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Emergency medical service provider decision-making in out of hospital cardiac arrest: An exploratory study

Kirby, K.; Benger, J.; Brandling, Janet; Voss, Sarah; Black, S.

Authors

K. Kirby

J. Benger

Sarah Voss Sarah.Voss@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Emergency and Critical Care

S. Black



Abstract

© 2017 The Author(s). Background: There are approximately 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) in the United Kingdom (UK) each year. Within the UK there are well-established clinical practice guidelines that define when resuscitation should be commenced in OHCA, and when resuscitation should cease. Background literature indicates that decision-making in the commencement and cessation of resuscitation efforts in OHCA is complex, and not comprehensively understood. No relevant research from the UK has been published to date and this research study seeks to explore the influences on UK Emergency Medical Service (EMS) provider decision-making when commencing and ceasing resuscitation attempts in OHCA. The aim of this research to explore the influences on UK Emergency Medical Services provider decision-making when commencing and ceasing resuscitation attempts in OHCA. Methods: Four focus groups were convened with 16 clinically active EMS providers. Four case vignettes were discussed to explore decision-making within the focus groups. Thematic analysis was used to analyse transcripts. Results: This research found that there are three stages in the decision-making process when EMS providers consider whether to commence or cease resuscitation attempts in OHCA. These stages are: the call; arrival on scene; the protocol. Influential factors present at each of the three stages can lead to different decisions and variability in practice. These influences are: factual information available to the EMS provider; structural factors such as protocol, guidance and research; cultural beliefs and values; interpersonal factors; risk factors; personal values and beliefs. Conclusions: An improved understanding of the circumstantial, individual and interpersonal factors that mediate the decision-making process in clinical practice could inform the development of more effective clinical guidelines, education and clinical decision support in OHCA. These changes have the potential to lead to greater consistency. and EMS provider confidence, with the potential for improved patient outcome from OHCA.

Citation

Benger, J., Kirby, K., Brandling, J., Black, S., & Voss, S. (2017). Emergency medical service provider decision-making in out of hospital cardiac arrest: An exploratory study. BMC Emergency Medicine, 17(1), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12873-017-0136-3

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 17, 2017
Publication Date Jul 25, 2017
Publicly Available Date Nov 30, -0001
Journal BMC Emergency Medicine
Electronic ISSN 1471-227X
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 1
DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/s12873-017-0136-3
Keywords out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, emergency medical services, decision making, resuscitation
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/883936
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12873-017-0136-3

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