Background: Ketorolac is a commonly used parenteral analgesic in the Emergency Department (ED) for a variety of indications ranging from musculoskeletal injuries to renal colic. This non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is available in oral, intranasal and parenteral routes. Ketorolac has a number of side effects including nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding and renal insufficiency. The risk of GI bleeding appears to be related to the use of higher doses and prolonged use. As with all NSAIDs, the drug has an analgesic ceiling – the dose at which additional dosing will not provide additional analgesia but can lead to more side effects. The current FDA dosing is 30 mg intravenously and 60 mg intramuscularly for patients < 65 years of age. However, the necessity of these doses is unclear and prior studies have demonstrated efficacy of considerably lower doses. The use of lower doses, if effective, may mitigate the potential for harm. Read more →
Background: Ureteric (renal) colic is a common, painful condition encountered in the Emergency Department (ED). Sustained contraction of smooth muscle in the ureter as a kidney stone passes the length of the ureter leads to pain. The majority of stones will pass spontaneously (i.e. without urologic intervention). For over a decade, calcium channel blockers (i.e. nifedipine) and, more commonly, alpha adrenoreceptor antagonists (i.e. tamsulosin) have been employed in the treatment of ureteric colic for their potential ability to increase stone passage, reduce pain medication use and reduce urologic interventions. These interventions were mostly based on poor methodologic studies and meta-analyses of these flawed studies.
Over the past 3-4 years, a small number of higher-quality RCTs have been published (Ferre 2009, Pickard 2015, Furyk 2016). These studies have demonstrated a lack of benefit for routine use of alpha blockers. However, secondary outcomes suggest a possible benefit in larger stones (> 6 mm). In spite of recent multiple studies, the use of alpha blockers remains an area of active debate. Read more →
Background: Intraosseous (IO) access can play an important role in the resuscitation of the critically ill patient to help expedite delivery of critical medications (i.e. RSI). Much like with peripheral or central access, obesity can present a challenge to placement of an IO as accurate placement relies on use of landmarks which may not be palpable in this group. Additionally, increased soft tissue depth may render standard needles ineffective. IO needles require 5 mm of excess length from skin to bony cortex to ensure successful placement (i.e. maximal depth of 20 mm for a 25 mm needle). Studies investigating these questions are necessary in order to understand how reliable IO access will be in obese patients. Read more →
Background: Anyone who has run a code, knows that pulseless electrical activity (PEA) during cardiac arrest has a worse prognosis compared to patients with shockable rhythms. In patients with suspected massive PE as the cause of their cardiac arrest the Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines do recommend consideration of thrombolytics. There is however, no uniform consensus on the type, dose, duration, timing, or method of administration. The current study (PEAPETT Trial) was an attempt to do exactly that. Read more →
Background: How many of you have had this scenario…patient comes into ED, just ate a big steak and now they can’t swallow. You call gastroenterology, who asks… “Did you try glucagon yet?” OK, well maybe not exactly like that, but you get what I am asking. Esophageal foreign body impactions are a rare entity, that cause quite a bit of discomfort to patients and have the potential for esophageal necrosis and perforation. The definitive treatment for removal is endoscopy with direct visualization and removal of the object causing the obstruction. This procedure is invasive, time consuming, requires a gastroenterologist, as well as procedural sedation. Due to the time it takes to set up for this procedure, many consultants will ask to try medical therapy first. There are several options including carbonated beverages, calcium channel blockers, sublingual nitroglycerin, proteolytic enzymes, benzodiazepines, and last but not least intravenous glucagon. This review will focus on the use of glucagon for esophageal foreign bodies. Read more →
The standard treatment for patients with obstructive left main coronary artery disease has typically been coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG), however some newer trials have suggested that maybe drug-eluting stents may be an acceptable alternative to CABG in select patients. In this episode we will be reviewing the two most recent publications on this topic:
- The EXCEL Trial
- The NOBLE Trial
Cardiac Arrest, Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC) With No ST-Segment Elevation on ECG. Now What?
Background: The American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology (AHA/ACC) give a Class I recommendation for activation of the cardiac catheterization lab in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) whom ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is present. The evidence for early cardiac catheterization in patients after cardiac arrest, with ROSC and no STEMI is a bit more controversial. The most recent 2015 AHA/ACC guidelines recommend, “it may be reasonable,” to perform an emergent cardiac catheterization in select patients without STEMI. Read more →
Background: The optimal management of isolated calf deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is not completely clear, based on the available evidence. The authors of this paper state up to 50% of all lower extremity DVTs are infra-popliteal. Because there is not a lot of robust evidence to guide us on the best diagnostic and therapeutic treatments, a huge variation in practice is seen. To help try and answer these questions the authors of this paper performed the Compression versus Anticoagulant treatment and compression in symptomatic Calf Thrombosis diagnosed by UltraSound – CACTUS Trial. Read more →
Background: For many emergency providers, POCUS has become a critical modality in the resuscitation of patients with cardiac arrest. The authors of this paper (The REASON Trial) state that <8% of all OHCA’s survive to hospital discharge; a dismal number. We already know that shockable rhythms, early defibrillation, early bystander CPR, and ROSC in the field are all associated with increased survival. What we don’t have is large scale evidence that the use of POCUS improves survival with good neurologic outcomes. Read more →
Background : For anyone who has taken care of a patient with renal colic, the agony they experience is indelible. I have had several female patients even tell me that the pain is worse than child birth. Treatment of renal colic comes down to two key components: treatment of pain and expediting passage of the stone. Many medications have been tested for the former, and we have discussed the latter on our blog before (HERE and HERE). We had a recent resident journal club discussing a trial comparing IV lidocaine (1.5mg/kg) vs IV morphine (0.1mg/kg) for treatment of pain. Read more →