Stephen Bernard

Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Publications (116)658.18 Total impact

  • Heart, Lung and Circulation 12/2015; 24:S374. DOI:10.1016/j.hlc.2015.06.609 · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    Resuscitation 11/2015; 96:26. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2015.09.060 · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    Resuscitation 11/2015; 96:116. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2015.09.274 · 4.17 Impact Factor

  • Resuscitation 11/2015; 96:37. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2015.09.085 · 4.17 Impact Factor

  • Resuscitation 11/2015; 96:3. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2015.09.011 · 4.17 Impact Factor
  • Emily Andrew · Ziad Nehme · Marijana Lijovic · Stephen Bernard · Karen Smith ·

    Resuscitation 11/2015; 96:28. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2015.09.065 · 4.17 Impact Factor
  • Kylie Dyson · Janet Bray · Karen Smith · Stephen Bernard · Lahn Straney · Judith Finn ·

    Resuscitation 11/2015; 96:9. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2015.09.021 · 4.17 Impact Factor
  • Ziad Nehme · Stephen Bernard · Karen Smith ·

    New England Journal of Medicine 10/2015; 373(16):1572. DOI:10.1056/NEJMc1509059#SA1 · 55.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) remains a major public health issue and research has shown that large regional variation in outcomes exists. Of the interventions associated with survival, the provision of bystander CPR is one of the most important modifiable factors. The aim of this study is to identify census areas with high incidence of OHCA and low rates of bystander CPR in Victoria, Australia. Methods: We conducted an observational study using prospectively collected population-based OHCA data from the state of Victoria in Australia. Using ArcGIS (ArcMap 10.0), we linked the location of the arrest using the dispatch coordinates (longitude and latitude) to Victorian Local Government Areas (LGAs). We used Bayesian hierarchical models with random effects on each LGA to provide shrunken estimates of the rates of bystander CPR and the incidence rates. Results: Over the study period there were 31,019 adult OHCA attended, of which 21,436 (69.1%) cases were of presumed cardiac etiology. Significant variation in the incidence of OHCA among LGAs was observed. There was a 3 fold difference in the incidence rate between the lowest and highest LGAs, ranging from 38.5 to 115.1 cases per 100,000 person-years. The overall rate of bystander CPR for bystander witnessed OHCAs was 62.4%, with the rate increasing from 56.4% in 2008-2010 to 68.6% in 2010-2013. There was a 25.1% absolute difference in bystander CPR rates between the highest and lowest LGAs. Conclusion: Significant regional variation in OHCA incidence and bystander CPR rates exists throughout Victoria. Regions with high incidence and low bystander CPR participation can be identified and would make suitable targets for interventions to improve CPR participation rates.
    PLoS ONE 10/2015; 10(10):e0139776. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0139776 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims to investigate an association between ethanol exposure and in-hospital mortality among patients with isolated traumatic brain injury (iTBI). Ethanol exposure is associated with a substantially increased risk of sustaining an iTBI. However, once an iTBI has been sustained, it is unclear whether ethanol exposure is neuroprotective or harmful. We conducted a retrospective review of patients who presented between 2006 and 2012 and were entered into the Alfred Hospital trauma registry. The patients who presented with iTBI, as defined by a head abbreviated injury scale (AIS) score ⩾3 and all other body regions with AIS<3, and who had ethanol levels recorded on admission, were eligible for inclusion. The association between ethanol exposure as a continuous variable, and in-hospital mortality, was explored using multivariable logistic regression analysis. There were 1688 patients with iTBI who met the inclusion criteria, 577 (34.2%) of whom tested positive for ethanol. Ethanol exposure was not significantly associated with a change in the in-hospital mortality rate (adjusted odds ratio 1.01; 95% confidence interval 1.00-1.02; p=0.19). A substantial proportion of patients with iTBI were exposed to ethanol, but ethanol exposure was not independently associated with a change in mortality rate following iTBI. Any neuroprotection or harm from ethanol exposure was not conclusive, requiring further prospective trials. