Diabetic Gastroparesis Needs HUGS

30 Mar
March 30, 2017

Background: Anyone practicing in emergency medicine has taken care of a patient with diabetic gastroparesis.  Although, it is not a sexy topic to discuss, nor a disease process associated with significant mortality, it is associated with decreased quality of life, and increased resource utilization due to frequent hospitalization.  Furthermore, opioid analgesia, can further decrease gastric emptying and therefore worsen symptoms of abdominal pain and nausea/vomiting. Haloperidol possesses antiemetic and analgesic properties, which may be one of the reasons this medication could work in diabetic gastroparesis.  The authors of this paper quite ingeniously entitled their study: Haloperidol Undermining Gastroparesis Symptoms (HUGS). Read more →

Is Fever the New Hotness in Sepsis?

28 Mar
March 28, 2017

Background: With the introduction of sepsis 3.0, came the quick sepsis related organ failure assessment (qSOFA) score. The purpose of this score is supposed to be a bedside tool to help predict which patients are at the greatest risk of poor outcomes.  There are three components to this score: Low systolic blood pressure (≤100mmHg), high respiratory rate (22 breaths per minute), and altered mental status (Glasgow coma scale <15).  Interestingly, nowhere in this score is fever. Read more →

Altitude Adjusted PERC Oxygen Saturation

27 Mar
March 27, 2017

The PERC rule has been a welcome addition to the emergency department evaluation of patients with chest pain or dyspnea suspected of pulmonary embolism. This has allowed a reduction in D-dimer testing in low risk patients. The traditional saturation cut-off of 95% can pose a challenge for patients seen at higher elevations where mild hypoxemia can be a normal physiologic parameter. At these elevations patients can flunk the PERC rule due to borderline hypoxemia with oxygen saturation levels in the 93-94% range, despite  all other PERC rule criteria being negative. This can result in D-dimer testing and the associated risk of unnecessary CT radiation exposure in the event of a false positive D-dimer.

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The AMACING Trial: Prehydration to Prevent Contrast Induced Nephropathy (CIN)?

24 Mar
March 24, 2017

Background: In patients with compromised renal function, the use of intravascular iodinated contrast material is generally not given to avoid contrast induced nephropathy (CIN). Currently, there is no treatment for contrast-induced nephropathy, therefore the focus has been on prevention. Guidelines recommend prophylactic prehydration in the prevention of CIN in high risk patients.  These recommendations are based on expert consensus and until now, there has not been a prospective randomized trial of IV hydration versus no hydration in high-risk patients. Read more →

Episode 34 – The Death of Mechanical CPR (mCPR)?

23 Mar
March 23, 2017

Background: The two most important things that we can do in cardiac arrest to improve survival and neurologically intact outcomes is high quality CPR, with limited interruptions and early defibrillation. In the case of the former, the 2015 AHA/ACC CPR updates recommended a compression rate of 100 -120/min, a depth of 2 – 2.4in, allowing full recoil, and minimizing pauses. This is a lot to remember during a stressful code situation and one way many providers are offloading themselves cognitively is by the use of mechancical CPR (mCPR) devices.  In theory these devices compress at a fixed rate, and depth, with the added benefit that the machine simply does not tire out.  Additionally, use of this device allows another provider to be available for other procedures and interventions. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis in  looked at five randomized clinical trials with over 10,000 patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) (Gates 2015).  They concluded that there was no difference in ROSC, survival or survival with good neurological outcomes with the use of these devices compared to manual CPR. It is important to state that none of these studies showed increased harm either.  A new paper just published in Circulation however, argues that mCPR during OHCA was associated with lower neurologically intact survival. Read more →

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