• Review: UCD EMS Research Symposium 2014, Ireland

    by Guest Author. Last modified: 30/04/14



    This review is written by Andrew Patton. Andrew is an Emergency Medical Technician in Ireland and a 4th Year medical student studying at University College Dublin. Interested in all things pre-hospital, Andrew hopes to pursue a career in Emergency Medicine.


    UCD Centre for Emergency Medical Science  – EMS Research Symposium 2014


    UCD School of Medicine, Belfield, Dublin 4




    €30 (includes lunch & lots of coffee!)


    The EMS Research Symposium, hosted in the UCD School of Medicine, was a nice trip back to the alma mater for both doctors and paramedics alike, many of whom would have spent time training under Professor Gerard Bury and his team in the UCD Centre for Emergency Medical Science.

    Professor Bury, Director of the UCD Centre for EMS, kicked off the event promising great presentations with lots of interesting ideas, but warned that we’d probably go home with more questions than answers, and that was exactly what happened! If you needed motivation to get involved with research, the EMS Research Symposium was definitely the place to be!

    The core message of the symposium was that research is for everyone! You don’t need to be a Professor of Medicine, you don’t need to work in a lab, all you need is a good question about something that you’re interested in! Throughout the day speakers from different backgrounds presented their research, many of whom had just completed the MSc Emergency Medical Science. There was a huge range of topics from pre-hospital pain management, and treat and referral procedures for paramedics, to the types of injuries sustained in motorcycle racing and analysis of the delivery of telephone CPR in Ireland.

    Professor Bury spoke of the MERIT Project (Medical Emergency Responders: Integration & Training) which has provided training and AEDs to more than 470 GP surgeries around Ireland and collects valuable data on their usage. Between 2007-2011, the GPs brought the first AED to the scene in 45% of the out of hospital cardiac arrests attended. From this, a pilot scheme has been launched with the National Ambulance Service dispatching GPs to cardiac arrests.

    In his presentation on the eagerly awaited 2014 Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) Clinical Practice Guidelines, Dr Mick Molloy, Chair of the PHECC Medical Advisory Committee, demonstrated the impact research has in guiding and changing clinical practice.

    Associate Professor Conor Deasy, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, highlighted the benefits of using Registries as a Research Tool. He illustrated how registries can answer clinically important questions that cannot be addressed by clinical trials, and how they can be used to generate hypotheses that can be tested later in clinical trials.  He also relayed to us his experience, and I think made us all jealous, of the high-tech Aussies in the Victoria Ambulance Service who use electronic patient report forms. These automatically upload to three different registries allowing instant access to almost real-time data –  there’s no waiting around for an audit to be completed!

    After a hearty burger & chips lunch, it was time for a change of scene with data analyst Dr Trutz Haase presenting a bigger picture of healthcare and its association with social deprivation. He highlighted that if people received appropriate healthcare in good time, a lot of emergencies we currently see would never happen. He also introduced the concept of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Mapping for healthcare provision. Prof Bury built on this concept demonstrating its use in studying opiate overdoses in Dublin. Plotting the locations of the overdoses generated very interesting data indicating a potential role for intranasal naloxone use in the community by friends/buddies/carers of intra-venous drug users.

    As the end of the symposium approached, and everyone was raring to get stuck into some EMS research there was still one big question… Where/How do we start? Dr David Menzies, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, comprehensively addressed this with his 10 tips for getting started in EMS research:

    1. Pick a topic
    2. Be interested in it
    3. Get a mentor
    4. Perform a literature review
    5. Phone a friend
    6. Do a pilot study
    7. Obtain Ethical Approval / Exemption
    8. Make a plan
    9. Ask for Help
    10. Publish the Results!

    Overall Review

    The symposium was a great success. It succeeded in demonstrating that EMS research isn’t quite as daunting a task as you might think, and most importantly it is for practitioners at all levels!

    Would you attend again?

    I would highly recommend this event to everybody involved with EMS, and look forward to attending again next year to learn about new EMS research ongoing in Ireland.

    Well done to Professor Bury and his team in UCD CEMS, the future for EMS research is bright and I think we all can look forward to seeing a lot more Irish EMS research being published in the near future!

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    Guest Author

    Guest posts are written by various organisations and authors with an interest in EMS, prehospital care, research and other relevant topics.

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