Author Archive for: Swami

Can We Agree on Cardiac Standstill?

18 Sep
September 18, 2017

Background: Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) has gained wider use in resuscitation of patients presenting with cardiac arrest. POCUS can play an important role in determining the etiology of arrest as well as being used to determine the presence or absence of mechanical activity. The REASON study demonstrated that patients with PEA or asystole without cardiac activity on POCUS are extremely unlikely to survive to hospital discharge though this study did not investigate the more important question of a survival with a good neurologic outcome. (Gaspari 2016). In light of this as well as other evidence, some have proposed that the absence of cardiac activity may be adequate to declare resuscitation futility and stop resuscitative efforts. However, there is a lack of agreement on what defines cardiac activity (see table 1). Due to this, and other factors, the level of agreement between physicians in interpretation of cardiac standstill is unknown. Read more →

Predicting Dysrhythmias After Syncope

11 Sep
September 11, 2017

Background: Syncope, the sudden, brief loss of consciousness followed by spontaneous, complete recovery is a common presentation to the Emergency Department (ED). It represents a significant portion of overall admissions to the hospital because while many cases are benign (i.e. vasovagal syncope), some may result from a life-threatening cause (ventricular tachydysrhythmia, myocardial ischemia, gastrointestinal bleeding etc). Admission or 24 hour observation is often sought for continuous dysrhythmia monitoring but they are infrequently found. A decision instrument directed at stratifying patients to high or low risk for a dysrhythmia causing syncope (and thus subsequent risk for a recurrent dysrhythmia) would be useful in managing patients with syncope. Read more →

Button Battery Ingestion

04 Sep
September 4, 2017

Button Batteries: Small, disc shaped battery cells which are designed for use in small electronic devices. Common sources are kids toys, watches, calculators and hearing aids. Most batteries use lithium as a power source

Button Battery Ingestion Danger:

  • Contact with mucosal surfaces (oropharynx, esophagus, nasal passage) results in transmission of current
  • Current transmission causes chemical burns and necrosis via alkaline injury (sodium hydroxide)
  • Tissue damage can progress rapidly and result in devastating injuries
  • Nasal passage and esophagus are most susceptible to injury (narrow places for battery to become lodged)
  • Injury Patterns
    • Viscous perforation
    • Fistula formation
    • Erosion into blood vessels and resultant bleeding and possible catastrophic bleeding with erosion into aorta

Read more →

Safety of PE Treatment with Rivaroxaban

31 Aug
August 31, 2017

Background: The simplified PE Severity Index (sPESI) is one of several validated prognostic tools for acute pulmonary embolism (PE).  The European Society of Cardiology recommended the use of the sPESI to risk-stratify patients with acute PE into low risk (sPESI=0) and non-low risk (sPESI≥1) in order to guide treatment and disposition (Konstantinides 2014).  Systematic reviews and meta-analyses have found that outpatient management of low-risk PE patients with standard therapy is safe, effective, and cost-effective (Aujesky 2011, Zondag 2013, Kahler 2015).

Standard practice in the United States for treatment of acute PE over the last decade has been a parenteral agent (e.g. enoxaparin, fondaparinux) overlapping with a vitamin K antagonist (VKA) (e.g. warfarin). However, a paradigm shift has been brewing over recent years.  Direct oral anticoagulants  (DOACs) have demonstrated efficacy as initial and long-term treatment of PE compared to standard therapy in various trials (EINSTEIN-PE 2012, RE-COVER 2014, AMPLIFY 2013, Hosukai-VTE 2013).  The EINSTEIN-PE study found that rivaroxaban was noninferior to enoxaparin/VKA for the treatment of recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) without increased risk of bleeding.  Rivaroxaban and other DOACs are approved for treatment of VTE in the European Union, but use in the United States of DOACs for ED treatment of PE is more limited. Read more →

Pacemaker Basics

24 Aug
August 24, 2017

Have you ever been confused by the alphabet soup of pacemakers? This post will serve as a pacemaker basics reference. Read more →

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE