The use of therapeutic hypothermia (TH) has become part of the routine care of patients after return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) from cardiac arrest (Use of the phrase Targeted Temperature Management has become more accepted). It became much more accepted after two separate trials were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 showing a survival benefit and improved neurologic outcome with use of TH. (1,2) The use of TH has even been given a Level One recommendation by the American Heart Association for comatose post-arrest patients. (3) Uncertainties still remain, however, such as what optimal temperature to use, and most recommendations on specifics related to TH are based on observational studies and expert opinion. So what is the actual evidence behind the use of TH? Read more →
Author Archive for: mastinmd
The subclavian route is known to be the site for central line placement with the lowest risk of infection, but can also lead to many mechanical complications . The biggest risk of subclavian line placement is an iatrogenic pneumothorax. The use of ultrasound for subclavian line placement can greatly reduce this risk by watching the needle enter the vein. But does arm position matter for ultrasound guided subclavian central lines? Read more →
I know, I know. We here at REBEL EM are normally very clinically oriented. We take recent articles or hot topics and give you the breakdown and clinical take home points. But a recent event happened that made me look at my own practice, and now on the other side, I feel that I am a better doctor. The hospital I was working at as medical director of the Emergency Department (ED) closed its doors. This was a hospital that had been in the community for more than 60 years. I won’t go into the reasons for closure, but rather, I would like to tell the story from the side of the ED provider and what I had to change until the lights were turned out. Read more →
There has been a lot of debate over the recent years about the safety of crystalloid fluid therapy in acutely ill patients. Several observational studies have shown an increased risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) with the use of normal saline (NS). Other observational studies have shown a decreased risk of AKI when using a buffered solution (Hartmann’s solution, Plasma-Lyte (PL)). What is the best fluid to give to our patients who need fluid resuscitation? The answer to this question is not known, but another step in finding the answer was taken with the release of the SPLIT trial online by JAMA on October 7, 2015.
As emergency physicians, we are constantly on the look out for elevated blood pressures and the potential devastating consequences. We are concerned about intracranial bleeds and acute pulmonary edema from heart failure. But what about the patient that comes in with high blood pressures, yet has no symptoms? Do we need to treat the number or the patient? In this post we will tackle this clinical dilemma of elevated asymptomatic hypertension: To treat or not to treat? Read more →
For the most part, the biggest concern with administering tPA is the bleeding complications, specifically intracranial hemorrhage. But there is another side effect that is being reported more frequently. I, myself, saw two cases in one week. This side effect is tPA-associated angioedema.
Case: A 70-year-old female with a past medical history of hypertension and diabetes presents to your department 45 minutes after onset of left facial droop, slurred speech and left-sided hemiparesis. The initial head CT is negative for acute hemorrhage. You diagnose your patient with an acute ischemic stroke. There are no contraindications, so you decide to treat the patient with tPA (we will leave this debate for another time).
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