BACKGROUND: Every year in the United States there are an estimated 178.8 million episodes of acute gastroenteritis resulting in 473,832 hospitalizations. Most of the evidence surrounding oral rehydration centers around Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) studies in low-income countries where children suffer from more extensive gastrointestinal losses. Theoretically, electrolyte maintenance solutions are recommended in order to prevent increasing diarrheal losses through the osmotic diuresis that can occur with glucose-rich drinks like juice. However, these electrolyte maintenance solutions can cost up to $10 for a 1-liter bottle and are unpalatable to some children. Refusal to drink often results in the need for IV hydration and can potentially result in disease progression and hospitalization. This study attempted to look at whether a dilute apple juice solution or preferred fluids was equal to, if not superior to oral hydration with an electrolyte maintenance solution. Read more →
Author Archive for: Swami
Background: Despite continued debate on the efficacy of alteplase (tPA), it currently remains one of the major interventions directed at patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke. The current standard dose of the drug is 0.9 mg/kg given over 1 hour. It is unclear whether lower doses would be equally effective in increasing good neurologic outcomes after stroke while simultaneously decreasing the rate of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH); the most serious side effect. Evidence showing that lower doses of tPA are non-inferior to standard-dose tPA could lead to a shift in treatment. Read more →
Background: Airway management is a critical part of the management of patients presenting with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Emergency Physicians (EPs) have no ability to change the primary injury once it has occurred and so our focus is on preventing secondary brain injury. Hypoxemia and hypercarbia are major contributors to morbidity and mortality and management must focus on preventing them. Patients with TBI and depressed mental status frequently require definitive airway management in order to avoid these secondary insults. Rapid sequence intubation (RSI) with serial administration of a neuromuscular blocking agent (NMBA) and an induction agent is common practice. The most commonly used NMBAs are the depolarizing agent succinylcholine and the non-depolarizing agent rocuronium. There are strong proponents arguing for the dominance of one agent over the other based on qualities of the drugs but scant data investigating the question has led to clinical equipoise. Read more →
Background: Irrigation after incision and drainage (I&D) of an abscess in the ED is considered by some sources to be standard care but local practice varies considerably. There are no randomized controlled trials to date that look at the potential benefits of this procedure. Irrigation increases the time required for the procedure and increases pain experienced by the patient. Read more →
Background: Peripheral venous cannulation is the most frequently performed procedure in the Emergency Department (ED). The vast majority of patients admitted to the hospital will leave the ED with an intravenous catheter (IV). While these devices typically have a “life-span” of 72 hours from placement, they often fail prematurely as a result of infection, phlebitis, occlusion or dislodgement. IV dislodgement is a particular bane to emergency providers and nurses because it often occurs during the patient’s ED stay requiring repeated cannulation and the associated expenditure of time and resources not to mention the additional pain/discomfort to the patient. Inadequate fixation of the catheter is a likely cause of dislodgement but may also contribute to infection and phlebitis due to small movements leading to microtrauma to the vein.
Medical-grade skin glue (cyanoacrylate) has been demonstrated to reduce peripheral arterial line failure rate in prior studies but has not been extensively studied for peripheral IV securing. Read more →