Almost two-thirds of patients with extradural haematoma and bilateral fixed dilated pupils survived after surgery, with over half having a good outcome
Neurosurgeon, HEMS doctor, and all round good egg Mark Wilson was on the RAGE podcast recently and mentioned favourable outcomes from neurosurgery in patients with extradural (=epidural) haematomas who present with bilateral fixed dilated pupils (BFDP). Here’s his paper that gives the figures – a systematic review and meta-analysis.
A total of 82 patients with BFDP who underwent surgical evacuation of either subdural or extradural haematoma were identified from five studies – 57 with subdural (SDH) and 25 with extradural haematomas (EDH).
In patients with EDH and BFDP mortality was 29.7% (95% CI 14.7% to 47.2%) and 54.3% had a favourable outcome (95% CI 36.3% to 71.8%).
Only 6.6% of patients with SDH and BFDP had a good functional outcome.
Clearly there is potential for selection bias and publication bias, but these data certainly suggest an aggressive surgical approach is appropriate in some patients with BFDP.
The authors comment on the pessimism that accompanies these cases, which potentially denies patients opportunities for recovery:
“We believe that 54% of patients with extradural haematoma with BFDPs having a good outcome is an underappreciated prognosis, and the perceived poor prognosis of BFDPs (from all causes) has influenced decision making deeming surgery inappropriately futile in some cases.”
Scotter J, Hendrickson S, Marcus HJ, Wilson MH.
Prognosis of patients with bilateral fixed dilated pupils secondary to traumatic extradural or subdural haematoma who undergo surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Emerg Med J 2014 e-pub ahead of print Nov 11;:1–7
Primary objective To review the prognosis of patients with bilateral fixed and dilated pupils secondary to traumatic extradural (epidural) or subdural haematoma who undergo surgery.
Methods A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed using random effects models. The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and PubMed databases were searched to identify relevant publications. Eligible studies were publications that featured patients with bilateral fixed and dilated pupils who underwent surgical evacuation of traumatic extra-axial haematoma, and reported on the rate of favourable outcome (Glasgow Outcome Score 4 or 5).
Results Five cohort studies met the inclusion criteria, collectively reporting the outcome of 82 patients. In patients with extradural haematoma, the mortality rate was 29.7% (95% CI 14.7% to 47.2%) with a favourable outcome seen in 54.3% (95% CI 36.3% to 71.8%). In patients with acute subdural haematoma, the mortality rate was 66.4% (95% CI 50.5% to 81.9%) with a favourable outcome seen in 6.6% (95% CI 1.8% to 14.1%).
Conclusions and implications of key findings Despite the poor overall prognosis of patients with closed head injury and bilateral fixed and dilated pupils, our findings suggest that a good recovery is possible if an aggressive surgical approach is taken in selected cases, particularly those with extradural haematoma.
The Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma recommends early (<24 hours) open reduction and internal fracture fixation in trauma patients with open or closed femur fractures.
They acknowledge the strength of the evidence is low, but suggests a trend toward lower risk of infection, mortality, and venous thromboembolic disease.
They conclude: “the desirable effects of early femur fracture stabilization probably outweigh the undesirable effects in most patients”
Check out the rest of the EAST Trauma Guidelines
Optimal timing of femur fracture stabilization in polytrauma patients: A practice management guideline from the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma
Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 2014;77(5):787-795
Femur fractures are common among trauma patients and are typically seen in patients with multiple injuries resulting from high-energy mechanisms. Internal fixation with intramedullary nailing is the ideal method of treatment; however, there is no consensus regarding the optimal timing for internal fixation. We critically evaluated the literature regarding the benefit of early (<24 hours) versus late (>24 hours) open reduction and internal fixation of open or closed femur fractures on mortality, infection, and venous thromboembolism (VTE) in trauma patients.
A subcommittee of the Practice Management Guideline Committee of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis for the earlier question. RevMan software was used to generate forest plots. Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations methodology was used to rate the quality of the evidence, using GRADEpro software to create evidence tables.
No significant reduction in mortality was associated with early stabilization, with a risk ratio (RR) of 0.74 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.50–1.08). The quality of evidence was rated as “low.” No significant reduction in infection (RR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.10–1.6) or VTE (RR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.37–1.07) was associated with early stabilization. The quality of evidence was rated “low.”
