A comparison of Australasian jurisdictional ambulance services’ paramedic clinical practice guidelines series: Adult sepsis

Wilkinson-Stokes Matt, Elena Ryan, Michael Williams, Maddison Spencer, Sonja Maria, Marc Colbeck

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Introduction: This article forms part of a series that seeks to identify interjurisdictional differences in the scope of paramedic practice and, consequently, differences in patient treatment based upon which jurisdiction a patient is geographically located within at the time of their complaint.
Methods: The current Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) of each jurisdictional ambulance service (JAS) were accessed during June 2020, and updated in August 2021. Content was extracted and verified by 18 paramedics or managers representing all 10 JASs.
Results: Nine services provide antibiotics for meningococcal septicaemia, with dosage ranging from 1 – 4 grams. Five services provide antibiotics for non-meningococcal sepsis (three under doctor approval), with choice of antibiotic including Ceftriaxone, Benzylpenicillin, Amoxicillin, and Gentamicin. Three services provide antipyretics, one provides corticosteroids under doctor
approval, and all provide fluids (with dosage ranging from 20 – 60 ml/kg). ICPs are allowed to provide adrenaline infusions in nine services, noradrenaline in three services (one requiring doctor approval), and metaraminol in three services. Two additional services restrict metaraminol to specialist paramedics, with one of these requiring doctor approval. Two services perform phlebotomy
and one takes lactate. Paramedics perform unassisted intubation in one service, with nine restricting this to ICPs. Facilitated or Ketamine-only intubation is performed by ICPs in one service. Rapid or delayed sequence induction is performed by ICPs in six services, and restricted to specialists in two services.
Conclusion: The domestic jurisdictional ambulance services in Australasia have each created unique treatment clinical practice guidelines that are heterogeneous in their treatments and scopes of practice. A review of the evidence underlying each intervention is appropriate to determining best practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number932
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAustralasian Journal of Paramedicine
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2021


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