Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF) Australasia have conducted the world's first comparison of the standard sedative, midazolam, with droperidol in a prehospital setting. Australian paramedics are leading the world by introducing a new drug, droperidol, to quickly and safely calm violent patients fueled by alcohol and drugs. The study was published in the Journal of Prehospital Emergency Care.
QAS found droperidol sedated patients nearly 70% quicker, was three times safer and significantly fewer patients needed additional sedation either in the ambulance or once in hospital in comparison to midazolam. "Midazolam is the accepted standard internationally, but it can have significant side-effects, so there's been a huge gap in paramedics' ability to safely sedate violent patients," said Mr. Parker.
"Our paramedics and emergency department staff welcome the impact droperidol is having, and there are some amazing stories of how it quickly it works to calm aggressive and violent patients. "It's also simple to administer; there are much fewer side-effects, it rarely over-sedated and patients wake up much nicer. They are happy to have a safe drug to use finally.
"And because we've also collated data on comparing droperidol with midazolam outside the hospital setting, we've produced one of the true practice-changing pieces of research. We can now demonstrate to other paramedics just how effective the drug is for us. They believe they see droperidol embedded extensively in ambulance services around the world." Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said research projects just like this pave the way for positive change across the healthcare system.
"It's fantastic to see Queensland research making a positive impact in protecting our first responders and emergency department clinicians. Projects like this highlight the importance of investing in medical research and finding new, more effective and more efficient ways of providing vital health services to Queenslanders." The QAS introduced droperidol in 2016 as one of several initiatives to reduce the escalating violence against paramedics, mostly by drunken patients.
The research showed the importance of evaluating changes in treatment protocols. A treatment protocols globally and lead to better patient care because there was research funding available for evaluation.
Mr. Parker championed the uptake of droperidol based on research involving Princess Alexandra Hospital emergency physician and clinical toxicologist, Dr. Colin Page. Dr. Page, who has $450,000 Noel Stevenson Fellowship from EMF, led the evaluation of the QAS droperidol roll out.
Dr. Page said the real value of this latest research was in confirming that droperidol was safer and more effective in the prehospital setting, which mirrored previous results in the emergency department environment. "Based on our extensive research, the standard protocol for violent patients should be 10 mg droperidol (65 to 75 percent effective) followed by a second dose of 10 mg (which is 95% effective) and then ketamine."