In trauma patients with open or closed femur fractures, we suggest early (<24 hours) open reduction and internal fracture fixation. This recommendation is conditional because the strength of the evidence is low. Early stabilization of femur fractures shows a trend (statistically insignificant) toward lower risk of infection, mortality, and VTE. Therefore, the panel concludes the desirable effects of early femur fracture stabilization probably outweigh the undesirable effects in most patients.
Traumatic cardiac arrest outcomes are not great, but they’re not so bad that resuscitation is futile – a subject I’ve ranted about before.
The largest study on blunt traumatic arrest in children to date has been published, showing that 340 / 7766 kids without signs of life in the field survived to hospital discharge. Neurological status at discharge was not documented. However, this represents 4.4%, or in other words for every 22 blunt traumatically arrested children who underwent prehospital resuscitation, one survived to discharge. The authors describe this survival as ‘dismal’. It’s not great, but my take on it is that survival is possible and in most cases resuscitation should be attempted.
The authors state:
“Based on these data, EMS providers should not be discouraged from resuscitating blunt pediatric trauma patients found in the field with no signs of life”
While the major focus should be on injury prevention, it is worthwhile considering whether more advanced resuscitation in the field could be provided to further increase the number of neurologically intact survivors.
Survival of pediatric blunt trauma patients presenting with no signs of life in the field
J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2014 Sep;77(3):422-6
BACKGROUND: Prehospital traumatic cardiopulmonary arrest is associated with dismal prognosis, and patients rarely survive to hospital discharge. Recently established guidelines do not apply to the pediatric population because of paucity of data. The study objective was to determine the survival of pediatric patients presenting in the field with no signs of life after blunt trauma.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the National Trauma Data Bank research data set (2002-2010). All patients 18 years and younger with blunt traumatic injuries were identified (DRG International Classification of Diseases-9th Rev. codes 800-869). No signs of life (SOL) was defined on physical examination findings and included the following: pulse, 0; respiratory rate, 0; systolic blood pressure, 0; and no evidence of neurologic activity. These same criteria were reassessed on arrival at the emergency department (ED). Furthermore, we examined patients presenting to the ED who underwent resuscitative thoracotomy (Current Procedural Terminology code 34.02). Our primary outcome was survival to discharge from the hospital.
RESULTS: There were a total of 3,115,597 pediatric patients who were found in the field after experiencing blunt trauma. Of those, 7,766 (0.25%) had no SOL. Seventy percent of the patients with no SOL in the field were male. Survival to hospital discharge of all patients presenting with no SOL was 4.4% (n = 340). Twenty-five percent of the patients in the field with no SOL were successfully resuscitated in the field and regained SOL by the time they arrived to the ED (n = 1,913). Of those patients who regained SOL, 13.8% (n = 265) survived to hospital discharge. For patients in the field with no SOL, survival to discharge was significantly higher in patients who did not receive a resuscitative thoracotomy than in those who did.
CONCLUSION: Survival of pediatric blunt trauma patients in the field without SOL is dismal. Resuscitative thoracotomy poses a heightened risk of blood-borne pathogen exposure to involved health care workers and is associated with a significantly lower survival rate.
My talk at the SmaccGOLD conference in March 2014
Cliff Reid – When Should Resuscitation Stop from Social Media and Critical Care on Vimeo.
Here are the slides:
A paediatric trauma centre study showed that in their system, seven people at the bedside was the optimum number to get tasks done in a paediatric resuscitation. As numbers increased beyond this, there were ‘diminishing marginal returns’, ie. the output (tasks completed) generated from an additional unit of input (extra people) decreases as the quantity of the input rises.
The authors comment that after a saturation point is reached, “additional team members contribute negative returns, resulting in fewer tasks completed by teams with the most members. This pattern has been demonstrated in other medical groups, with larger surgical teams having prolonged operative times and larger paramedic crews delaying the performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.”
There are several possible explanations:
- crowding limits access to the patient or equipment;
- “social loafing”- staff may feel less accountable for the overall group performance and less pressure to accomplish individual tasks;
- seven is the number recommended in that institution’s trauma activation protocol, with optimal role allocation described for a team of that size;
- teams with redundant personnel may experience role confusion and fragmentation, resulting in both repetition and omission of tasks.
