The WOMAN Trial: Early TXA in Post-Partum Hemorrhage

22 May
May 22, 2017

Background: Post-partum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide. It is typically defined as > 500 ml of blood loss within 24 hours of giving birth. However, PPH encompasses a broad spectrum of disease from mild oozing over hours to rapid exsanguination and death. The burden of mortality from PPH is shouldered mainly by developing countries thus requiring cost-effective treatment modalities. Tranexamic acid (TXA) is one such possibly modality. TXA works by inhibiting the breakdown of fibrinogen and fibrin by plasmin. In essence, it stabilizes clot that the body naturally forms. TXA has a well established role in reducing death in trauma patients as demonstrated in the CRASH-2 trial (CRASH-2 2010) and is already used by many performing resuscitations in resource strapped locations due to its availability and low cost. Whether early TXA in post-partum hemorrhage reduces mortality while avoiding significant clotting complications (DVT, PE, ACS, CVA) is unknown. Read more →

Local Anesthetic Systemic Toxicity (LAST)

18 May
May 18, 2017

Definition: A life-threatening adverse reaction resulting from local anesthetic reaching significant systemic circulating levels. Local Anesthetic Systemic Toxicity (LAST) is rare and almost always occurs within minutes of injection of the local anesthetic.

Causes:

  • Injection of local anesthetic into the systemic circulation (either errantly as part of a regional block i.e. Bier block)
  • Rapid absorption of local anesthetic injected into a highly vascular area
  • Use of local anesthetic doses in excess of the maximum dose (typically occurs with multiple subcutaneous injections)
  • Common implicated procedures: bronchoscopy, circumcision, tumescent liposuction. Consider diagnosis in any patient coming from outpatient surgical center with cardiac arrest

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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 →

Validation of the Step-By-Step Approach to Febrile Infants

11 May
May 11, 2017

Background: Fever without source in infants less than three months old presents a difficult diagnostic dilemma for ED physicians.  Over the past 25 years several algorithms have been developed to help guide clinicians, most notably the Rochester, Philadelphia and Boston Criteria, in determining which infants require admission vs. outpatient management.  These studies were designed published between 1992 and 1994 prior to the wide spread use of HiB and pneumococcal vaccines in children, maternal GBS screening and the development of many new biomarkers. 

The Step-by-Step approach to febrile infants was developed by a European group of pediatric emergency physicians with the objective of identifying low risk infants who could be safely managed as outpatients without lumbar puncture or empiric antibiotic treatment. The algorithm was designed using retrospective data and this study attempts to prospectively validate it. Read more →

Peri-Intubation Anaphylaxis

08 May
May 8, 2017

Background: Peri-operative anaphylaxis is an unexpected complication of intubation. The major life threat in anaphylaxis is typically loss of airway, however profound hypotension and circulatory collapse are still possible life threats even in the setting of a protected airway. Peri-operative anaphylaxis is considered an important enough issue to be the subject of the NAP 6 (National Audit Project) audit this year in Great Britain.  (Reporting period November 2015 – November 2016). Read more →

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