Author Archive for: jbeckesmay

Targeted Temperature Management in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: 33°C or 36°C?

19 Jun
June 19, 2017

Background: In 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine published two studies that changed the management of post-cardiac arrest patients by showing improved outcomes in patients treated with therapeutic hypothermia (32°C-34°C) for at least 24 hours. (Bernard 2002, Hypothermia 2002).  The landscape changed again in 2013 with the publication of the Targeted Temperature Management (TTM) trial in the New England Journal, which compared post-cardiac arrest hypothermia at 32-34°C and at 36°C and found no difference in outcomes (Nielson 2013). After the publication of the TTM trial, many hospitals changed their cooling protocols to a target temperature of 36°C, however, recently it has been shown that this may pose an increased risk of fever. (Cassamento 2016). Read more →

Normalization of Vital Signs Does Not Reduce the Probability of Pulmonary Embolism

09 Feb
February 9, 2017

Background: In patients with symptoms of pulmonary embolism (PE), we often turn to vital signs, including heart rate, respiratory rate and pulse oximetry, as part of our initial impression of the patient.  Before even considering further testing, such as d-dimer or CTPA, we look first at the vital signs to form our gestalt impression of the patient.  Clinical decision making tools are utilized in one static point in time, but gestalt decision-making occurs over the course of the patient’s entire stay in the Emergency Department (ED).  Because of this, clinicians may use changes in vital signs to augment their differential diagnosis or to justify their belief that a PE work up is not necessary.  

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