In my view, excessive team size results in there being more individuals to supervise & monitor, and hence a greater cognitive load for the team leader (cue the resus safety officer). More crowding and obstruction threatens situational awareness. There is more difficulty in providing clear uninterrupted closed loop communication. And general resuscitation room entropy increases, requiring more energy to contain or reverse it.
However, for paediatric resuscitations requiring optimal concurrent activity to progress the resuscitation, I do struggle with less than five. Unless of course I’m in my HEMS role, when the paramedic and I just crack on.
More on Making Things Happen in resus.
Own The Resus talk
Resus Room Management site
Factors Affecting Team Size and Task Performance in Pediatric Trauma Resuscitation.
Pediatr Emerg Care. 2014 Mar 19. [Epub ahead of print]
OBJECTIVES: Varying team size based on anticipated injury acuity is a common method for limiting personnel during trauma resuscitation. While missing personnel may delay treatment, large teams may worsen care through role confusion and interference. This study investigates factors associated with varying team size and task completion during trauma resuscitation.
METHODS: Video-recorded resuscitations of pediatric trauma patients (n = 201) were reviewed for team size (bedside and total) and completion of 24 resuscitation tasks. Additional patient characteristics were abstracted from our trauma registry. Linear regression was used to assess which characteristics were associated with varying team size and task completion. Task completion was then analyzed in relation to team size using best-fit curves.
RESULTS: The average bedside team ranged from 2.7 to 10.0 members (mean, 6.5 [SD, 1.7]), with 4.3 to 17.7 (mean, 11.0 [SD, 2.8]) people total. More people were present during high-acuity activations (+4.9, P < 0.001) and for patients with a penetrating injury (+2.3, P = 0.002). Fewer people were present during activations without prearrival notification (-4.77, P < 0.001) and at night (-1.25, P = 0.002). Task completion in the first 2 minutes ranged from 4 to 19 (mean, 11.7 [SD, 3.8]). The maximum number of tasks was performed at our hospital by teams with 7 people at the bedside (13 total).
CONCLUSIONS: Resuscitation task completion varies by team size, with a nonlinear association between number of team members and completed tasks. Management of team size during high-acuity activations, those without prior notification, and those in which the patient has a penetrating injury may help optimize performance.
London Trauma Conference Day 4 by Dr Louisa Chan
It’s the last day of the conference and new this year is the Neurotrauma Masterclass running in parallel with the main track which focuses on in-hospital care.
We heard a little from Mark Wilson yesterday. He believes we are missing a pre-hospital trick in traumatic brain injury. Early intervention is the key (he has data showing aggressive intervention for extradural haemorrhage in patients with fixed dilated pupils has good outcomes in 75%).
Today he taught us neurosurgery over lunch. If you have a spare moment over then go to his website and you too can learn how to be a brain surgeon!
Dr Gareth Davies talks about Impact Brain Apnoea. Many will not heard of this phenomenon. Clinicians rarely see patients early enough in their injury timeline to witness
Essentially this term describes the cessation of breathing after head injury. It has been described in older texts (first mentioned in 1894!) The period of apnoea increases with the severity of the injury and if non fatal will then recover to normal over a period of time. Prolonged apnoea results in hypotension.
This is a brain stem mediated effect with no structural injury.
The effect is exacerbated by alcohol and ameliorated by ventilatory support during the apnoeic phase.
Associated with this response is a catecholamine surge which exacerbates the cardiovascular collapse and he introduces the concept of Central Shock.
So how does this translate into the real world?
Well, could we be miscategorising patients that die before they reach hospital as succumbing to hypovolaemic when in fact they had central shock?
These patients essentially present with respiratory arrest, but do well with supported ventilation. Identification of these patients by emergency dispatchers with airway support could mean the difference between life and death.
Read more about this at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025619611642547
Prof Monty Mythen spoke on fluid management in the trauma patient after blood (not albumin, HES or colloids) and Prof Mervyn Singer explained the genetic contribution to the development of MODS after trauma.
Prof Brohi gave us the lowdown on trauma laparotomies – not all are the same! With important human factors advice:
1. Task focus kills
2. Situational awareness saves lives
3. The best communication is non verbal
4. Train yourself to listen
Prof Susan Brundage is a US trauma surgeon who has been recruited into the Bart’s and the London School of Medicine and the Royal College of Surgeons of England International Masters in Trauma Sciences for her trauma expertise.
