20Nov 2019

‘Disgusting’ note left on UK ambulance responding to emergency

A paramedic discovered a profane handwritten note on her ambulance after responding to a medical emergency.

Paramedic Lauren Wheeler posted a photograph of the letter on Facebook, according to Metro.

The note, written in all capital letters, reads,

Don’t care if you are an ambulance you can’t block people’s driveways! Either ask or f—ing come out when we beep the horn for 10 minutes

Wheeler said she was helping someone in need when the unidentified neighbour placed the paper on her vehicle. Facebook friends of the paramedic were outraged by the letter.

The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) responded to the placing of the “abusive” note, telling people to “please think – is your parking space more important than a neighbour’s life?”

The service also mentioned the public encouragement Wheeler and her colleagues have received following the incident.

The support myself and my team have received in response on social media has been reassuring, in that the hard work and support they bring to their community does not go unnoticed the majority of the time

EEAST Assistant General Manager Laura Spears said.

19Apr 2019

Life-saving frontline technology given £5 million boost

The development of the TXA Autoinjector will allow life-saving blood clotting treatment to be given at the push of a button.

Technology being developed by a team of military doctors and scientists to stop rapid blood loss on the battlefield is a step closer to saving lives.

The TXA Autoinjector project, which allows life-saving blood clotting treatment to be administered at the push of a button, has been given a £5 million funding boost by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to accelerate the technology.

During a visit to The Royal London Hospital and London’s Air Ambulance at Barts Health NHS Trust today, the Defence Secretary said the technology would be backed by the department’s new Transformation Fund.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Saving lives is at the heart of what our Armed Forces do, and this funding shows our commitment to ensuring those serving on the frontline get the best treatment as rapidly as possible.

Our work to save lives does not stop at our serving men and women but must also be about helping to improve the livelihoods of people across the world. This technology will allow us to just that, whether it is rolling it out to emergency services in the UK, or equipping medics in developing countries across the globe.

If successful, the cutting-edge medical technology could also be adapted from use in the battlefield to any major trauma incidents, from stab wounds to road traffic accidents.

It could also be used to help women in developing countries who suffer major blood loss during birth and are unable to access medical treatment.

Around 4.8 million people across the globe die due to major trauma incidents every year, while 14 million women face traumatic blood loss during labour.

Colonel Nigel Tai, trauma surgeon at The Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust added:

Large international clinical trials show that TXA saves lives in bleeding patients. But we also know that for patients to be given the best chance, TXA should be given as soon as possible after injury.

The prospect is, that by packaging the drug in to a pre-filled AutoInjector, injured soldiers can self-treat as part of their first-aid drills, and won’t have to wait for evacuation or specialist medical help to arrive

The auto-injector uses Tranexamic Acid, which is a cost-effective and reliable drug that stabilizes and strengthens blood clotting within damaged tissues and can be administered by an untrained user.

Currently, administration of TXA requires an intravenous drip but the development of the auto-injector will allow it to be administered safely into a muscle.

The treatment is expected to benefit up to a third of seriously injured soldiers who would otherwise die from their wounds.

Once developed, the Autoinjector could be rolled out to police, NGOs, ambulance services, and Code Red first aid kits situated in public places.

5Mar 2019

Paramedics rescue baby from storm drain

The newborn, believed to be between one and three days old, was rescued in a four-hour operation

AP News reported that Rescue Care Paramedics (RCP) and other paramedic crews pulled the baby, which is believed to be between one and three days old, from the storm drain in a four-hour operation.

RCP said they responded after residents reported a baby crying from inside the concrete storm drain, and that it’s unclear why the baby was “dumped.”

A video of the rescue shows a crowd cheering a first responder on as he pulls the baby to safety and hands the newborn to a colleague.

South African media outlets said the baby is currently being treated at a hospital.

Police are investigating the incident.

29Jan 2019

Documentary highlights private Mexican ambulances

“Midnight Family” follows the Ochoa family in Mexico City, who run an ambulance company in a city where only 45 government-run ambulances serve 9 million residents.

A Sundance Film Festival documentary highlights Mexico City’s overburdened EMS industry and the private ambulance companies that work to help the city’s residents.

