Hacks are all the rage! There is even a current television show dedicated to “life hacks”. While the following may not be as cool as cutting cake with dental floss or cooking a pizza on your dash board (these were actually on that show) what I have learned from my training and experience in Pediatric Emergency Medicine (and my own 5 children) is that there are some hacks that can make things much easier for you, the kid, and the parents. The hacks presented here range from treatment for common (and often benign) conditions to serious situations. Read more →
Patients with pulseless electrical activity (PEA) account for almost 1/3 of cardiac arrest and even more troublesome is that the survival rate is significantly worse than patients with shockable rhythms. Both the European and American ACLS guidelines stress the importance of quickly finding and addressing the cause of PEA. This is traditionally done with recalling the 5 to 6 H’s and T’s, but during cardiopulmonary resuscitation it is difficult to recall all 13 causes of PEA by trying to recall this list. In 2014 a review article was published that was developed by several departments from the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC that tried to simplify the diagnostic approach to PEA. Read more →
Welcome to the May 2015 REBELCast, where Swami, Matt, and I are going to tackle a couple of articles just published this year. First, there is a lack of research examining the efficacy of steroids in patients with allergic reactions or anaphylaxis. Despite this, corticosteroids are standard care for patients with these disorders. Second, current regulations permit storage of PRBCs for up to 42 days, but maybe fresh PRBCs may improve outcomes in the critically ill by enhancing oxygen delivery while minimizing toxic effects from cellular changes and accumulation of bioactive materials in blood components during prolonged storage. So with that introduction today we are going to specifically tackle:
- Topic #1: Corticosteroids in Allergic Reactions & Anaphylaxis
- Topic #2: Age of Packed Red Blood Cells (PRBCs) in Critically Ill Adults
Sometimes the most profound academic concepts haven’t come from the wonderful medical conferences or hundreds of academic articles I’ve read, but they come from arenas completely tangential to the medical field. The topic of this article is a great example of this phenomenon. It came from of all places, a Southwest Airlines magazine. It’s titled “In Criticism of Praise” by Heidi Stevens. Being an optimist with four children and many medical students under my wing, (yes I view them as my children) I was initially offended by the title and it of course, it drew me in. Read more →
So I was recently invited to the Texas College of Emergency Physicians meeting in Austin, TX (April 23rd – 26th, 2015) and was asked to give a lecture on sepsis, titled “Optimizing ED Management of Sepsis.” I was able to record my audio from that lecture and will summarize it on this blogpost and attach the audio to the lecture as well. Now usually on REBELCast I do a mini-critical appraisal of recent literature with Swami and Matt, but in this episode I am going to try and give you a succinct summary of the recent sepsis trials that have been released over the past 6 – 12 months. Read more →
There are approximately 8 to 10 million patients complaining of chest pain coming to Emergency Departments (EDs) in the United States annually. In the US, we use a very liberal testing strategy in order to avoid acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in patients presenting with chest pain. This results in over 50% of ED patients with acute chest pain receiving serial cardiac biomarkers, stress testing, and cardiac angiography at an estimated cost of $10 to $13 billion annually and yet fewer than 10% of these patients are diagnosed with ACS.
Despite these numbers the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) recommends that low-risk chest pain patients receive serial cardiac markers followed by some sort of provocative/objective cardiac testing. Using this strategy amongst low-risk chest pain patients unnecessarily uses resources on those least likely to benefit. Low-risk chest pain patients have ACS rates of <2% and provocative/objective cardiac testing is associated with a significant amount of “downstream” testing (i.e. cardiac catheterization) due to false positive tests.
To date, the HEART score has been examined in >6000 patients and demonstrated a high NPV for MACE at 6 weeks exceeding 98%, but until now there has been no randomized trial. Read more →
We’ve had some heated debates on the topic of hands-on defibrillation (HOD) for the past few years. We all know the most important time to avoid a pause during CPR is the perishock pause ((21690495)). We also know that despite lots of safety data ((2302275), (19211180)) and safe experience doing HOD ((18458166), Johnson) there are still concerns over the potential electrical leak using common exam gloves ((22925991), (23507464), (23507465), (23266533), (24992873)). For those who don’t enjoy a little electrical spice in your resuscitations, some recent articles have shown ways in which the safety of HOD can be mitigated using inexpensive tools.
When selecting a local anesthetic agent for skin wounds I have historically been taught to use lidocaine to provide a faster onset, and to use bupivacaine for a longer duration of action.
It can be time consuming to find 0.5% Bupivacaine with epinephrine and 2% Lidocaine with Epinephrine to produce a final mixture of 1% Lidocaine and 0.25% Bupivacaine with Epinephrine.
- If there is no difference in effect between these agents time could be saved when drawing up local anesthetics.
Welcome back to a special edition, or should I say “skeptical edition” of REBELCast. We have started to do something new by inviting guests onto the show to discuss papers in the literature they find interesting. This month I had the pleasure of working with Ken Milne, an emergency room physician in Canada. Today, Ken and I are going to specifically discuss a new device that recently got FDA approval for CPR in Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA), and the question we are trying to answer is:
Is active Compression Decompression CPR with Augmentation of Negative Intrathoracic Pressure for Treatment of Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest superior to standard CPR?
There are approximately 8 to 10 million patients coming to Emergency Departments (EDs) in the United States annually. In the US, we use a very liberal testing strategy in order to avoid acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in patients presenting with chest pain. This results in over 50% of ED patients with acute chest pain receiving serial cardiac biomarkers, stress testing, and cardiac angiography at an estimated cost of $10 to $13 billion annually and yet fewer than 10% of these patients are diagnosed with ACS.
The 2-hour accelerated diagnostic protocol (ADAPT) combines 0 and 2 hour cardiac troponin (cTn), electrocardiograms (ECGs), and an adapted Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) score to help identify ED patients safe for early discharge. Previous studies show that this strategy can identify as many as 20% of patients for early discharge with a high sensitivity of 97.9% to 99.7% for major adverse cardiac events (MACE) at 30 days. This ADP has yet to be tested in a US population until now.