I recently gave a talk at my old alma mater (Texas A&M College of Medicine) on creating a Professional and Scholarly Community with FOAM in early September of 2015. One of the things I was most amazed by was how many people had not heard of the concept of FOAM, but more importantly the number of questions I received after my talk on how to get started and how to consume FOAM. Now many people in the FOAM world have posted blog posts, videos, and even podcasts on how to do this, but I thought I would write a blog post on how I keep up and stay organized for anyone who is new to the FOAM world or if someone simply asks you how to get started feel free to just refer them here. Read more →
Author Archive for: srrezaie
I was recently invited by Rick Body and Natalie May to speak at the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) Meeting in Manchester, England, September 2015. The topic was “The Essence of Emergency Medicine.” I was allotted 20 minutes to give this talk and in my mind I immediately thought about two questions:
- How am I supposed to talk about the essence of EM in 20 minutes?
- What is it that we really do in the emergency department on a day to day basis?
So instead what I did, was make an executive decision to change the lecture to something slightly different. I figured we could talk about the modern day superhero. When you think about it, some of the things we are asked to do in the first 20 minutes of a patients care, truly are superhuman. Now when we were kids, many of us wanted to be superheroes. How many of us tied a table cloth or towel around our necks like a cape? Well, to me emergency medicine is one of the closest things to a modern day superhero. So instead of the essence of emergency medicine, I gave a talk on the five powers of the modern day superhero. To me, these are the things that encompass the essence of EM and our initial care of patients.
Background: When evaluating therapeutic options for PE, there are three categories in my mind: Subsegmental, Submassive, and Massive. For simplicity sake lets just say subsegmental PEs get treated with anticoagulation and massive PEs get treated with thrombolysis. The submassive category is a bit trickier. For example the PEITHO trial looked at full dose systemic fibrinolysis, tenecteplace in intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism and found a reduced risk of death or cardiovascular collapse by 56% but this was offset by an almost 5-fold increased risk of major bleeding and 10-fold increased risk of intracranial hemorrhage compared to anticoagulation alone. The MOPETT Trial on the other hand, looked at half dose systemic tPA for submassive PE and found that there was a significant reduction in pulmonary artery systolic pressures at 28 months vs usual care, with no increase in intracranial hemorrhage but failed to show any statistical mortality benefit compared to anticoagulation alone. Maybe a more simple answer to the submassive PE group would be to do catheter directed thrombolysis at lower doses than given with systemic fibrinolysis. Read more →
Background: Some of the major take home points from the sepsis trilogy of studies recently published (ProCESS, ARISE, and ProMISe) was that early identification of patients with sepsis, early intravenous fluids, and timely, appropriate broad-spectrum antibiotics is key to decreasing morbidity and mortality. In 2006 a study by Kumar et al  showed a 7.6% increase in mortality in patients with sepsis for every hour of delay after the onset of shock, but this finding has not been reproduced. In fact, the results of timing of antibiotic administration on outcomes have been all over the map. Regardless, the Surviving Sepsis Campaign still has very specific recommendations regarding the timing of antibiotics. And even more painful is that metrics for the quality of care of patients with severe sepsis and septic shock are now recognizing these recommendations as core measures. Read more →
Background: In patients with cardiovascularly stable supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), the valsalva maneuver is recommended as an initial maneuver to help with cardioversion. The success rate of the valsalva maneuver alone is documented at 5 – 20%. The next option for patients who still remain in SVT is intravenous adenosine. Adenosine briefly stops all conduction through the AV node, which causes patients to feel a sense of doom or like they are about to die. Increasing venous return and vagal stimulation by laying patients supine and elevating their legs may increase the rate of conversion and is simple, safe, and cost effective. Read more →
Welcome to the September 2015 REBELCast, where Swami, Matt, and I are going to tackle a couple of topics in the world of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE). Seems like we are hearing more and more about VTE in terms of workup, management, etc. Lets face it, diagnosing someone with a pulmonary embolism (PE) is no longer as simple as checking a d-dimer or just doing a CT Pulmonary Angiogram. There is so much more to it and to frustrate physicians even more there is so much research coming out on this topic alone, even I am having a hard time keeping up. Swami, Matt, and I thought it might be good to tackle a couple of articles from he world of VTE that have implications for clinical practice and patient care. So with that introduction today we are going to specifically tackle:
- Topic #1: Home Treatment of Low Risk Venous Thromboembolism with Rivaroxaban
- Topic #2: RV Dilation on Bedside Echo Performed by ED Physicians
Recently, I just finished reading a book called Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. This book is a game changer in the presentation world in my humble opinion. If you are giving presentations at any level, this is a must read book. Now I know that REBEL EM has traditionally been a clinical blog, but every once in a while we come across something that is just too good to not share. What I am going to try and do in this blog post is summarize some of the key messages of this book. In the book the author basically breaks presentations down into 3 parts and applies principles from the art of Zen:
- Restraint in Preparation
- Simplicity in Design
- Naturalness in Delivery
Welcome to the August 2015 REBELCast, where Swami, Matt, and I are going to tackle a couple of topics. First topic: renal colic. Renal colic is a commonly seen condition encountered in emergency departments and the use of medical expulsive therapy (MET) is commonly recommended by our urology colleagues. Proponents of MET in the treatment of ureteric colic advocate for them due to their potential ability to increase stone passage, reduce pain medication use, and reduce urologic interventions. Second topic: pediatric weights. In pediatric resuscitations many of use the Broselow tape to predict weights for dosing of medications. With the increasing weights in pediatric patients seen in developed countries around the world, does the commonly used Broselow tape accurately predict weights? So with that introduction today we are going to specifically tackle:
Topic #1: MET for Renal Colic
Topic #2: Use of the Broselow Tape to Estimate Pediatric Weights Read more →
Background: We know that cardiac arrest is a devastating disease and that it occurs in approximately 400,000 Americans each year. In the few patients who achieve return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and survive past the pre-hospital stage, mortality rates range from 50 – 60% depending on which sources you read. Neurologic injury is the primary reason for mortality in cardiac arrest patients who do survive to hospital admission and while therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is now an established and recommended therapy to help improve survival and neurologic outcomes in cardiac arrest survivors, the mortality rate is still high in this population. Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) accounts for the majority of cases of cardiac arrest in adults and some recent studies have shown that early cardiac catheterization (CC) and immediate percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are associated with improved survival following cardiac arrest. However, many of the patients included in these studies had ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). There is already a Class 1 recommendation for early CC & PCI in the setting of STEMI following cardiac arrest, but the data on early CC in comatose post-arrest patients without STEMI is very limited. Post-resuscitation electrocardiogram (ECG) is often unreliable and lack of ST-elevation has a poor sensitivity for the diagnosis of acute coronary occlusion. Recently the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) proposed and published a new consensus statement an algorithm to stratify cardiac arrest patients who are comatose for CC activation. As part of this algorithm non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) was added as an indication for CC activation. So with that introduction today on REBEL Cast we are going to specifically tackle:
- Topic: Early Cardiac Catheterization in OHCA Survivors with Non-STEMI
Background: In elderly patients on chronic anticoagulation (i.e. warfarin and clopidogrel), falls have been shown to increase the incidence of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) versus those not on anticoagulation (8.0% vs 5.3%). Mortality in those with ICH on anticoagulation is also higher than those who are not (21.9% vs 15.2%). Patients >65 years of age account for almost 10% of ED visits and 30% of admissions for traumatic brain injury. Even more frustrating is clinical decision rules on who to scan and not scan (i.e. Canadian CT Head Rule, New Orleans Criteria, and NEXUS-II criteria) do not apply to anticoagulated patients, because these patients were excluded in many of these studies. To date studies on patients taking warfarin who suffer minor head injuries have shown an incidence of ICH from 6.2 – 29%, suggesting that physicians should have a low threshold to scan these patients. Finally, several European guidelines suggest that all anticoagulated patients with head trauma should be admitted for observation, even if the initial head CT is negative, based on limited data. Unfortunately, the risk of traumatic intracranial hemorrhage after blunt head trauma for patients on warfarin and clopidogrel, has never really been studied in a large generalizable cohort or under a rigorous, prospective, multicenter designed studies. Therefore, knowledge of the true prevalence and incidence of immediate and delayed traumatic ICH in patients on anticoagulation would allow for evidence based decisions to be made about initial patient evaluation and disposition instead of admitting all patients for observation for concern of delayed ICH . Read more →