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 07/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jocn.2015.05.034 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this systematic review was to determine whether ethanol is neuroprotective or associated with adverse effects in the context of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Approximately 30-60% of TBI patients are intoxicated with ethanol at the time of injury. We performed a systematic review of the literature using a combination of keywords for ethanol and TBI. Manuscripts were included if the population studied was human subjects with isolated moderate to severe TBI, acute ethanol intoxication was studied as an exposure variable and mortality reported as an outcome. The included studies were assessed for heterogeneity. A meta-analysis was performed and the pooled odds ratio (OR) for the association between ethanol and in-hospital mortality reported. There were seven studies eligible for analysis. A statistically significant association favouring reduced mortality with ethanol intoxication was found (OR 0.78; 95% confidence interval 0.73-0.83). Heterogeneity among selected studies was not statistically significant (p=0.25). Following isolated moderate-severe TBI, ethanol intoxication was associated with reduced in-hospital mortality. The retrospective nature of the studies, varying definitions of brain injury, degree of intoxication and presence of potential confounders limits our confidence in this conclusion. Further research is recommended to explore the potential use of ethanol as a therapeutic strategy following TBI. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 06/2015; 22(9). DOI:10.1016/j.jocn.2015.02.030 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Prophylactic hypothermia is effective in laboratory models, but clinical studies to date have been inconclusive, partly because of methodological limitations. Our Prophylactic Hypothermia Trial to Lessen Traumatic Brain Injury (POLAR) randomised controlled trial is currently underway comparing early, sustained hypothermia versus standard care in patients with severe TBI. We describe our study protocol and the challenges in conducting prophylactic hypothermia research in TBI. We aim to randomise 500 patients to either prophylactic 33°C hypothermia initiated within 3 hours of injury and continued for at least 72 hours, or standard normothermic management. Patients will be enrolled by paramedic services in the prehospital setting, or by emergency department staff at participating sites in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The primary outcome will be the eight-level extended Glasgow outcome scale (GOSE), dichotomised to favourable and unfavourable outcomes at 6 months after injury. Secondary outcomes will include mortality at hospital discharge and at 6 months, ordinal analyses of 6-month GOSE outcomes, quality of life with health economic evaluations and the differential proportion of adverse events. We will predefine subgroup and interaction analyses. After a run-in phase, recruitment for our main study began in December 2010. When the study is completed, we aim to provide evidence on the efficacy of prophylactic hypothermia in TBI to guide clinicians in their management of this devastating condition.
    Critical care and resuscitation: journal of the Australasian Academy of Critical Care Medicine 06/2015; 17(2):92-100. · 2.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: -Oxygen is commonly administered to patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) despite previous studies suggesting a possible increase in myocardial injury due to coronary vasoconstriction and heightened oxidative stress. -We conducted a multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled trial comparing oxygen (8 L/min) with no supplemental oxygen in patients with STEMI diagnosed on paramedic 12-lead electrocardiogram. Of 638 patients randomized, 441 were confirmed STEMI patients who underwent primary endpoint analysis. The primary endpoint was myocardial infarct size as assessed by cardiac enzymes, troponin (cTnI) and creatine kinase (CK). Secondary endpoints included recurrent myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmia and myocardial infarct size assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging at 6 months. Mean peak troponin was similar in the oxygen and no oxygen groups (57.4 mcg/L vs. 48.0 mcg/L; ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.92 to 1.56; P=0.18). There was a significant increase in mean peak CK in the oxygen group compared to the no oxygen group (1948 U/L vs. 1543 U/L; means ratio, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.52; P= 0.01). There was an increase in the rate of recurrent myocardial infarction in the oxygen group compared to the no oxygen group (5.5%vs.0.9%, P=0.006) and an increase in frequency of cardiac arrhythmia (40.4% vs. 31.4%; P=0.05). At 6-months the oxygen group had an increase in myocardial infarct size on CMR (n=139; 20.3 grams vs. 13.1 grams; P=0.04). -Supplemental oxygen therapy in patients with STEMI but without hypoxia may increase early myocardial injury and was associated with larger myocardial infarct size assessed at six months. Clinical Trial Registration Identifier: NCT01272713.
    Circulation 05/2015; 131(24). DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.014494 · 14.43 Impact Factor
  • Ben Meadley · Stefan Heschl · Emily Andrew · Anthony de Wit · Stephen A. Bernard · Karen Smith ·