She tells us that MOOCs and FOAM are changing education. Whilst education communities are being formed, she warns of the potential pitfalls of this form of education with a proportion of participants not fully engaged.
The Masters program is growing and if you’re interested you can read more here.
This has been a full on conference, with great learning points.
Hopefully see you next year!
Dr Louisa Chan reports on Day 3 of the London Trauma Conference
There was a jam-packed line up for the Pre-hospital and Air Ambulance Day which was Co-hosted by the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation.
My highlights were:
Dr Rasmus Hesselfeldt works in Denmark where they have a pretty good EMS system with ambulances, RRV’s and PHC doctors. Road conditions are good with the longest travel distance of 114 miles. So would the introduction of a HEMS service improve outcomes? He did an observational study looking at year of data post-trial and compared this with 5 months pre-trial. Trauma patients with ISS > 15 and medical emergencies greater than 30 min by road to the Trauma Centre (TC). Primary endpoint was time to TC, secondary outcomes were number of secondary transfers and 30 day mortality.
Results: Increase in on scene time 20 min vs 28 min, time to hospital increased but time to TC was less – 218 min vs 90 min, reduced mortality, increased direct transfer to TC and fewer secondary transfers.
Full article here: A helicopter emergency medical service may allow faster access to highly specialised care. Dan Med J. 2013 Jul;60(7):A4647
Prof Dan Davis ran through pre-hospital intubation. It seems that this man has spent his life trying to perfect airway management. Peter Rosen was his mentor and imprinted on him that RSI is the cornerstone of airway management.
So surely pre-hospital intubation saves lives. The evidence however begs to differ, or does it? As with all evidence we need to consider the validity of the results and luckily Prof Davis has spent a lot of time thinking through the reasons why there no evidence.
During his research he opened a huge can of worms:
1. Hyperventilation was common – any EtCO2 <30mmHg lead to a doubling in mortality.
2. First pass intubation is great, but not if you let your patient become hypoxic or hypotension or worse still both!
3. Hospital practice had similar issues.
So really the RSI processes he was looking at weren’t great.
The good news is that things have improved and he can now boast higher first pass rates and lower complication rates for his EMS system. His puts this success down to training.
The AIRPORT study was discussed at last years LTC. This year we have the results. 21 HEMS services in 6 countries were involved in the data collection including GSA HEMS. The headline findings are that intubation success rates are high (98%) with a complication rate of 10-12%. The more difficult airways were seen in the non-trauma group. 28.2% patients died (mainly cardiac arrest).
Matt Thomas reported on REVIVE – a pre-hospital feasibility study looking at airway management in OHCA (I-Gel vs LMA Supreme vs standard care). It was never powered to show a difference in these groups, the main aim was to see if research in this very challenging area was possible. And the answer is YES. The paramedics involved recruited more patients than expected and stuck to the protocol (prob better that docs would have!). A randomised controlled trial to look at the I-Gel vs ETT is planned.
Finally, Pre-hospital Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA) seems eminently possible – Dr Nils Petter Oveland showed us the training manikin they developed for training. Through training on this manikin they achieved an average skin to balloon time of 3.3mins. Animal data supports this procedure as a bridge to definitive care in non compressible haemorrhage.
London HEMS will be starting (P)REBOA in the New Year.
So now it’s stand up science, I’m off for my glass of wine…………….
Check out what they’re saying about the London Trauma Conference on Twitter
London Trauma Conference 2013 – Day 2 by Dr Louisa Chan
So I find myself torn today: do I join the the main track with a Major incident theme or the Cardiac Masterclass? I never liked the thought of missing out on anything so I went to a bit of both.
A lot of people probably think that managing cardiac arrest isn’t challenging and a bit dull because the patient is dead. But the Cardiac Masterclass would inspire you to think of a bright future for cardiac arrest management.
Mark Whitbread reminded us of how important dispatch is in the chain of survival. How much focus do we put on improving bystander CPR rates? Dispatcher assisted CPR has been shown to improve outcomes and needs to be skilfully done.
Ajay Jain pushes for all OHCA patients to be taken to a Cardiac Arrest centre for PCI. Why? Because the results he has from his centre for PCI in OHCA patients results in 77% (101/132) patients surviving to hosp discharge, 65% neurologically intact.
He also tells us that the ECG post arrest is a very poor predictor of PCI findings (although STEMI predicts a positive result) so they all should have PCI.
