March 16, 2015

There are more than 750,000 cases of severe sepsis and septic shock in the US each year.  Most patients who present with sepsis receive their initial care in the emergency department.  In 2001, there was a landmark study by Rivers et al [1] that reported that among patients with severe sepsis or septic shock mortality was significantly lower among those who received a 6 hour protocol of Early Goal-Directed Therapy (EGDT) (i.e. 30.5% vs 46.5%). The premise of EGDT was that "usual care" lacked aggressive, timely assessment and treatment. The EGDT protocol used central venous catheterization (CVC) to monitor central venous pressure (CVP) and central venous oxygen saturation (SCVO2) to guide the use of intravenous fluids (IVFs), vasopressors, packed red blood cell (PRBC) transfusions, and dobutamine in order to achieve pre-specified physiological targets.  Since the publication of this landmark article, physicians have become more aggressive in the management of sepsis which raises the question of whether all elements of the protocol are still necessary. 

March 15, 2015

Recently, I wrote a post on the use of epinephrine in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and this triggered some interesting discussion on twitter. Are we at a point that we can just stop using epinephrine in OHCA?  Has anyone stopped actually using epinephrine in OHCA and if so, why or why not? The evidence seems to point to no "good" neurologic benefit over basic life support (BLS).  I would love to hear more peoples thoughts on this.

March 11, 2015

Epinephrine is widely used and recommended by Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), but its effectiveness in neurologic outcomes has never been truly established.  To verify effectiveness of epinephrine confounders, such as patients, CPR quality, CPR by bystanders, time from call to arrival at scene or hospital, and much much more, must be controlled for in a trial. This type of study is not easily performed due to ACLS being the current standard of care.

March 9, 2015

Welcome to the March 2015 REBEL Cast, where Swami, Matt, and I are going to tackle a couple of topics that come up frequently in clinical practice in the emergency department. Today we are going to specifically tackle:
  • Topic #1: Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) in the Treatment of Influenza
  • Topic #2: Use of the HEART Score in Low Risk Chest Pain Patients

March 5, 2015

According to a 2012 meta-analysis difficult and failed intubations in the operating room occur 1.8 - 5.8% and 0.13 - 0.30% of the time respectively. Emergent intubation, outside of this environment (i.e emergency department, ICU, and medical ward) is typically associated with a much higher risk of difficulty and complications due to many patients rapidly deteriorating. Recently, I had a discussion on twitter with Jeffrey Hill (@_drjeffy) and Taylor Zhou (@canibagthat) about what is the best way to teach trainees to intubate: Video Laryngoscopy (VL) or Direct Laryngoscopy (DL) for Trainees?
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