Ambulance Service Treat & Refer Outcomes (ASTRO) study

The ASTRO study is a prospective study of patients who, following an uncomplicated hypoglycaemic episode or an isolated seizure episode, are randomised to either a treat & referral clinical care pathway or standard care by paramedics or advanced paramedics. Your involvement in the study will influence your scope of practice for the future.

The study is being undertaken by the principal investigator, Brian Power, as part of a PhD research programme at the School of Medicine & Medical Science, UCD.  The primary outcome is patient safety. Secondary outcomes are patient satisfaction and increased efficiency.

Ethical approval

The study received ethical approval from the Ethics Research Committee of the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick.

Study CPGs

For the study duration, new Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) will be made available to paramedics and advanced paramedics, offering the option of Treat & Refer.

Research participant estimates

The study requires around 900 hypoglycaemia patients and 950 seizure patients to be included, in order to detect potential differences between standard care pathways and the new treat & refer pathways.  The HSE National Ambulance Service and Emergency Departments in six regions of the country have agreed to participate over an estimated two year period to generate the numbers required.

Paramedic and advanced paramedic involvement

Your participation in the ASTRO study will help to inform the policy makers in relation to this important project.
The first engagement with paramedics and advanced paramedics in relation to the study is to request you to complete a short online survey. Your opinion on treat and referral is being sought to enable policy makers be informed from the frontline healthcare professional perspectives. You will be asked shortly to complete a short survey to enable us to gauge the issues from a paramedic or advanced paramedic perspective.