røislien J, Soti A, Jäntti H, Lockey D, Heltne J, Sollid S (2017) Hypoxia and hypotension in patients intubated by physician staffed helicopter emergency medical services - a prospective observational multi-centre study, BMC Emergency Medicine 17 (22) BioMed Central
Background: The effective treatment of airway compromise in trauma and non-trauma patients is important.
Hypoxia and hypotension are predictors of negative patient outcomes and increased mortality, and may be
important quality indicators of care provided by emergency medical services. Excluding cardiac arrests, critical
trauma and non-trauma patients remain the two major groups to which helicopter emergency medical services
(HEMS) are dispatched. Several studies describe the impact of pre-hospital hypoxia or hypotension on trauma
patients, but few studies compare this in trauma and non-trauma patients. The primary aim was to describe the
incidence of pre-hospital hypoxia and hypotension in the two groups receiving pre-hospital tracheal intubation
(TI) by physician-staffed HEMS.
Methods: Data were collected prospectively over a 12-month period, using a uniform Utstein-style airway
template. Twenty-one physician-staffed HEMS in Europe and Australia participated. We compared peripheral
oxygen saturation and systolic blood pressure before and after definitive airway management. Data were
analysed using Cochran?Mantel?Haenszel methods and mixed-effects models.
Results: Eight hundred forty three trauma patients and 422 non-trauma patients receiving pre-hospital TI
were included. Non-trauma patients had significantly lower predicted mean pre-intervention SpO2 compared
to trauma patients. Post-intervention and admission SpO2 for the two groups were comparable. However, 3% in
both groups were still hypoxic at admission. For hypotension, the differences between the groups were less
prominent. However, 9% of trauma and 10% of non-trauma patients were still hypotensive at admission. There
was no difference in short-term survival between trauma (97%) and non-trauma patients (95%). Decreased level
of consciousness was the most frequent indication for TI, and was associated with increased survival to hospital
(cOR 2.8; 95% CI: 1.4?5.4).Conclusions: Our results showed that non-trauma patients had a higher incidence of hypoxia before TI than
trauma patients, but few were hypoxic at admission. The difference for hypotension was less prominent, but
one in ten patients were still hypotensive at admission. Further investigations are needed to identify reversible
causes that may be corrected to improve haemodynamics in the pre-hospital setting. We found high survival
rates to hospital in both groups, suggesting that physician-staffed HEMS provide high-quality emergency airway
m
Curtis Leigh, Salmon Mark, Lyon Richard (2017) The Impact of Helicopter Emergency Medical Service Night Operations in South East England, Air Medical Journal 36 (6) pp. 307-310 Elsevier
Objective

This study sought to assess the impact of a helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) capable of night operations.

Methods

This is a retrospective case review of all night HEMS missions attended by a charity air ambulance service in South East England over a 2-year period (October 1, 2013, to October 1, 2015).

Results

During the 2-year trial period, the HEMS service undertook a total of 5,004 missions and attended to 3,728 patients. Of these, 1,373 missions, or 27.4% of the total HEMS activity, were night missions. Night missions increased from year 1 (n = 617) to year 2 (n = 756). A mean of 1.9 missions per night were conducted, resulting in the treatment of 1.3 patients per night. A higher proportion of patients were transported to a major trauma center at night (64% vs. 51%, Ç2 = 41.8, P

Conclusion

A 2-year trial period of a night HEMS service in South East England showed the predicted activation rate, with a mean of 1.3 patients attended to per night. Patients transported to a major trauma center had a mean Injury Severity Score of 23. Further research is warranted to determine if the night HEMS service conveys a patient outcome benefit.

Major trauma is a leading cause of serious morbidity and mortality.1,2 Advanced prehospital care can improve the outcome for major trauma patients.3,4 Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust (KSSAAT) delivers advanced prehospital care by deploying 2 doctor/paramedic teams by aircraft or response car. The 2 teams respond from 2 separate bases in South East England, 1 based in Surrey and 1 based in Kent. Historically, KSSAAT was operational between 0700 and 1900 hours 7 days per week. However, major trauma frequently occurs overnight, and the lack of a night helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) was felt to be detrimental to enhanced patient care because no enhanced prehospital medical care was available overnight.

