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Paramedic confidence in estimating external blood loss


Harris, W and Rotheram, A and Pearson, S and Lucas, PV and Edwards, D and Bowerman, L and Williams, A-M, Paramedic confidence in estimating external blood loss, Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, 14, (3) Article 2. ISSN 2202-7270 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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The Official Journal of Paramedics Australasia 2017

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Introduction: Studies have identifed that visual estimation of blood loss is highly inaccurate, however no research has investigated the relationship between this practice and the confdence of estimation by paramedics. The aim of this study was to determine paramedic confdence in the estimation of, and reporting of external blood loss due to medical or trauma aetiology, within an Australasian paramedic context.

Methods: Between July and September 2015, a cross-sectional survey was distributed through Australasian paramedic professional bodies to determine confdence in estimating and documentation of external blood loss. Using Likert scale and free text responses, participants provided demographic information and their self-perceived confdence in estimating and documenting external blood loss.

Results: Five thousand six hundred paramedics were invited to participate in an online survey. Two hundred and eight responses were received (3.8% response rate). A total of 86.6% of participants reported documenting blood loss in clinical reports, however only 47.8% of participants believed their estimation of external blood loss was accurate with 13% reporting underestimation and 33.5% reporting overestimation of blood loss. Additionally, only 51.6% of participants agreed to strongly agreed that they were confdent in their estimation of blood loss.

Conclusion: This research demonstrates the majority of paramedics estimate and document external blood loss, yet nearly half do not feel confdent in doing so, despite indicating its importance. Educational and organisational changes are recommended to refect the clear evidence against this practice. Further research is recommended to identify appropriate physiological parameters and practical assessment tools to replace this inaccurate form of clinical assessment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:blood loss estimation, clinical decision making, emergency medical services, paramedic, pre-hospital care
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Harris, W (Mr Wayne Harris)
UTAS Author:Rotheram, A (Mr Auston Rotheram)
UTAS Author:Pearson, S (Dr Sue Pearson)
UTAS Author:Lucas, PV (Dr Peter Lucas)
UTAS Author:Edwards, D (Dr Dale Edwards)
UTAS Author:Williams, A-M (Dr Anne-Marie Williams)
ID Code:120006
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Paramedicine
Deposited On:2017-08-08
Last Modified:2021-02-15
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