Improving the management and care of people with sepsis
Intended for healthcare professionals
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Improving the management and care of people with sepsis

David Fitzpatrick Clinical research paramedic, Scottish Ambulance Service and the nursing, midwifery and allied health professions research unit, University of Stirling, Stirling
Michael McKenna Paramedic, Scottish Ambulance Service, Falkirk
Kevin Rooney Consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley, and professor of care improvement at the University of the West of Scotland, Hamilton
Dan Beckett Consultant acute physician and clinical lead for acute medicine, Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert
Norma Pringle Senior charge nurse, Clinical assessment unit Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert

David Fitzpatrick and colleagues review an online survey of how nurses and doctors perceive the use of a pre-hospital sepsis screening tool by ambulance clinicians

Many hospitals struggle to implement the full sepsis care bundle, but research suggests that many patients with sepsis are transported to hospital by ambulance. In 2011, the Scottish Ambulance Service introduced a pre-hospital sepsis screening tool (PSST) to expedite sepsis identification and care delivery. However, ambulance clinicians have reported varying degrees of interest and enthusiasm from hospital staff during handover. Therefore, an online survey was set up to investigate medical and nursing staff perceptions and experiences of the introduction of a PSST. This article discusses the results, which show that participants perceive the PSST reduces time to treatment, improves continuity of care, benefits patients and is accurately applied by ambulance clinicians, but which also highlight problems with communication. The delivery of in-hospital and pre-hospital sepsis care is challenging, but simple measures such as improving and standardising communication and alert systems between ambulance services and receiving hospitals could improve the clinical effects of a PSST.

Emergency Nurse. 22, 1, 18-24. doi: 10.7748/en2014.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 21 February 2014

Accepted: 13 March 2014

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