Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Emergency


Advances in left ventricular assist device (LVAD) therapy have resulted in increasing numbers of adult LVAD recipients in the community. However, device failure, stroke, bleeding, LVAD thrombosis and systemic infection can be life-threatening emergencies. Currently, four LVAD systems are implanted in six UK transplant centres, each of which provides device-specific information to local emergency services. This has resulted in inconsistent availability and content of information with the risks of delayed or inappropriate decision-making. In order to improve patient safety, a consortium of UK healthcare professionals with expertise in LVADs developed universally applicable prehospital emergency algorithms. Guidance was framed as closely as possible on the standard ABCDE approach to the assessment of critically ill patients.

Concepts: Health care provider, Patient, Hospital, Risk, Ambulance, Ventricular assist device, Safety, Emergency


Cnidarian envenomations are an important public health problem, responsible for more deaths than shark attacks annually. For this reason, optimization of first-aid care is essential. According to the published literature, cnidarian venoms and toxins are heat labile at temperatures safe for human application, which supports the use of hot-water immersion of the sting area(s). However, ice packs are often recommended and used by emergency personnel. After conducting a systematic review of the evidence for the use of heat or ice in the treatment of cnidarian envenomations, we conclude that the majority of studies to date support the use of hot-water immersion for pain relief and improved health outcomes.

Concepts: Health care, Health, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Heat, First aid, Suffering, Emergency, The Sting


The authors review lessons learned from several recent public health emergencies and argue that we must conduct research during emergencies to improve our capacity to prevent illness and injury. They propose policies to facilitate timely research.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Emergency management, Emergency


Environmental exposure of tourniquets has been associated with component damage rates, but the specific type of environmental exposure, such as heat, is unknown. Emergency-tourniquet damage has been associated with malfunction and loss of hemorrhage control, which may risk loss of life during first aid. The purposes of the study are to determine the damage rate of tourniquets exposed to heat and to compare the rate to that of controls.

Concepts: Life, Rates, Decision theory, Acceleration, Exposure, The Damage, Reaction rate, Emergency


Nurses are exposed to the risk of injury while handling patients. This is particularly true for obese patients.

Concepts: Hospital, Risk, Hazard, Emergency


Bow-tie analysis is a risk analysis and management tool that has been readily adopted into routine practice in many high reliability industries such as engineering, aviation and emergency services. However, it has received little exposure so far in healthcare. Nevertheless, its simplicity, versatility, and pictorial display may have benefits for the analysis of a range of healthcare risks, including complex and multiple risks and their interactions. Bow-tie diagrams are a combination of a fault tree and an event tree, which when combined take the shape of a bow tie. Central to bow-tie methodology is the concept of an undesired or ‘Top Event’, which occurs if a hazard progresses past all prevention controls. Top Events may also occasionally occur idiosyncratically. Irrespective of the cause of a Top Event, mitigation and recovery controls may influence the outcome. Hence the relationship of hazard to outcome can be viewed in one diagram along with possible causal sequences or accident trajectories. Potential uses for bow-tie diagrams in anaesthesia risk management include improved understanding of anaesthesia hazards and risks, pre-emptive identification of absent or inadequate hazard controls, investigation of clinical incidents, teaching anaesthesia risk management, and demonstrating risk management strategies to third parties when required.

Concepts: Risk, Risk management, Hazard, Bow tie, Emergency, Risk analysis, Safety engineering, Necktie


To understand the reasons behind, and experience of, seeking and receiving emergency ambulance treatment for a ‘primary care sensitive’ condition.

Concepts: Emergency


Although cooperation is central to the organisation of many social systems, relatively little is known about cooperation in situations of collective emergency. When groups of people flee from a danger such as a burning building or a terrorist attack, the collective benefit of cooperation is important, but the cost of helping is high and the temptation to defect is strong. To explore the degree of cooperation in emergencies, we develop a new social game, the help-or-escape social dilemma. Under time and monetary pressure, players decide how much risk they are willing to take in order to help others. Results indicated that players took as much risk to help others during emergencies as they did under normal conditions. In both conditions, most players applied an egalitarian heuristic and helped others until their chance of success equalled that of the group. This strategy is less efficient during emergencies, however, because the increased time pressure results in fewer people helped. Furthermore, emergencies tend to amplify participants' initial tendency to cooperate, with prosocials becoming even more cooperative and individualists becoming even more selfish. Our framework offers new opportunities to study human cooperation and could help authorities to better manage crowd behaviours during mass emergencies.

Concepts: Risk, Terrorism, Cooperative, Collective, Collectivism, Emergency, Tendency, International Marxist Tendency


Objectives The objectives of this study were to (i) identify transient risk factors of occupational injuries and (ii) determine if the risk varies with age, injury severity, job task, and industry risk level. Method A case-crossover design was used to examine the effect of seven specific transient risk factors (time pressure, disagreement with someone, feeling sick, being distracted by someone, non-routine task, altered surroundings, and broken machinery and materials) for occupational injuries. In the study, 1693 patients with occupational injuries were recruited from a total of 4002 occupational injuries seen in 2013 at two emergency departments in Denmark. Effect estimates were calculated using the matched-pair interval approach. Results Increased risk for an occupational injury was found for time pressure [odds ratio (OR) 1.6, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.3-2.0], feeling sick (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.9-3.9), being distracted by someone (OR 3.1, 95% CI 2.3-4.1), non-routine task (OR 8.2, 95% CI 5.3-12.5), altered surroundings (OR 20.9, 95% CI 12.2-35.8), and broken machinery or materials (OR 20.6, 95% CI 13.5-31.7). The risk of occupational injury did not vary substantially in relation to sex, age, job task, industry risk level, or injury severity. Conclusion Use of a case-crossover design identified several worker-related transient risk factors (time pressure, feeling sick, being distracted by someone) that led to significantly increased risks for occupational injuries. In particular, equipment (broken machinery or materials) and work-practice-related factors (non-routine task and altered surroundings) increased the risk of an occupational injury. Elaboration of results in relation to hazard period and information bias is warranted.

Concepts: Medical statistics, Risk, Interval finite element, Injuries, Injury, Hazard, Emergency


Emergency ambulance use for problems that could be managed in primary care continues to rise owing to complex reasons that are poorly understood. The objective of this systematic review is to draw together published evidence across a variety of study methodologies and settings to gain a better understanding of why patients seek help from ambulance services for these problems.

Concepts: Understanding, Perception, Knowledge, Ambulance, Emergency