Background: Intensive engagement with frequent callers (FCs) has been shown to be effective at reducing call volumes and producing positive outcomes for service users. Aims: This study aimed to examine the impact of sending a mass distribution letter to potential frequent callers (PFCs) on emergency call volumes. Methods: A standardised letter containing advice and information for newly identified PFCs was introduced in an attempt to signpost service users to more appropriate care providers before they met the FC criteria. In total, 96 letters were distributed to PFCs and their impact on emergency call volumes was assessed. Findings: Emergency calls decreased from 439 to 187 in the 10 weeks following letter distribution, equating to an average reduction of 57.5%. Conclusion: An association was found between letter distribution and a reduction in emergency calls. Future opportunities for development include an emphasis on feedback from recipients and determination of specific causality.
The provision of prehospital emergency healthcare around the world varies greatly. Each country implements a delivery model according to its own economy, population, culture, policy and geography, including Qatar. In the past decade, in preparation to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup, significant technological investments have been made to improve and develop the country's prehospital emergency health services. This article is based on an academic visit of two Turkish academics with an interest in prehospital care to Qatar. It was conducted in January 2020 and is supported by information from the literature. Qatar's prehospital healthcare system was found to be highly developed and organised as it is managed by a national ambulance service. Some comparisons are also made with respect to prehospital care in Turkey.
Background: Community paramedicine (CP) expands the paramedic role to emergency call prevention, yet little research has examined paramedics’ perspectives of CP. Aims: This study sought to explore paramedics’ views regarding the CP role and training. Methods: A cross-sectional, web-based survey of Ontario paramedics measured perceptions, support and interest in CP. Descriptive and regression analyses were conducted. Findings: Of the 452 participants, 57.5% were male, 43.6% primary care paramedics and 33.0% had a history of being on modified duty. Paramedics perceived CP to include treat-and-release (85.4%), community resource referrals (79.0%), expanded skills (77.9%), community education (75.9%) and follow-up (73.7%). Most were supportive (82.8%) and interested in participating (72.3%). Interest in training was lower in respondents with 20 or more years of service and higher in those with a history of modified duty (p<0.05). Conclusion: Paramedics are aware the CP role has multiple functions and are supportive and interested in CP. This study has implications for services as CP expands globally.
Background: Chest compressions are one of the few interventions proven to improve survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. While rescuer position has been investigated before, few studies have sought to assess how rescuer position affects the quality of chest compressions in a cohort of student paramedics. Aim: This study sought to determine if chest compressions performed from an over-the-head (OTH) position were more effective than those performed from a lateral (LAT) position in a cohort of student paramedics. Methods: Seventy-five student paramedics performed both OTH and LAT chest compressions in this randomised, crossover study. Metrics including chest compression rate, depth and recoil were used in the assessment of quality. Findings: No significant differences were observed between performance in the two positions in this study. Conclusion: There was no significant difference in the quality of chest compressions between the two positions studied. It seems OTH compressions are equally effective and are a viable alternative in the difficult-to-access arrested patient.
In his last column, Barry Costello looks back at his highs and lows as an NQP