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    ABSTRACT: Winching emergency medical care providers from a helicopter to the scene enables treatment of patients in otherwise inaccessible locations, but is not without risks. The objective of this study was to define characteristics of winch missions undertaken by Intensive Care Flight Paramedics (ICFP) in Victoria, Australia with a focus on extraction methods and clinical care delivered at the scene. A retrospective data analysis was performed to identify all winch missions between November 2010 and March 2014. Demographic data, winch characteristics, physiological parameters, and interventions undertaken on scene by the ICFP were extracted. Out of 5,003 missions in the study period, 125 were identified as winch operations. Winter missions were significantly less frequent than those of any other season. Patients were predominantly male (78.4%) and had a mean age of 38 years (±17.6). A total of 109 (87.2%) patients were identified as experiencing trauma with a mean Revised Trauma Score of 7.5288, and isolated limb fractures were the most frequently encountered injury. Falls and vehicle-related trauma were the most common mechanisms of injury. The total median scene duration was 49 minutes (IQR 23–91). Sixty-three patients (50.4%) were extracted using a stretcher, 45 (36.0%) using a hypothermic strop, and 6 (4.8%) via normal rescue strop. Eleven patients (8.8%) were not winched to the helicopter. Vascular access (38.4%), analgesia (44.0%), and anti-emetic administration (28.8%) were the most frequent clinical interventions. Forty-nine patients (39.2%) did not receive any clinical intervention prior to winch extraction. Winch operations in Victoria, Australia consisted predominantly of patients with minor to moderate traumatic injuries. A significant proportion of patients did not require any clinical treatment prior to winching, and among those who did, analgesia was the most frequent intervention. Advanced medical procedures were rarely required prior to winch extraction.
    Prehospital Emergency Care 05/2015; DOI:10.3109/10903127.2015.1037479 · 1.76 Impact Factor
  • E Andrew · A de Wit · B Meadley · S Cox · S Bernard · K Smith ·
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective. The optimal staffing of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) is uncertain. An intensive care paramedic-staffed HEMS has operated in the state of Victoria, Australia for over 28 years, with paramedics capable of performing advanced procedures, including rapid sequence intubation, decompression of tension pneumothorax, and cricothyroidotomy. Administration of a wide range of vasoactive, anesthetic, and analgesic medications is also permitted. We sought to explore the characteristics of patients transported by HEMS in Victoria, and describe paramedic utilization of their skill set in the prehospital environment. Methods. A retrospective data review was conducted of patients transported by the HEMS between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2013. Data were sourced from the Ambulance Victoria data warehouse and the Victorian State Trauma Registry. Interhospital transfers were excluded. Results. HEMS attended 1,519 cases during the study period. A total of 825 primary transport cases were included in analyses. Most patients were male (69.5%) and the majority of cases involved trauma (86.1%). Rapid sequence intubation (RSI) was performed in 36.8% of pediatric and 29.9% of adult major trauma patients, with a procedural success rate of 100%. Ketamine was administered to 18.5% of all trauma patients. The proportion of patients with a severe pain score (≥7) decreased from 33.8 to 3.2% (p < 0.001) between initial and final paramedic assessments. A clinically significant pain reduction of ≥2 points was achieved by 87.0% (95% CI 82.9-90.4%) of adult trauma patients who had an initial pain score >2 points and a valid final pain score. In-hospital mortality following major-trauma was 7.6% (95% CI 5.0-11.0%). Conclusions. The skill set of HEMS intensive care paramedics in Victoria is broad, including a large number of prehospital critical care procedures commonly utilized by physician-staffed HEMS in other jurisdictions. A high RSI procedural success rate was observed across the study period, as were significant improvements in patient physiological parameters and pain scores.
    Prehospital Emergency Care 02/2015; 19(3). DOI:10.3109/10903127.2014.995846 · 1.76 Impact Factor
  • Kylie Dyson · Janet Bray · Karen Smith · Stephen Bernard · Lahn Straney · Judith Finn ·