Before any night HEMS service was available, KSSAAT undertook a prospective study in 2010 to explore the possible impact that a night HEMS service may have.5 This study showed the likely need of a night HEMS team being tasked 1.7 times per night during the hours of 1900 to 0700. The incidence of these predicted cases continued throughout the entire night period but with gradually decreasing frequency. Most nights of the week were predicted to have similar levels of activity with the exception of Saturday, which appeared to be the busiest night of the week. A high number of the cases identified resulted in the patient being transported to a major trauma center (MTC), indicating that HEMS activation may well have been warranted.

Based on this study, KSSAAT made the decision to commit itself to exploring the options for night HEMS operations. This commitment was the start of a 3-year research, development, and training process, which culminated with the launch of a 2-year night HEMS operational trial on the night of September 26, 2013. At this point, KSSAAT became the first 24/7 helicopter-based HEMS in the United Kingdom. The purpose of this study is to review the activity, case mix, and demographics of the 2-year night HEMS trial period. We sought to compare the actual activity of the night HEMS service with the previously estimated need.

Introduction

Major trauma can result in both life-threatening haemorrhage and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The pre-hospital management of these conditions, particularly in relation to the cardiovascular system, is very different. TBI can result in cardiovascular instability but the exact incidence remains poorly described. This study explores the incidence of cardiovascular instability in patients undergoing pre-hospital anaesthesia for suspected TBI.

Methods

Retrospective case series of all pre-hospital trauma patients attended by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust (United Kingdom) trauma team during the period 1 January 2015?31 December 2016. Patients were included if they showed clinical signs of TBI, underwent pre-hospital anaesthesia and hospital computed tomography scanning subsequently confirmed an isolated TBI.

Results

Out of 121 patients with confirmed isolated TBI, 68 were cardiovascularly stable throughout the pre-anaesthesia phase, whilst 53 (44%) showed signs of instability (HR/Ã/100bpm and/or SBP/Â/100/mmHg pre-anaesthesia). Hypotension (SBP/Â/100) with or without tachycardia was present in 14 (12%) patients. 10 (8%) patients with isolated TBI received pre-hospital blood product transfusion.

Conclusion

Increased awareness that traumatic brain injury can cause significant derangement to heart rate and blood pressure, even in the absence of major haemorrhage, would allow the pre-hospital clinician to treat cardiovascular instability with the most appropriate means, such as crystalloid and vasopressors, to limit secondary brain injury.

Fitzpatrick D, McKenna M, Duncan E, Laird C, Lyon R, Corfield A (2018) Critcomms: A national cross-sectional questionnaire based study to investigate prehospital handover practices between Ambulance Clinicians and Specialist Prehospital Teams in Scotland, Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 26 (45) pp. 1-11 BioMed Central

Background

Poor communication during patient handover is recognised internationally as a root cause of a significant proportion of preventable deaths. Improving the accuracy and quality of handover may reduce associated mortality and morbidity. Although the practice of handover between Ambulance and Emergency Department clinicians has received some attention over recent years there is little evidence to support handover best practice within the prehospital domain. Further research is therefore urgently required to understand the most appropriate way to deliver clinical information exchange in the pre-hospital environment. We aimed to investigate current clinical information exchange practices, perceived challenges and the preferred handover mnemonic for use during transfer of high acuity patients between ambulance clinicians and specialist prehospital teams.

Methods

A national, cross-sectional questionnaire study. Participants were road based ambulance clinicians (RBAC) or active members of specialist prehospital teams (SPHT) based in Scotland.

Results

Over a three month study period there were 247 prehospital incidents involving specialist teams. 190 individuals completed the questionnaire; 61% [n=116] RBAC and 39% [n=74] SPHT. Median length of prehospital experience was 10 years (IQR 5-18). Overall current prehospital handover practices were perceived as being effective (Mdn 4.00; IQR 3-4 [1= very ineffective - 5 = very effective]) although SPHT clinicians rated handover effectiveness slightly lower than RBAC's (Mdn 3.00 vs 4.00, U = 1842.5, p = .03). 'ATMIST' (Age, Time of onset, Medical complaint/injury, Investigation, Signs and Treatment) was deemed the mnemonic of choice. The clinical variables perceived as essential for handover are not explicitly identified within the SBAR mnemonic. The most frequently reported method of recording and transferring information during handover was via memory (n=112 and n=120 respectively) and ?interruptions? were perceived as the most significant barrier to effective handover.

Conclusion

While, overall, current prehospital handover practice is perceived as effective this study has identified a number of areas for handover improvement. These include the development of a shared mental model through system standardisation, innovations to support information recording and delivery, and the clear identification at incidents of a handover lead. Mnemonics must be carefully selected to ensure they explicitly contain the perceived essential clinical variables required for prehospital handover; the mnemonic ATMIST meets these requirements. New theoretically informed, evidence-based interventions, must be developed and tested within existing systems of care to minimise information loss and risk to patients.

