Author Archive for: srrezaie

Alternative Headache Therapies

15 Jun
June 15, 2017

Background: Presentations to the Emergency Department for acute headache are remarkably common, with more than 2 million visits each year in the United States (Goldstein 2006). Emergency clinicians are tasked with dual roles of excluding life-threatening pathology while rendering effective pain relief and symptomatic care. Treatment patterns for isolated benign headache are widely variable, reflecting the array of symptoms and diversity of therapeutic response among patients presenting for care. One observational cohort of ED patients reported the routine use of 36 different medications for the treatment of headache, with most patients receiving more than one parenteral agent, as well as frequent use of opioid therapy despite recommendations to avoid the same except as a last resort (Vinson 2002). While a variety of effective medications are available for treatment of primary headache in the Emergency Department, including NSAIDs, neuroleptics, anti-emetics, anti-epileptics, and more, there is a growing interest in alternative headache therapies that offer rapid relief without the side effects and time investment of more traditional agents. Read more →

What’s Your Drug Shortage Plan: Part II

01 Jun
June 1, 2017

Many drugs critical to patient management are showing up on national shortages (most pertinent to the ED list below).  Is your institution feeling the effects?  Do you have a drug shortage plan?

In this post we will cover potential alternatives to combat drug shortages for the following medications:

  • Sodium Bicarbonate
  • Promethazine
  • Rocuronium

Read more →

What’s Your Drug Shortage Plan: Part I

29 May
May 29, 2017

Many drugs critical to patient management are showing up on national shortages (most pertinent to the ED list below).  Is your institution feeling the effects?  Do you have a drug shortage plan?

In this post we will cover potential alternatives to combat drug shortages for the following medications:

  • Atropine
  • Calcium Chloride
  • Calcium Gluconate
  • Dextrose 50%
  • Epinephrine
  • Lidocaine

Read more →

Acute Salicylate Toxicity, Mechanical Ventilation, and Hemodialysis

25 May
May 25, 2017

Background: Salicylates are common substances that can be purchased over the counter. They are readily available, and in the setting of an overdose, can be fatal [1]. Initially, as salicylates are metabolized, they can induce a respiratory alklalosis. This is then followed by an anion gap metabolic acidosis.

Due to the metabolic derangements induced by salicylates as well as salicylate’s direct stimulation on the respiratory centers of the brain, patients can present with profound tachypnea, fever and even altered mental status. As the severity of toxicity increases, the need for airway protection through intubation and mechanical ventilation becomes more profound.

Intubation has unique implications in patients with acute salicylate toxicity [1]. Patients with  tachypnea are able to compensate for the profound metabolic acidosis that can develop from salicylate poisoning. Once intubated, the peri-intubation minute ventilation, typically, cannot be matched by the ventilator, thus taking away the patient’s physiologic mechanism of compensation for the metabolic abnormalities associated with salicylate toxicity leading to further clinical deterioration. Despite this, intubation in many cases of severe salicylate toxicity is necessary.

In addition to ventilation management, other therapeutic options to help manage acute salicylate toxicity include alkalization of the serum to prevent conversion of salicylates to its non-ionized form, which easily crosses the blood brain barrier and can lead to cerebral edema and end organ damage. Hemodialysis is another option in management of salicylate toxicity to help correct acid-base abnormalities and directly remove salicylates from the blood stream [3]. Read more →

Episode 38 – Do All Submassive PE’s Require Treatment with Thrombolysis?

15 May
May 15, 2017

Background: There has been very little robust evidence published on the long-term outcomes of systemic thrombolysis in acute submassive PE.  Many advocate for the use of systemic thrombolysis to reduce morbidity (complications from chronic pulmonary hypertension) and mortality. The PEITHO trial compared systemic thrombolysis (with tenecteplase + heparin) vs no systemic thrombolysis (placebo + heparin) in just over 1000 patients with confirmed PE, RV dysfunction, and positive troponins.  The primary outcome of all-cause death or hemodynamic decompensation within 7 days occurred less frequently in the thrombolysis arm. This statistically significant difference was driven by differences in hemodynamic decompensation, not mortality – a non-patient centered outcome. Additionally, the benefit was at the risk of increased intracranial hemorrhage.  In this current study, 70% of the patients from the original PEITHO trial were followed for a 2-year follow up period, giving us some information about long-term sequelae of systemic thrombolysis in patients with submassive PE. Read more →

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