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    ABSTRACT: Paramedic exposure to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) may be an important factor in skill maintenance and quality of care. We aimed to describe the annual exposure rates of paramedics in the state of Victoria, Australia. We linked data from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry (VACAR) and Ambulance Victoria's employment dataset for 2003 to 2012. Paramedics were 'exposed' to an OHCA if they attended a case where resuscitation was attempted. Individual rates were calculated for average annual exposure (number of OHCA exposures for each paramedic/years employed in study period) and the average number of days between exposures (total paramedic-days in study/total number of exposures in study). Over 10-years, there were 49,116 OHCAs and 5,673 paramedics employed. Resuscitation was attempted in 44% of OHCAs. The typical 'exposure' of paramedics was 1.4 (IQR=0.0-3.0) OHCAs per year. Mean annual OHCA exposure declined from 2.8 in 2003 to 2.1 in 2012 (p=0.007). Exposure was significantly less in those: employed part-time (p<0.001); in rural areas (p<0.001); and with lower qualifications (p<0.001). Annual exposure to paediatric and traumatic OHCAs was particularly low. It would take paramedics an average of 163 days to be exposed to an OHCA and up to 12.5years for paediatric OHCAs, which occur relatively rarely. Exposure of individual paramedics to resuscitation is low and has decreased over time. This highlights the importance of supplementing paramedic exposure with other methods, such as simulation, to maintain resuscitation skills particularly in those with low exposure and for rare case types. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Resuscitation 01/2015; 89. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2015.01.023 · 4.17 Impact Factor
  • Z Nehme · E Andrew · S Bernard · K Smith ·
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    ABSTRACT: Despite immediate resuscitation, survival rates following out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) witnessed by emergency medical service (EMS) are reportedly low. We sought to compare survival and 12-month functional recovery outcomes for OHCA occurring before and after EMS arrival. Between 1st July 2008 and 30th June 2013, we included 8648 adult OHCA cases receiving an EMS attempted resuscitation from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry, and categorised them into five groups: bystander witnessed cases±bystander CPR, unwitnessed cases±bystander CPR, and EMS witnessed cases. The main outcomes were survival to hospital and survival to hospital discharge. Twelve-month survival with good functional recovery was measured in a sub-group of patients using the Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOSE). Baseline and arrest characteristics differed significantly across groups. Unadjusted survival outcomes were highest among bystander witnessed cases receiving bystander CPR and EMS witnessed cases, however outcomes differed significantly between these groups: survival to hospital (46.0% vs. 53.4% respectively, p<0.001); survival to hospital discharge (21.1% vs. 34.9% respectively, p<0.001). When compared to bystander witnessed cases receiving bystander CPR, EMS witnessed cases were associated with a significant improvement in the risk adjusted odds of survival to hospital (OR 2.02, 95% CI: 1.75-2.35), survival to hospital discharge (OR 6.16, 95% CI: 5.04-7.52) and survival to 12 months with good functional recovery (OR 5.56, 95% CI: 4.18-7.40). When compared to OHCA occurring prior to EMS arrival, EMS witnessed arrests were associated with significantly higher survival to hospital discharge rates and favourable neurological recovery at 12 months post arrest. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Resuscitation 01/2015; 89. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2015.01.012 · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although the value of clinical registries has been well recognized in developed countries, their use for measuring the quality of emergency medical service care remains relatively unknown. We report the methodology and findings of a statewide emergency medical service surveillance initiative, which is used to measure the quality of systems of care for patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Between July 1, 2002, and June 30, 2012, data for adult out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases of presumed cardiac cause occurring in the Australian Southeastern state of Victoria were extracted from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry. Regional and temporal trends in bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation, event survival, and survival to hospital discharge were analyzed using logistic regression and multilevel modeling. A total of 32 097 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases were identified, of whom 14 083 (43.9%) received treatment by the emergency medical service. The risk-adjusted odds of receiving bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (odds ratio [OR], 2.96; 95% confidence interval, 2.62-3.33), event survival (OR, 1.55; 95% confidence interval, 1.30-1.85), and survival to hospital discharge (OR, 2.81; 95% confidence interval, 2.07-3.82) were significantly improved by 2011 to 2012 compared with baseline. Significant variation in rates of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation and survival were observed across regions, with arrests in rural regions less likely to survive to hospital discharge. The median OR for interhospital variability in survival to hospital discharge outcome was 70% (median OR, 1.70). Between 2002 and 2012, there have been significant improvements in bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation and survival outcome for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients in Victoria, Australia. However, regional survival disparities and interhospital variability in outcomes pose significant challenges for future improvements in care. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