The Wrap reported that “Midnight Family” follows the Ochoa family’s private ambulance company. The documentary’s creator, Luke Lorentzen, rides along with Fer Ochoa, his two sons and other crew members as they try to survive in the industry consisting of tough restrictions, unregistered ambulances and issues with police.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR4aCknomCc[/embedyt]

Read full story on EMS1.

16Mar 2018

‘REMOVE, REMOVE, REMOVE’ message released by NARU

Paramedics may have seen the recent release of refreshed Initial Operational Response (IOR) messaging about exposure to hazardous substances.

This refreshed guidance is called ‘REMOVE, REMOVE, REMOVE’, and it is designed to support Trust control rooms, planners and first responders on early self-help actions for suspected deliberate or accidental exposure to a hazardous substance (vapour, powder or liquid) or ‘acid attacks’.

A NARU spokesman, Graham Finnigan said:

The ‘Remove, Remove, Remove’ messaging is a refresh of pre-existing teaching materials designed to instruct front line emergency services personnel how to treat a suspected exposure to a hazardous substance. This can include a deliberate or accidental exposure to a hazardous vapour, powder or liquid, such as an ‘acid attack’.

These materials have been redesigned to make core elements quicker and easier to absorb, remember and apply, allowing first responders to significantly reduce harm to affected casualties in the unlikely event of exposure.

You can view the Poster here and the Aide Memoire here.

23Feb 2018

Prison Sentence for Paramedic Attacker

A man has been given a custodial prison sentence after assaulting and threatening to kill a North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) Paramedic who was looking after and comforting him.

An ambulance was called to an unconscious male in Manchester on 5 September 2017 but after getting the patient on the stretcher and in the ambulance the man suddenly became alert and began pulling at the ambulance equipment aggressively.

In an attempt to calm him down, Paramedic, Amanda Beames, comforted the male who seemed upset. He asked Amanda to hold his hand which she did before he started laughing and pulled her on top of him, threatening to kill her and attempting to use her pen as a weapon to attack her with.

Amanda bravely managed to hold down and restrain the male all whilst travelling on the motorway in a moving ambulance but was left with injuries to her wrist, chest and stomach.

The male, Paulius Zacharovas, 30, of no fixed abode, was later arrested and kept on remand before pleading guilty on 21 February 2018 at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court to a charge of assault with battery.

Sector Manager for NWAS in Greater Manchester, Annemarie Rooney, said: “This type of treatment towards the very people who are there only to help is absolutely not acceptable and we will not tolerate it.

“This was a vicious attack which has had a lasting effect on our Paramedic and we’re glad that he has been brought to justice.”

In 2017, there were 204 reported incidents of physical assault against NWAS staff in Greater Manchester alone.

Paramedic, Amanda Beames, 39, from Bury, said: “This was an extremely frightening experience for me and although I have experienced abuse during my 20 career as a Paramedic, never anything on this scale.

“I have had to take some time away from my role following the attack but feel that this sentencing has given me some closure and I feel determined to get back to the job I love. The support that I have had from my colleagues, friends, family and the Service as a whole has been amazing but it shouldn’t be needed. Nobody should ever be treated in that way especially someone who is only there to help.”

Mr Zacharavos was sentenced to an eight month custodial sentence and ordered to pay fines of £150.

19Feb 2018

Paramedics buy homeless man coat after cutting his clothes off for treatment


A couple of paramedics helped a homeless man who was left with nothing to keep him warm after his clothes were cut off for medical treatment.

Yorkshire Evening Post reported that Yorkshire Ambulance Service paramedics Leilah Nolan and Tom Thackray-Collier responded to a call about a homeless man and had to cut off his clothing to treat him.

fter treating him, the two went to a store and bought the man warm clothes so he could stay warm in the cold.

The man we helped was freezing cold. He desperately needed some warm clothing, and as he was homeless with no money, Tom and I felt it would be nice to buy him something warm,” Nolan said. “We went into the British Heart Foundation charity shop and found a T-shirt, warm jumper and coat, which we thought would be suitable for him, and we were happy to buy them for him.

Nolan said the man was overjoyed when they returned with the gift.

He was so happy and even did a little dance. He was shocked that someone did that for him and said he didn’t know what to say.

Nolan added that she hopes their act of kindness will inspire others to do the same.

I know if it had been any of my other colleagues who attended to this man that they would have done the same for him. We are all very caring and compassionate toward our patients and treat people with the dignity and respect that they deserve.

