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).

April 20, 2017

You have just secured the endotracheal tube following an uneventful intubation of a moderately ill  patient in your emergency department. They had a normal pre-intubation blood pressure.  As you are calling the admit in to the ICU the patient’s nurse tells you that the BP is now in the 70’s.

NOW WHAT?

  1. Blindly give a half gallon of saline and stay in your seat.
  2. Get up, walk to the patient’s room, and consider the possible causes of post intubation hypotension.

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.

March 17, 2016

When on shift in the ED we spend more time with a phone in our hand than a laryngoscope. Despite this, we spend a lot more time finessing our laryngoscopy skills than the way we call our consults. Calling an efficient and effective consult / admit can greatly improve our on-shift flow, and therefore happiness. The rest of this post will focus on the art of how to call a consult.

September 3, 2015

You are working as an EM resident and have just evaluated a patient with a right long finger DIP joint dislocation. You perform a digital nerve block with 1% lidocaine with 1:100,000 epinephrine, and go to present to your attending before attempting the reduction. Your attending, on hearing about the epinephrine use goes berserk, and says “don’t you know that you shouldn’t use epi in fingers, noses, ears and toes?”. When confronted with this situation we all like to have a one stop valid literature review to produce that validates our practice. Several social media authors have weighed in on this topic, however blogs sometimes don’t cut it for those unfamiliar with the current quality of peer reviewed online content. The use of epinephrine in digital nerve blocks has been shown to increase duration of action for the anesthetic, and to allow the avoidance of bupivacaine, thereby decreasing the pain of the injection. (REBEL flashback)
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