The provision of high-quality compressions with minimal interruptions is central to the management of cardiac arrest. Along with defibrillation, high-quality compressions are the only interventions proven to improve patient-oriented outcomes. Recently, point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has gained greater use in cardiac arrest care for determination the cause of arrest as well as guiding the resuscitation and interventions. Performance of POCUS during cardiac arrest can be challenging particularly in terms of obtaining cardiac windows. Among these challenges is obtaining images of the heart during compressions. As a result, cardiac POCUS is often performed during rhythm checks when there is a scheduled pause in compressions. Despite the potential benefit from POCUS, prolonged interruptions in compressions while attempting to get optimal windows is unlikely to benefit the patient and, may be harmful. Read more →
Background: Fluid resuscitation with crystalloid is one of the most basic initial management approaches to adult and pediatric patients with severe sepsis and septic shock. However, which fluid should we be giving, and does it matter? Should we give an unbalanced, chloride rich solution such as normal saline or a balanced, chloride restrictive fluid, such as lactated ringers, Plasma-Lyte, or Normasol? Interestingly, the 2016 Surviving Sepsis Guidelines, added resuscitation with balanced fluids into the guidelines, although a weak recommendation with low quality of evidence.
This recommendation was based on some growing adult data, albeit retrospective, showing that resuscitation strategies using normal saline may be harmful and associated with increased risk of AKI (1), need for CRRT (1) and increased mortality (2-3). The effects of balanced fluids however, have not been studied in the resuscitation of children in severe sepsis and septic shock. Read more →
Background: Sore throat is a common presentation to the emergency department as well as primary care clinics. Corticosteroids inhibit transcription of pro-inflammatory mediators in airway endothelial cells responsible for pharyngeal inflammation and symptoms of pain. They have been used in other upper respiratory tract infections such as acute sinusitis and croup. In adults, previous studies with dexamethasone are in combination with antibiotics but studies of children have included dexamethasone without antibiotics. This study is unique as it is evaluating the benefits of oral corticosteroids for acute sore throat in primary care in the absence of antibiotics Read more →
Background: Perichondritis is an infection of the connective tissue of the ear that covers the cartilaginous auricle or pinna, excluding the lobule (Caruso 2014). The term perichondritis is itself a misnomer, as the cartilage is almost always involved, with abscess formation and cavitation (Prasad 2007). Perichondritis can be a devastating disease, and if left improperly treated, the infection can worsen into a liquefying chondritis resulting in disfigurement and/or loss of the external ear (Noel 1989) (Martin 1976). Unfortunately, misdiagnosis and mistreatment is common. In one small retrospective review, the overwhelming majority of patients presenting to a large general hospital were prescribed antibiotics without appropriate antimicrobial coverage, resulting in a significant number of patients developing chondral deformities or “cauliflower ear” (Liu 2013). Read more →
Background: Apneic oxygenation (ApOx) is the passive flow of oxygen into the alveoli during apnea. This passive movement occurs due to the differential rate between alveolar oxygen absorption and carbon dioxide excretion producing a mass flow of gas from the upper respiratory tract into the lungs. Another important component of this maneuver is maintaining a patent airway so that supplemental oxygen administered through the nares is able to be delivered to the alveoli. This practice has been a game changer in emergency airway management for many providers. However, there are still some naysayers that believe in the sickest patients ApOx may not be so beneficial. This post is a review of two recent systematic reviews/meta-analyses published in the critical care and ED/retrieval settings on the use of ApOx. Read more →