Simplifying Mechanical Ventilation – Part 6 – Choosing Your Initial Settings

27 Aug
August 27, 2018

Choosing Your Initial Settings: I hope you now see what physiologies to consider when setting up the ventilator and your goals for each. If your patient doesn’t fit into one of these three categories, then I set up my ventilator as if I was managing a patient who has refractory hypoxemia to maintain a lung protective strategy even if they don’t think they have very significant lung disease. Maintaining a lung protective strategy with low tidal volume ventilation has been shown to decrease ventilator induced lung injury and minimize harm, even in patients without refractory hypoxemia and ARDS (1-2). Read more →

High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) – Part 2: Adult & Pediatric Indications

23 Aug
August 23, 2018

The use of heated and humidified high flow nasal cannula has become increasing popular in the treatment of patients with acute respiratory failure through all age groups.  In part 1 we summarized how High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) works.  In part 2, we will discuss the main indications for its use in adult and pediatric patients. Read more →

High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) – Part 1: How It Works

20 Aug
August 20, 2018

The use of heated and humidified high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) has become increasingly popular in the treatment of patients with acute respiratory failure through all age groups.  I first started using it as a pediatric intensive care fellow, but had little knowledge of how it actually worked.  I noticed a few years after using it successfully in children, mainly with severe bronchiolitis, that we began to use it in the adult intensive care unit as well.  It seems over the past several years many studies have come out reviewing the mechanisms of action as well as its use in a variety of conditions.  In this part we will summarize how it works and for part 2 we will discuss the main indications for its use in adult and pediatric patients. Read more →

Cervical Spine Evaluation and Clearance in the Intoxicated Patient

16 Aug
August 16, 2018

Background: Alcohol and drug intoxication is common in trauma patients and a significant proportion of cervical spine (c-spine) injuries occur in patients with intoxication. A standard approach to both intoxicated and sober patients with suspected c-spine injury in many trauma centers includes the placement of a rigid cervical collar for spinal immobilization until the c-spine can be “cleared.”  Even after a negative CT, intoxicated patients often are immobilized for prolonged periods of time until a reliable exam can be performed due to concern for missed findings on CT scan, specifically unstable ligamentous injuries.  This practice is less than ideal, as prolonged c-spine immobilization is associated with DVT, atelectasis, aspiration pneumonia, and elevated intracranial pressures.  In 2015, the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) demonstrated that CT imaging of obtunded patients due to any cause would miss approximately 9% of cervical spine injuries, most of which are clinically insignificant. They additionally found no benefit to prolonged immobilization. Read more →

Comparison of IM Midazolam, Olanzapine, Ziprasidone and Haloperidol for Behavioral Control

13 Aug
August 13, 2018

Background: Emergency providers frequently care for agitated patients ranging from restlessness to verbally and physically aggressive. Agitation is a symptom, not a diagnosis and these patients require careful evaluation to rule in or out serious medical conditions. Unfortunately, the agitation itself often obstructs this evaluation and places the patient, other patients and staff at risk. While verbal de-escalation can be effective in select cases, administration of medications for behavioral control is often required. Numerous medications are available for this indication, but the optimal approach is still unclear. Read more →