More data from TOPCAT shows us that non survivors of OHCA are easy to cool.
And maybe we should be cooling DURING cardiac arrest to minimise the reperfusion injury.
For persistent VF Prof Redwood says revascularisation is the key; when that doesn’t work then reducing LV volume may help so aspiration or an Impella may work. Failing that – ECMO.
Major Incidents by their nature do not happen every day, so experience in these incidents is limited. The challenge then is how can we learn from incidents?
A standardised reporting system for a major incident database would be a good idea – www.majorincidentreporting.org – is where you will find the standard report form and open access database.
And then all I can suggest is that you need to come to the LTC and listen to the accounts of those who have been there. We heard about the Tokyo Sarin attack, Mumbai, and a very compelling story of multiple drownings from Steen Barnung.
Lessons from Tokyo – Sarin attack:
It will happen again
It will be chaos
Crowds cannot be controlled
Comms will fail
Clinical diagnosis – need a senior clinician
Treatment must be immediately available – 3min to absorb sarin
Decontamination – get naked, 90% decon with clothes removal.
Empower the man on the ground.
The great thing about the London Trauma Conference is that it’s not just about the content of the tracks, there’s the networking and the opportunity to see new pieces of equipment.
The Norwegians won on the equipment front with their Mobile Stroke Unit. It’s due to go on line in 2014.
So TTFN and more from me on Day 3 of #LTC2013
Our inside reporter Dr Louisa Chan provides an update from Day One of the London Trauma Conference:
At risk of sounding like a resuscisaurus, last year was my first foray into the world of blogging. I’m proud to say that the genetic make up of most emergency physicians allows us to adapt so that others do not die! And so here I am again, making my way into the big smoke to report on the great developments of 2013.
I’ve struggled in the past to prise myself away from the main trauma track, it is after all the London Trauma Conference, which has left me curious as to the content of the Cardiac arrest symposium, this year it has been integrated, so I finally get to scratch that itch.
Prehospital Cardiac Arrest Management in Scotland
The conference was kicked off by Richard Lyon‘s inspirational description of his TOPCAT study.
In Scotland, of 50 cardiac arrests, 6 will survive to hospital and only 1 will survive to hospital discharge. The survival to hospital discharge in the UK is getting worse (4.8% 1995- 0.7% 2007)
Spurred on by these dreadful figures and a personal quest to improve cardiac arrest care (his father succumbed to a cardiac arrest in his forties)
All in all he has studied 400 cardiac arrest patients pre hospital. So what has he learnt?
- Precise application of the chain of survival to your own system is vital in the delivery of Quality CPR.
- He started in the ambulance control room analysing calls (CPR starts at step 11 so more experienced dispatchers skip thee quicker) and worked his way through the chain of survival.
- The TOPCAT study revealed a 3 min delay to compressions where early intubation and cannulation were performed. Through an education program delivering knowledge and skills with individualised feedback they were able to increase on-chest time.
- LEADERSHIP was a big factor. Having a clinician dedicated to managing the team improved on chest time and is now delivered by paramedics manning a car response in Edinburgh.
- Breaks in CPR during movement are overcome by a mechanical chest compression device on carry sheet.
- Non technical skills are monitored by camera feed
- These changes have led to a survival to hospital discharge rate of 38% for patients in VF
- This could translate into an extra 300 lives saved in Scotland when these changes are rolled out nationally.
- And now there is a move to transport patients who are in VF after the third shock then straight to cath lab.
Echocardiography in cardiac arrest
Prof Tim Harris spoke about his passion – echocardiography in resuscitation. If you were in any doubt before then you would leave convinced.
Of course echo should not interfere with CPR so it should be done during the rhythm check with a 10 sec count down.
He covered the usual uses; PEA vs EMD in prognostication (92% sensitivity and 82% specificity to ROSC), Circulation assessment and an estimation of EF (Normal function – anterior mitral valve leaflet hits the septum or is within 5mm , EF 30-45% between 5mm- 18mm and >18mm ant mitral valve leaflets – 30% EF)
Cardiogenic shock after cardiac arrest
Professor Deakin: optimising cardiac function after ROSC revolves around the three elements of preload, SVR and myocardial contractility. For those who can still remember how, he recommends preload should be optimised to a LA pressure 15-20mmHg (2-12 normal) with a Swan Ganz catheter.
