The evaluation and management of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in the Emergency Department (ED) is fraught with questions: who should I evaluate, who should get a d-dimer, what should the d-dimer threshold be etc. Answers, unfortunately, are far less common. Due to the enormous volume of literature produced on the topic, it can be difficult for individual clinicians to incorporate all of the information into a comprehensive approach. The ACEP policy subcommittee has taken this job on for the rest of us. This clinical policy addresses five critical questions but does so over 51 pages. We’ve boiled down the major points here. Read more →
Simplifying Mechanical Ventilation – Part 2: Goals of Mechanical Ventilation & Factors Controlling Oxygenation and Ventilation
In part 1, we discussed that the ventilator can deliver 3 types of breaths: controlled, assisted or spontaneous breaths. These breaths can be delivered either by a set pressure or a set tidal volume. Then we closed with a discussion of the common ventilator modes, which is simply just combining all these types of breaths together.
There are many aspects to consider in post-intubation management such as hemodynamic variations, analgesia & sedation, confirmation of the correct position of your endotracheal tube, and setting up the ventilator based on your patients physiology. Too often physicians pay little or no attention to how our amazing respiratory therapists set up the ventilator. Respiratory therapists have expertise in setting up, weaning and trouble-shooting the ventilator, but clinicians need to communicate important clinical physiologic information and their goals for their patient on mechanical ventilation. If you don’t feel comfortable setting up the ventilator at this point you at the very least need to communicate with your respiratory therapist when the ventilator is being set up. Read more →
Definition: Salicylate toxicity is characterized by a constellation of symptoms caused by acute or chronic overdose of salicylate containing compounds. The most common salicylate is aspirin, but the group also includes topical forms of salicylates, methyl salicylate (Oil of Wintergreen), and bismuth subsalicylate (such as in Pepto-Bismol). Read more →
Definition: Encephalopathy that occurs secondary to thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. While Wernicke encephalopathy is reversible with treatment, it can progress to the irreversible Korsakoff’s syndrome if left untreated. Read more →
Abscess management has evolved somewhat in the 14 years since my residency graduation. The point at which antibiotics are likely to be more helpful than harmful is not always easy to assess, and evidence based expert opinion has flip flopped impressively.
Based on current evidence, I would like to answer 3 big questions that every clinician may have when confronted with an abscess:
- Who needs antibiotics?
- Which abscesses need to be drained?
- How should abscesses be drained?