Pre-hospital ambulance care of patients following a suspected seizure: a cross sectional study

Dickson, Jon M. and Asghar, Zahid, B. and Siriwardena, A. Niroshan (2018) Pre-hospital ambulance care of patients following a suspected seizure: a cross sectional study. Seizure, 57 . pp. 38-44. ISSN 1059-1311

Pre-hospital ambulance care of patients following a suspected seizure: A cross sectional study
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Purpose: We aimed to investigate the characteristics of patients presenting to the ambulance service with suspected seizures, the costs of managing these patients and the factors which predicted transport to hospital.
Methods: We employed a cross-sectional design using routine clinical data from a UK regional ambulance service. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of transport to hospital from ambulance response times, demographics, clinical (physiological) findings and treatments.
Results: There were 177,715 emergency incidents recorded in 2011/12 of which 2.9% (5139/177,715) were classified as seizures by ambulance call handlers and 2.7% (4884/177,715) by paramedics on the scene. Suspected seizures were the seventh most common call type. The annual cost of managing these incidents was £890,148. Clinical and physiological variables were normal for most patients. 59.3% (2894/4884) of patients were transported to hospital. 1/4884 (0.02%) patient died. Administration of diazepam, insertion of an airway and pyrexia perfectly predicted transport to hospital, tachycardia had a modest association, but other variables were only weak predictors of transport to hospital.
Conclusions: This study shows that most patients after a suspected seizure are not acutely unwell but nevertheless most patients are transported to hospital. Further research is required to determine which factors are important in decisions to transport to hospital and to create evidence-based tools to help paramedics identify patients who could be safely managed without transport to hospital.

Keywords:emergency care systems, neurology, epilepsy, paramedics, prehospital care, clinical management
Subjects:A Medicine and Dentistry > A300 Clinical Medicine
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B780 Paramedical Nursing
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B710 Community Nursing
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
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ID Code:31381
Deposited On:10 Apr 2018 11:20

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