18Feb 2018

‘Move your van’ note left on ambulance in Stoke-on-Trent


A woman left an abusive note on an ambulance dealing with a 999 call, ordering paramedics to “move their van”.

The writer said she did not care if “the whole street collapsed” and the crew had “no right to be parked here”.

The hand-written message was left on an ambulance in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, earlier.

Operational manager Mike Duggan said the paramedics also received verbal abuse.

He shared an image of the note on Twitter saying he was “very angry”.

Paramedic Katie Tudor tweeted Staffordshire Police asking:

Is there anything that can be done about this? It’s becoming a regular occurrence.

Ch Insp John Owen replied: “Officers are in the process of speaking to our @OFFICIALWMAS colleagues to obtain the full details from the crews at the scene.”

The note concluded with the words “now move your van from outside my house”.

One Twitter user replied:

They probably had to write ‘van’ because they were unable to spell ambulance. Hope they’re visited by Staffs Police and prosecuted.

Mr Duggan told the BBC he thinks people who abuse emergency staff need to be dealt with more “robustly”.

He said:

What is it going to take? Is one of us going to have to die before they take it seriously?

West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Hazardous Area Response Team also blasted the note.

The team tweeted: “Unfortunately this appears to be acceptable behaviour in some small minded people’s minds these days #sadtimes.”

13Feb 2018

Key NHS technology programme extended to ambulance trusts

NHS England has today announced three ambulance trusts will share £10m to help improve patient care by developing into world class digital organisations.

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS), West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS) and North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) are the first to join the ambulance version of the Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme.

The three Trusts will share an investment of £5m over 2 and a half years, which they will be expected to match fund, taking total investment to £10m as they develop into Global Digital Exemplars.

Selected in part because of a track record of digital delivery, South Central, West Midlands and North East Ambulance Services will be expected to focus on areas including: ensuring clinicians have access to patient records; use of remote diagnostics such as video consultations and ensuring vehicles have wifi access.

Professor Jonathan Benger, National Clinical Director for Urgent and Emergency Care at NHS England, said:

I am delighted this flagship digital transformation programme has been extended to ambulance trusts which are on the frontline of NHS care.

Digital technology has the potential to transform ways of working and improve patient care in ambulance trusts, from ensuring paramedics can access a patient’s medical record to improving trust efficiency in systems behind the scenes.

Will Smart, Chief Information Officer for Health and Care, said:

We have taken a different approach with the ambulance branch of the GDE programme and are today asking the three successful Trusts to think of ways in which they can work together to drive improvements through the use of digital technology.

By stepping up to become world class these three Trusts will join the most digitally advanced healthcare organisations across the globe and help deliver a sustainable and transformed NHS.

South Central, West Midlands and North East Ambulance Services were successful following review by a national panel that included Will Smart, Professor Benger, NHS England and NHS Digital.

The addition of 3 Trusts onto the Ambulance version of the Global Digital Exemplar programme brings the total investment in the GDE programme up to £280m (or £560m if match funding is included).

5Feb 2018

Act F.A.S.T. Campaign – Call 999 at any sign of a stroke

Act F.A.S.T. campaign returns to empower people to call 999 at any sign of a stroke

Public Health England, working closely with Stroke Association, have relaunched the national “Act F.A.S.T.” stroke campaign.

The campaign raises awareness for the signs of stroke and reinforces the importance of acting F.A.S.T. and calling 999 if you notice any single one of the signs in themselves or others. All three signs are not needed in order to make a 999 call, one is enough. Therefore, the campaign urges individuals to act without hesitation, upon spotting any sign, for both themselves and on behalf of others.

The campaign is built around the ‘Act F.A.S.T.’ (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) acronym to highlight the key signs of stroke and emphasise the importance of acting quickly by calling 999:

  • Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred?
  • Time to call 999

A stroke is known as a ‘brain attack’. There are over 100,000 strokes a year in the UK, causing over 40,000 deaths. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention as every minute is vital. That is why calling 999 is so crucial. An ambulance can give stroke patients those extra precious minutes, through faster and more specialist treatment via their knowledge of the nearest appropriate Hyper Acute Stroke Unit.

Act F.A.S.T. Make the Call. Dial 999.

Search ‘Act FAST’ for more information