Volume 1 Issue 12

Safeguarding children: role of health professionals

This article serves as an introduction and an outline of the related terms in child abuse, explaining different types. This article should be read in conjunction with a number of other key documents that will be highlighted. Taking action in response to child abuse is never easy, but one of the worst things you can do is nothing. This begins with recognizing and reporting any concerns or suspicions and may involve contributing to assessments, child protection conferences and core groups. Child protection comes before all other considerations, including patient confidentiality and your relationship with a child's parents. Remember there is no such thing as a wrong referral—it is only wrong not to do one. Part two of this series will explain how to report and manage suspected child abuse.

Traumatic amputation and limb preservation

Although the nature and circumstances of traumatic amputation are beyond the control of prehospital emergency care providers, their actions on scene and during transportation may still have a great influence upon both morbidity and mortality. Familiarity with the body's physiological response to major trauma and the military paradigm of treatment may well prove life-saving, as will understanding the potential need for an aggressive approach to haemorrhage management (including the use of tourniquets) and rapid transportation to definitive care. Where appropriate, effective cooling of the amputated part will maximize the possibility for successful replantation (surgical reattachment), although a poor cooling technique is likely to cause further cellular damage through either freezing or tissue maceration. This article will discuss the types of amputation and the key factors in the management of these types of injuries.

Pandemics, panics and preparedness

The ‘flu season is upon us once more. This year, however, it will be further compounded by the H1N1 virus—otherwise known as ‘swine flu’. Usually only affecting those in close contact with pigs (hence the name), the swine influenza virus is an H1N1 subtype, meaning the virus is now transmitted by person-to-person contact. Classed as a pandemic, referring to a global spread, the virus has spread rapidly, and as a new virus, is infecting those with little immunological resistance.

The Emergency Services Show 2009

Now in its fourth year, The Emergency Services Show is an essential date for anyone at the cutting edge of the police, ambulance and fire services. This year's event will be held on 24-25 November at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry.

A record for renewals

From June to August 2009, a record number of paramedics renewed their registration. A series of collaborative working measures and projects to increase awareness of key dates have ensured the highest percentage of successful renewals across all professions since registration began in 2003.

Exploring the accuracy of triage after disaster

Kahn et al conducted a retrospective study exploring the use of the triage algorithm ‘Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment’ (START) following a rail crash involving a commuter train carrying 262 people and a freight train carrying two people.

ALSG: continuing education and paramedic practice

The Advanced Life Support Group (ALSG) is a medical education charity based in Manchester. Its prime purpose is to: ‘preserve life by providing training and education to the general public and in particular but not exclusively to doctors, nurses and other members of the medical profession, in life-saving techniques’. In striving to achieve this aim, it currently offers 19 courses in the UK and in 27 other countries worldwide. Among the courses are some that are of particular interest to the paramedic community.

Continuing Professional Development: Deficiencies in patient handover: A Case study

OverviewThis module discusses the concept of patient handover between ambulance clinicians and hospital staff, using a case study from the author's practice. It looks both at handovers that take place in ‘Resus’ rooms and those less time-critical exchanges in other areas of the Accident and Emergency Department. It explores how the handover can be rendered ineffective by errors in communication between the two parties and how this can be detrimental to the patient. It also looks into whether the hospital or ambulance staff are to blame for errors in patient handover. Finally, suggestions are made for areas of further study.Learning OutcomesAfter completing this module you will be able to:• Understand what factors contribute to a good and a bad handover• Define active listening and why it is important• Consider how hospital waiting times can affect the quality of the handover• Recognize the importance of good interpersonal working relationships

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