Jessica Lynd, Hannah Trebilcock, Kim Kirby, Susan Tuckett, Andy Perris, Sarah Black, Adrian South
Journal of Paramedic Practice, Vol. 9, Iss. 2, 03 Feb 2017, pp 67 - 70

Rapid identification of patients with life-threatening conditions is the main priority
for any ambulance telephone triage system. Historically there has been a focus
on the identification of patients in cardiac arrest; however, the clinical benefits of
early recognition of patients in peri-arrest could be considered equally important.
An expanded definition of the highest priority response, Red 1, was introduced to
identify patients who are critically unwell, at high risk of cardiac arrest, and who
would benefit clinically from the fastest level of response from the ambulance

An evaluation of the impact of the new Red 1 definition was completed in South
Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust during 2013. It demonstrated
that the new Red 1 definition was more sensitive than the previous Red 1
definition in identifying patients in cardiac arrest and those at high risk of out-ofhospital
cardiac arrest. The total number of patients who required resuscitation
decreased by 11.7% under the new Red 1 definition, supporting the hypothesis
that more patients are captured by the new Red 1 definition and a more rapid
response diminishes their likelihood of experiencing a cardiac arrest.

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