January 29, 2020

Take Home Points

  • When compared to 0.9% saline, lactated ringers is a more balanced solution and more closely resembles our serum.
  • SALT ED and SMART trials show normal saline may increase the occurrence of major adverse kidney events in comparison to a balanced solution like LR. For large volume resuscitations, LR is a better choice.
  • Certain medications cannot be run with LR in the same IV line. Ampicillin, Carbapenems, Phenytoin, Potassium Phosphate, Nicardipine
  • Ceftriaxone and LR should never be running at the same time in children less than 28 days old.

January 20, 2020

Definition: Acute infection of the ascitic fluid in a patient with liver disease without another source of infection

Epidemiology: (Runyon 1988, Runyon 1988, Borzio 2001)

  • Incidence
    • 10-25% risk of at least one episode per year
    • 20% risk in those with ascites admitted to the hospital
  • Historically, mortality ~ 50%

Pathophysiology:

  • Not completely understood
  • Increased portal systemic hypertension
    • Causes mucosal edema of the bowel wall
    • Increases transmural migration of enteric organisms into the ascitic fluid
  • Impaired phagocytic function in the liver
  • Impaired immunologic activity in ascitic fluid

January 15, 2020

Take Home Points 
  • Osteomyelitis is an infection in any part of a bone. It has a varied presentation including acute and chronic forms. Patients can present septic, or rather well appearing.
  • Patients may present with fever, chills, musculoskeletal pain, erythema, swelling or drainage from an ulcer.
  • Lab evaluation includes WBC, ESR and CRP, which we expect to be elevated in acute osteo, but less so in chronic.
  • MRI is the best imaging modality, but XR and CT may have some findings that suggest osteo.
  • Unstable patients should be started on broad spectrum antibiotics, usually vancomycin and cefepime, right away. Stable patients can be started on antibiotics in conjunction with your orthopedic consults.

December 18, 2019

Take Home Points

  • Important as front line providers to know research and data behind stroke care
  • Patients eligible for endovascular care are those with large vessel occlusion in the anterior circulation - anterior cerebral artery, middle cerebral artery, distal intracranial carotid artery and they have to have perfusion mismatch (small infarcted core with a large penumbra).
 

December 16, 2019

Background: The clinical diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (PE) can be challenging given its variable presentation, thus requiring dependence on objective testing. decision instruments such as PERC and the Wells’ score help stratify patients to low or high probability, enabling focused use of CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) for diagnosis. However, despite these algorithms, there is evidence of increasing use of CTPA along with diminishing diagnostic rates (less than 10%). This combination results in the overdiagnosis of subsegmental PEs, unnecessary exposure to radiation and false positive results.

Though the D-dimer test has long been maligned for its low specificity the real issues around it rest in indiscriminate use and threshold value. In recent years, age-adjustment of the D-dimer and the YEARS algorithm have attempted to adjust the threshold in order to “rule-out” more patients without advanced imaging. The YEARS creates a two-tiered D-dimer threshold by first asking three questions:

  1. Are there clinical signs of DVT?
  2. Does the patient have hemoptysis? and
  3. Is PE the most likely diagnosis.

If the answer to all 3 questions is no, the D-dimer threshold is set at 1000 ng/mL FEU (500 ng/mL DDU) and if the answer is “yes” to any of the 3 questions, the D-dimer threshold is set at 500 ng/mL FEU (250 ng/mL DDU). More recently, the YEARS algorithm has been assessed in pregnancy.

Age-adjustment of the D-dimer assay simply multiplies 10 X the patients age (if using FEU and 5 X age if using DDU) and uses this number as the threshold for the test. This adjustment is applied to patients > 50 years of age. Age-adjustment of the D-dimer was endorsed by an ACEP clinical policy in 2018.

The PEGeD study is another attempt to show the safety of using an adjusted D-dimer threshold.

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