SVR and contractility can be manipulated thereafter using traditional vasopressors and inotropes or more novel agents like Levosimendan.
Mechanical devices such as IABP, Impella, TandemSupport are useful if available.
Where does the future lie? Perhaps synchronised pacing, hypothermia, extrathoracic ventilation and gene therapy.
Open chest cardiac massage
Prof Karim Brohi: external chest compressions have been around since the 1960′s. Without a doubt external compressions generate a cardiac output, but is this the best way?
Over the last 10 years the priorities in traumatic cardiac arrest have changed – chest compressions are not instituted until after reversible causes have been addressed.
In non traumatic arrest how could we improve?
In canine models coronary perfusion pressure is five times better with internal cardiac massage, providing better survival rates with intact neurology.
There are a few human studies showing marked differences in cardiac index: 1.31 in the open group vs 0.61 in the closed group. In a Japanese study (1993), ROSC was achieved in 58% in open vs 1% closed.
The technique is two handed and the same as that taught in thoracotomy training. The difference is that in medical cardiac arrest you can use a smaller incision ( left lateral).
Who should we use open cardiac massage on? Perhaps in tamponade and pulmonary embolism?
How about when? When 10-15min with “standard care” has failed?
Perhaps it is time for a trial?
Post cardiac arrest syndrome and neuro protective measures
Prof Simon Redwood and Matt Thomas had overlapping talks on this . The bottom line is don’t have too much or too little CO2 or O2. The therapeutic hypothermia debate continues, what is evident is that there should be temperature control to avoid hyperthermia but what temperature? And there may be other benefits to hypothermia eg. limitation of infarct size.
What has been evident from all the speakers today is that it is an integrated system that saves lives and in order to guide the development of your system you need data and the belief that you can improve cardiac arrest outcomes.
More from me tomorrow!
The UK’s Faculty of Prehospital Care has published a number of consensus guidelines in this month’s EMJ
Dr Minh Le Cong‘s PHARM blog has summaries of three of them:
The final one is the most contentious: Pharmacologically assisted laryngeal mask insertion: a consensus statement(1). Here is the summary:
- The PALM technique is an acceptable tool for managing the prehospital airway
- The PALM technique is indicated in a rare set of circumstances
- The PALM procedure is a rescue technique
- The PALM procedure should be checklist driven
- At least a second generation SAD should be used
- End-tidal CO2 monitoring is mandatory
- No preference is expressed for any particular drug
- No preference is expressed for any particular dosing regime
- Flumazenil is highly unlikely to have a role in managing the PALM patient
- The PALM procedure should only be carried out by practitioners of level 7 or above competences
- The availability of a trained assistant, familiar with the procedure would be advantageous
- The training required to achieve competency in performing the PALM procedure must include in-hospital insertion of SADs, simulation training and training in the transfer of critically ill patients
- Data should be collected and collated at a national level for all patients who receive the PALM procedure
They qualify the first point with the statement: The consensus group felt that, in the hands of a specific set of practitioners and in certain circumstances, patients would benefit from the technique. It was recognised that pre-hospital airway management can be very challenging, and deeming the technique unacceptable could deprive patients of a potentially life saving intervention. It was felt that having another tool available to clinicians which could potentially improve patient outcome was important. This was despite the lack of a robust evidence base. It was felt that the technique is indicated in, and should be limited to, a very specific set of circumstances as described below
The publication lists some ‘Organisations represented at the consensus meeting’, which include some commercial training and equipment companies.
It also states that ‘The Royal College of Anaesthetists, although represented at the initial meeting, was unable to support the outcomes agreed by the other represented organisations.‘
This is a very interesting development. I can see the pros and cons of this. Since practitioners are out there doing PALM anyway, it is in the interests of patients to produce a statement that encourages monitoring, checklists, training, and data collection. To meet all the requirements, one must undergo ‘training in the transfer of critically ill patients’, which would normally necessitate more advanced airway and anaesthesia skills anyway.
A tough one – what would you want if there was no RSI capability but you were hypoxic with trismus and basic airway maneouvres were failing? An all out ban on PALM, or PALM provided by someone trained in surgical airway if it fails (as per the consensus recommendations)?
This and some of the other statements can be downloaded in full at the Faculty of Pre-hospital Care site
1. Pharmacologically assisted laryngeal mask insertion: a consensus statement
Emerg Med J. 2013 Dec;30(12):1073-5