Fitzpatrick D, McKenna M, Duncan E, Laird C, Lyon R, Corfield A (2018) Critcomms: A national cross-sectional questionnaire based study to investigate prehospital handover practices between Ambulance Clinicians and Specialist Prehospital Teams in Scotland., Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 26 45 BioMed Central
Background:

Poor communication during patient handover is recognised internationally as a root cause of a
significant proportion of preventable deaths. Improving the accuracy and quality of handover may reduce
associated mortality and morbidity. Although the practice of handover between Ambulance and Emergency
Department clinicians has received some attention over recent years there is little evidence to support handover
best practice within the prehospital domain. Further research is therefore urgently required to understand the most
appropriate way to deliver clinical information exchange in the pre-hospital environment. We aimed to investigate
current clinical information exchange practices, perceived challenges and the preferred handover mnemonic for
use during transfer of high acuity patients between ambulance clinicians and specialist prehospital teams.

Methods:

A national, cross-sectional questionnaire study. Participants were road based ambulance clinicians (RBAC)
or active members of specialist prehospital teams (SPHT) based in Scotland.

Results:

Over a three month study period there were 247 prehospital incidents involving specialist teams. One
hundred ninety individuals completed the questionnaire; 61% [n = 116] RBAC and 39% [n = 74] SPHT. Median
length of prehospital experience was 10 years (IQR 5?18). Overall current prehospital handover practices were
perceived as being effective (Mdn 4.00; IQR 3?4 [1 = very ineffective - 5 = very effective]) although SPHT clinicians
rated handover effectiveness slightly lower than RBAC?s (Mdn 3.00 vs 4.00, U = 1842.5, p = .03). ?ATMIST? (Age, Time
of onset, Medical complaint/injury, Investigation, Signs and Treatment) was deemed the mnemonic of choice. The
clinical variables perceived as essential for handover are not explicitly identified within the SBAR mnemonic. The
most frequently reported method of recording and transferring information during handover was via memory (n = 112
and n = 120 respectively) and ?interruptions? were perceived as the most significant barrier to effective handover.

Conclusion:

While, overall, current prehospital handover practice is perceived as effective this study has identified a
number of areas for improvement. These include the development of a shared mental model through system
standardisation, innovations to support information recording and delivery, and the clear identification at incidents of a
handover lead. Mnemonics must be carefully selected to ensure they explicitly contain the perceived essential clinical
variables required for prehospital handover; the mnemonic ATMIST meets these requirements. New theoretically
informed, evidence-based interventions, must be developed and tested within existing systems of care to minimise
information loss and risk to patients.

Fitzpatrick D, McKenna M, Duncan E, Laird C, Lyon R, Corfield A (2018) Critcomms: a national cross-sectional
questionnaire based study to investigate
prehospital handover practices between
ambulance clinicians and specialist
prehospital teams in Scotland,
Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 26 45 BioMed Central
Background:

Poor communication during patient handover is recognised internationally as a root cause of a
significant proportion of preventable deaths. Improving the accuracy and quality of handover may reduce
associated mortality and morbidity. Although the practice of handover between Ambulance and Emergency
Department clinicians has received some attention over recent years there is little evidence to support handover
best practice within the prehospital domain. Further research is therefore urgently required to understand the most
appropriate way to deliver clinical information exchange in the pre-hospital environment. We aimed to investigate
current clinical information exchange practices, perceived challenges and the preferred handover mnemonic for
use during transfer of high acuity patients between ambulance clinicians and specialist prehospital teams.

Methods:

A national, cross-sectional questionnaire study. Participants were road based ambulance clinicians (RBAC)
or active members of specialist prehospital teams (SPHT) based in Scotland.

Results:

Over a three month study period there were 247 prehospital incidents involving specialist teams. One
hundred ninety individuals completed the questionnaire; 61% [n = 116] RBAC and 39% [n = 74] SPHT. Median
length of prehospital experience was 10 years (IQR 5?18). Overall current prehospital handover practices were
perceived as being effective (Mdn 4.00; IQR 3?4 [1 = very ineffective - 5 = very effective]) although SPHT clinicians
rated handover effectiveness slightly lower than RBAC?s (Mdn 3.00 vs 4.00, U = 1842.5, p = .03). ?ATMIST? (Age, Time
of onset, Medical complaint/injury, Investigation, Signs and Treatment) was deemed the mnemonic of choice. The
clinical variables perceived as essential for handover are not explicitly identified within the SBAR mnemonic. The
most frequently reported method of recording and transferring information during handover was via memory (n = 112
and n = 120 respectively) and ?interruptions? were perceived as the most significant barrier to effective handover.