    Circulation Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 01/2015; 8(1):56-66. DOI:10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.114.001185 · 5.66 Impact Factor
  • Z Nehme · E Andrew · J E Bray · P Cameron · S Bernard · I T Meredith · K Smith ·
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    ABSTRACT: The significance of pre-arrest factors in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) witnessed by emergency medical services (EMS) is not well established. The purpose of this study was to assess the association between prodromal symptoms and pre-arrest clinical observations on the arresting rhythm and survival in EMS witnessed OHCA. Between 1st January 2003 and 31st December 2011, 1,056 adult EMS witnessed arrests of a presumed cardiac aetiology were identified from the Victorian Ambulance Cardiac Arrest Registry. Pre-arrest prodromal features and clinical characteristics were extracted from the patient care record. Backward elimination logistic regression was used to identify pre-arrest factors associated with an initial shockable rhythm and survival to hospital discharge. The median age was 73.0 years, 690 (65.3%) were male, and the rhythm of arrest was shockable in 465 (44.0%) cases. The most commonly reported prodromal symptoms prior to arrest were chest pain (48.8%), dyspnoea (41.8%) and altered consciousness (37.8%). An unrecordable systolic blood pressure was observed in 34.4%, a respiratory rate<13 or >24/min was present in 43.1%, and 45.5% had a Glasgow coma score<15. In the multivariable analysis, the following pre-arrest factors were significantly associated with survival: age, public location, aged care facility, chest pain, arm or shoulder pain, dyspnoea, dizziness, vomiting, ventricular tachycardia, pulse rate, systolic blood pressure, respiratory rate, Glasgow coma score, aspirin and inotrope administration. Pre-arrest factors are strongly associated with the arresting rhythm and survival following EMS witnessed OHCA. Potential opportunities to improve outcomes exist by way of early recognition and management of patients at risk of OHCA. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Resuscitation 12/2014; 88. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.12.009 · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To examine the effect of the "after-hours" (18:00-07:00) model of trauma care on a high-risk subgroup - patients presenting with acute traumatic coagulopathy (ATC). Design, participants and setting: Retrospective analysis of data from the Alfred Trauma Registry for patients with ATC presenting between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2011. Main outcome measure: Mortality at hospital discharge, adjusted for potential confounders, describing the association between after-hours presentation and mortality. Results: There were 398 patients with ATC identified during the study period, of whom 197 (49.5%) presented after hours. Mortality among patients presenting after hours was 43.1%, significantly higher than among those presenting in hours (33.1%; P = 0.04). Following adjustment for possible confounding variables of age, presenting Glasgow Coma Scale score, urgent surgery or angiography and initial base deficit, after-hours presentation was significantly associated with higher mortality at hospital discharge (adjusted odds ratio, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.10-2.87). Conclusion: The after-hours model of care was associated with worse outcomes among some of the most critically ill trauma patients. Standardising patient reception at major trauma centres to ensure a consistent level of care across all hours of the day may improve outcomes among patients who have had a severe injury.
    The Medical journal of Australia 11/2014; 201(10):588-91. DOI:10.5694/mja13.00235 · 4.09 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

9k Citations
658.18 Total Impact Points


  • 2010-2015
    • Alfred Hospital
      • Intensive Care Unit
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2001-2015
    • Monash University (Australia)
      • Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2007-2014
    • University of Vic
      Vic, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2010-2013
    • Ambulance Victoria
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2008
    • SA Ambulance Service
      Tarndarnya, South Australia, Australia