The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) Annual Meeting is one of the foremost forums to encourage, share and expand research in EMS and prehospital care. Paul Rostykus, MD, MPH, the immediate past program committee chair, who orchestrated the 2016 and 2017 NAEMSP meetings, presented a summary at EMS Today 2017 of the top research from the 2017 NAEMSP Annual Meeting held in New Orleans last month. Rostykus highlighted the award-winning abstracts from the 2017 NAEMSP annual meeting and the ever-popular Top Five Articles presentation.
Five of the first six oral presentations of the top-judged abstracts covered cardiac arrest ranging from analyses of the large population ROC dataset, to basic science done in the animal lab. The sixth abstract examined the effect of EMS response times on pediatric mortality and morbidity.
The NAEMSP “Best of” awards covered cardiac arrest, safety events during neonatal EMS calls, use of the SALT triage system by school employees, hypotension and head injury, provider burnout and EMS “super users.” The format of these studies ranged from research on large datasets through retrospective chart reviews and a survey of EMS providers to evaluations of specific EMS system activities.
The presentation on Top Five Articles of 2016 was done in three short segments and covered sepsis, the Amiodarone, Lidocaine, Placebo (ALPS) trial in cardiac arrest, the merit of EMS medical directors, the risk of patient non-transport and the effect of hypotension in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). As is typical of much scientific research, these studies may provide us some definitive results and always bring up more questions for future investigations.
Rostykus noted that there is a paucity of research in EMS and described how this is quickly changing, as evidenced by the breadth, amount and quality of the abstracts presented at NAEMSP 2017. The “facts” of today’s EMS practices may change or even be reversed as we learn more about our complex healthcare environment. The challenge for EMS medical directors and their provider partners is to decide which results are worthy of change now and which need further research for more definitive answers.
Stay tuned for more top EMS research from the 2018 NAEMSP Annual Meeting in San Diego. Better yet, attend yourself as a valued and very welcome professional member of the organization.