Conclusion:

While, overall, current prehospital handover practice is perceived as effective this study has identified a
number of areas for improvement. These include the development of a shared mental model through system
standardisation, innovations to support information recording and delivery, and the clear identification at incidents of a
handover lead. Mnemonics must be carefully selected to ensure they explicitly contain the perceived essential clinical
variables required for prehospital handover; the mnemonic ATMIST meets these requirements. New theoretically
informed, evidence-based interventions, must be developed and tested within existing systems of care to minimise
information loss and risk to patients.

Prentice Craig, Jeyanathan Jeyasankar, De Coverly Richard, Williams Julia, Lyon Richard (2018) Emergency medical dispatch recognition, clinical intervention and outcome of patients in traumatic cardiac arrest from major trauma: an observational study, BMJ Open 8 (9) e022464 BMJ Publishing Group

Objectives The aim of this study is to describe the demographics of reported traumatic cardiac arrest (TCA) victims, prehospital resuscitation and survival to hospital rate.

Setting Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in south-east England, covering a resident population of 4.5 million and a transient population of up to 8 million people.

Participants Patients reported on the initial 999 call to be in suspected traumatic cardiac arrest between 1 July 2016 and 31 December 2016 within the trust?s geographical region were identified. The inclusion criteria were all cases of reported TCA on receipt of the initial emergency call. Patients were subsequently excluded if a medical cause of cardiac arrest was suspected.

Outcome measures Patient records were analysed for actual presence of cardiac arrest, prehospital resuscitation procedures undertaken and for survival to hospital rates.

Results 112 patients were reported to be in TCA on receipt of the 999/112 call. 51 (46%) were found not to be in TCA on arrival of emergency medical services. Of the ?not in TCA cohort?, 34 (67%) received at least one advanced prehospital medical intervention (defined as emergency anaesthesia, thoracostomy, blood product transfusion or resuscitative thoracotomy). Of the 61 patients in actual TCA, 10 (16%) achieved return-of-spontaneous circulation. In 45 (88%) patients, the HEMS team escorted the patient to hospital.

Conclusion A significant proportion of patients reported to be in TCA on receipt of the emergency call are not in actual cardiac arrest but are critically unwell requiring advanced prehospital medical intervention. Early activation of an enhanced care team to a reported TCA call allows appropriate advanced resuscitation. Further research is warranted to determine which interventions contribute to improved TCA survival.

Munro Scott, Joy Mark, de Coverly Richard, Salmon Mark, Williams Julia, Lyon Richard M. (2018) A novel method of non-clinical dispatch is associated with a higher rate of critical Helicopter Emergency Medical Service intervention, Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 26 (84) pp. 1-7 BioMed Central
Background



Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) are a scarce resource that can provide advanced emergency medical care to unwell or injured patients. Accurate tasking of HEMS is required to incidents where advanced pre-hospital clinical care is needed. We sought to evaluate any association between non-clinically trained dispatchers, following a bespoke algorithm, compared with HEMS paramedic dispatchers with respect to incidents requiring a critical HEMS intervention.



Methods



Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data from two 12-month periods was performed (Period one: 1st April 2014 ? 1st April 2015; Period two: 1st April 2016 ? 1st April 2017). Period 1 was a Paramedic-led dispatch process. Period 2 was a non-clinical HEMS dispatcher assisted by a bespoke algorithm. Kent, Surrey & Sussex HEMS (KSS HEMS) is tasked to approximately 2500 cases annually and operates 24/7 across south-east England. The primary outcome measure was incidence of a HEMS intervention.



Results



A total of 4703 incidents were included; 2510 in period one and 2184 in period two. Variation in tasking was reduced by introducing non-clinical dispatchers. There was no difference in median time from 999 call to HEMS activation between period one and two (period one; median 7 min (IQR 4?17) vs period two; median 7 min (IQR 4?18). Non-clinical dispatch improved accuracy of HEMS tasking to a mission where a critical care intervention was required (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.04?1.51, p = 0.02).



