Author Archive for: Swami

The HEAT Trial – Acetaminophen in ICU Patients with Fever

19 Oct
October 19, 2015

The HEAT Trial 1Background: Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is commonly used to lower the temperature of patients with fever suspected to be causeed by an infection in both homes across the world and the hospital. There are, however, opposing theories to the utility of decreasing fever in these situations. One side argues that fever places “additional physiological stress on patients,” who are already ill (Young 2015). Removing this source of increased metabolic demand would allow the body to allocate additional resources to fighting infection, respiratory function etc. On the other hand, fever may “enhance immune-cell function” and inhibit further growth and spread of an infecting pathogen (Young 2015). From a simple evolutionary standpoint, fever, which entails a significant cost likely evolved and persists because it benefits the host. To date we don’t have high-level evidence that acetaminophen treatment of fever due to probable infection is beneficial, ineffective, or harmful. Read more →

Beyond ACLS – POCUS in Cardiac Arrest

20 Aug
August 20, 2015

Beyond ACLS - POCUS in Cardiac ArrestAs we have discussed in previous posts, the care of patients with cardiac arrest is a key skill for Emergency Providers. ACLS provides a foundation for care but is rife with shortcomings including, but not limited to, reliance on outdated data and inability to adapt in the face of improved understanding of cardiac arrest pathophysiology. The incorporation of technological advances and skills is another massive limitation of ACLS. One of these technologies is point of care ultrasound (POCUS).

Over the last two decades, POCUS has become a integral part of Emergency Medicine training and practice. POCUS allows for rapid, bedside diagnosis of a number of conditions including cholecystitis, urinary retention and ectopic pregnancy. Additionally, it is becoming a greater component in the management of the critical patient where it can be used to assess cardiac contractility, wall motion abnormalities, intraperitoneal free fluid and more. Application of POCUS in all patients with cardiac arrest is simply the next step. This diagnostic modality is not highlighted in the current iteration of ACLS but is a practice changer. The bottom line is that application of POCUS in cardiac arrest allows the emergency provider to guide resuscitation with a direct look into the body – we are no longer blind.

For this post, I want to discuss two ways that we can use ultrasound in cardiac arrest patients, specifically in pulseless electrical activity (PEA), in the Emergency Department:

  1. Assessment for the presence or absence of cardiac output and
  2. As an alternate framework to the Hs and Ts.

A quick disclaimer – I am not an ultrasound expert, I did not do a fellowship but I am passionate about it’s application in our sickest patients. Read more →

Management of Mild to Moderate Asthma Exacerbations

12 Aug
August 12, 2015

Mild to Moderate AsthmaThis post is meant to accompany the REBEL Cast episode on The Crashing Asthmatic from June 2015. This blog post will also be simultaneously posted on the Core EM site here. Come over and check out our core content offerings. Thanks to the REBEL team for continuing to promote our site!

Definition: An episode of wheezing, chest tightness or coughing resulting from variable airflow obstruction that is reversible. Underlying exacerbations are a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways. Read more →

Medical Expulsion Therapy in Ureteral Colic: An Update

06 Aug
August 6, 2015

Medical Expulsion Therapy 2Back in August 2014, we posted an in depth review on medical expulsion therapy (MET) with tamsulosin in patients with renal colic. The summary of that post was:

“Clearly, there is disagreement in the literature. None of the studies are ideal. We continue to lack a large, RDCT done on patients presenting to the Emergency Department with renal colic.

The best evidence we have DOES NOT show a significant benefit to the use of tamsulosin in renal colic.”

Since that post, two well done RDCTs were published so we thought a brief review of each of these articles and updated recommendations were warranted. Read more →

Critical Care Horizons – A FOAM Critical Care Journal

30 Jul
July 30, 2015

Critical Care HorizonsAs the world of Free Open Access Medical Education has expanded over the last 5 years, one area that has been a laggard is the traditional journal. Although some journals release a limited number of articles in an open access format (NEJM, Annals of EM, Academic EM, EM Australasia, etc.) we haven’t seen a true open-access journal that is free to publish and free to read. This changed on June 24th, 2015 when the first issue of Critical Care Horizons was released. Read more →

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