Conclusion



The introduction of non-clinical, HEMS-specific dispatch, aided by a bespoke algorithm improved accuracy of HEMS tasking. Further research is warranted to explore where this model could be effective in other HEMS services.
Griggs J.E., Jeyanathan J., Joy M., Russell M.Q., Durge N., Bootland D., Dunn S., Sausmarez E.D., Wareham G., Weaver A., Lyon R.M. (2018) Mortality of civilian patients with suspected traumatic haemorrhage receiving pre-hospital transfusion of packed red blood cells compared to pre-hospital crystalloid, Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine BMC

Background

Major haemorrhage is a leading cause of mortality following major trauma. Increasingly, Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) in the United Kingdom provide pre-hospital transfusion with blood products, although the evidence to support this is equivocal. This study compares mortality for patients with suspected traumatic haemorrhage transfused with pre-hospital packed red blood cells (PRBC) compared to crystalloid.

Methods

A single centre retrospective observational cohort study between 1 January 2010 and 1 February 2015. Patients triggering a pre-hospital Code Red activation were eligible. The primary outcome measure was all-cause mortality at 6 hours and 28 days, including a sub-analysis of patients receiving a major and massive transfusion. Multivariable regression models predicted mortality. Multiple Imputation (MI) was employed, and logistic regression models were constructed for all imputed datasets.

Results

The crystalloid (n= 103) and PRBC (n= 92) group were comparable for demographics, Injury Severity Score (p= 0.67) and mechanism of injury (p= 0.74). Observed 6 hour mortality was smaller in the PRBC group (n= 10, 10%) compared to crystalloid group (n= 19, 18%). Adjusted OR was not statistically significant (OR 0.48, CI 0.19-1.19, p= 0.11). Observed mortality at 28 days was smaller in the PRBC group (n= 21, 27%) compared to crystalloid group (n= 31, 40%), p= 0.09. Adjusted OR was not statistically significant (OR 0.66, CI 0.32-1.35, p= 0.26). A statistically significant greater proportion of the crystalloid group required a major transfusion (n= 62, 63%) compared to the PRBC group (n= 41, 46%), p= 0.02. For patients requiring a massive transfusion observed mortality was smaller in the PRBC group at 28 days (p= 0.07).

Conclusion

In a single centre UK HEMS study, in patients with suspected traumatic haemorrhage who received a PRBC transfusion there was an observed, but non-significant, reduction in mortality at 6 hours and 28 days, also reflected in a massive transfusion subgroup. Patients receiving pre-hospital PRBC were significantly less likely to require an in-hospital major transfusion. Further adequately powered multi-centre prospective research is required to establish the optimum strategy for pre-hospital volume replacement in patients with traumatic haemorrhage.

ter Avest Ewoud, McWhirter Emily, Dunn Sophy, Griggs Joanne E, Lyon Richard M (2018) Pre-hospital death following traumatic cardiac arrest: do we get the feedback we need to improve our performance?, Air Medical Journal Elsevier
Objectives:

The aim of this study was to establish if in patients who die at scene as a result of a traumatic cardiac arrest (TCA), their cause of death could be determined through coroners reports, and to ascertain the quality of the feedback provided.

Methods:

This is a retrospective study of all patients presenting in TCA who were attended by the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance trust between 1 January 2015 and 30 June 2016.

Results:

In total, 159 patients were attended during the study period. PM reports could not be obtained for 37 patients, mainly due to unestablished identities at scene. Forty of the 122 reports obtained were full PM reports, 3 were inquest reports and for 79 patients only their (presumed) cause of death was provided. A specific cause of death was provided for 68 patients, whereas in the remaining 54 patients the cause of death was given as ?multiple injuries?. In 32% of the patients with a full PM report, injuries were identified during the post mortem examination that had not been noted on scene.

Conclusion:

Feedback from coroners to pre-hospital teams after patients die as a result of a TCA is important, but currently suboptimal.

ter Avest E., Griggs J., Prentice C., Jeyanathan J., Lyon R.M. (2019) Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest following trauma: What does a helicopter emergency medical service offer?, Resuscitation 135 pp. 73-79 Elsevier

Introduction

Helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) are often dispatched to patients in traumatic cardiac arrest (TCA) as they can provide treatments and advanced interventions in the pre-hospital environment that have the potential to contribute to an increased survival. This study, aimed to investigate the added value of HEMS in the treatment of TCA.

Methods

We performed a retrospective cohort study of all patients with a pre-hospital TCA who were attended by a non-urban HEMS (Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance trust) between July 1st 2013 and May 1st 2018. We investigated how many patients got return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) at scene, which HEMS specific advanced interventions were performed in these patients, and how these interventions were related to ROSC.

Results

During the study period 263 patients with a TCA were attended by HEMS with an average response time of 30/min [range 13?109]. 51 patients (20%) regained ROSC at scene (28 before- and 23 after arrival of HEMS). The HEMS specific interventions of blood product administration (OR 8.54 [2.84?25.72]), and RSI (2.95 [1.32?6.58]) were positively associated with ROSC. Most patients who had a ROSC had one or more HEMS specific interventions being performed ? RSI (n/=/19, 37%), blood product administration (n/=/32, 62%), thoracostomies (n/=/36, 71%) and thoracotomy (n/=/1, 2%). HEMS also delivered other important interventions to these patients as IV/IO access (n/=/20, 39.2%) and endotracheal intubation without drugs (n/=/9, 17.6%).

Conclusion

HEMS teams should be involved in the treatment of patients with a TCA, even in non-urban areas with prolonged response times, as they provide knowledge and skills that contribute to regaining and maintaining a sustained ROSC in this critically ill and injured cohort of patients.

Bootland Duncan, Rose Caroline, Barrett Jack W, Lyon Richard (2019) Pre-hospital anaesthesia and assessment of head injured patients presenting to a UK Helicopter Emergency Medical Service with a high Glasgow Coma Scale: a cohort study, BMJ Open 9 (2) e023307 pp. 1-6 BMJ Publishing Group

Objectives Patients who sustain a head injury but maintain a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) of 13?15 may still be suffering from a significant brain injury. We aimed to assess the appropriateness of triage and decision to perform prehospital rapid sequence induction (RSI) in patients attended by a UK Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) following head injury.

Design A retrospective cohort study of patients attended by Kent Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust (KSSAAT) HEMS.

Setting A mixed urban and rural area of 4.5 million people in South East England.

Participants GCS score of 13, 14 or 15 on arrival of the HEMS team and clinical findings suggesting head injury. Patients accompanied by the HEMS team to hospital (?Escorted?), and those that were ?Assisted? but conveyed by the ambulance service were reviewed. No age restrictions to inclusion were set.

Primary outcome measure Significant brain injury.

Secondary outcome measure Recognition of patients requiring prehospital anaesthesia for head injury.

Results Of 517 patients, 321 had adequate follow-up, 69% of these were Escorted, 31% Assisted. There was evidence of intracranial injury in 13.7% of patients and clinically important brain injury in 7.8%. There was no difference in the rate of clinically important brain injury between Escorted and Assisted patients (p=0.46). Nineteen patients required an RSI by the HEMS team and this patient group was significantly more likely to have clinically important brain injury (p=0.04).

Conclusion In patients attended by a UK HEMS service with a head injury and a GCS of 13?15, a small but significant proportion had a clinically important brain injury and a proportion were appropriately recognised as requiring prehospital RSI. For patients deemed not to need a HEMS intervention, differentiating between those with and without clinically important brain injury appears challenging.

Oakeshott Joanna E., Griggs Joanne E., Wareham Gary M., Lyon Richard (2018) Feasibility of prehospital freeze-dried plasma administration in a UK Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, European Journal of Emergency Medicine Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

Background

Early transfusion of patients with major traumatic haemorrhage may improve survival. This study aims to establish the feasibility of freeze-dried plasma transfusion in a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service in the United Kingdom.

Method

A retrospective observational study of major trauma patients attended by Kent, Surrey and Sussex Helicopter Emergency Medical Service and transfused freeze-dried plasma since it was introduced in April 2014.

Results

Of the 1873 patients attended over a 12-month period before its introduction, 79 patients received packed red blood cells (4.2%) with a total of 193 units transfused. Of 1881 patients after the introduction of freeze-dried plasma, 10 patients received packed red blood cells only and 66 received both packed red blood cells and freeze-dried plasma, with a total of 158 units of packed red blood cells transfused, representing an 18% reduction between the two 12-month periods. In the 20 months since its introduction, of 216 patients transfused with at least 1 unit of freeze-dried plasma, 116 (54.0%) patients received both freeze-dried plasma and packed red blood cells in a 1:1 ratio. Earlier transfusion was feasible, transferring the patient to hospital prior to transfusion would have incurred a delay of 71 minutes (IQR 59-90).

Conclusion

Pre-hospital freeze-dried plasma and packed red blood cell transfusion is feasible in a 1:1 ratio in patients with suspected traumatic haemorrhage. The use of freeze-dried plasma as a first line fluid bolus reduced the number of pre-hospital packed red blood cell units required and reduced the time to transfusion.