February 16, 2017

Background: Acutely agitated and aggressive patients have become an unfortunate commonality in emergency departments throughout the world.  They are often the most difficult patient encounters during a shift. Initially, when these patients’ present, medical providers are trying to figure out the underlying etiology including organic, psychiatric, or drug related illness.  Coaxing agitated patients out of an aggressive and often altered state with verbal and environmental modification is often fruitless.  When verbal de-escalation does not work, the next options are physical and/or chemical sedation. Finding an ideal combination of medications for chemical sedation is critically important and the most ideal medication(s) need to work quickly and have a good safety profile. Over the last few years there is increasing literature evaluating different agents of chemical sedation, looking mainly at antipyschotic agents and benzodiazepines, in isolation and combination.

January 5, 2017

Background: Anyone who has run a code, knows that pulseless electrical activity (PEA) during cardiac arrest has a worse prognosis compared to patients with shockable rhythms.  In patients with suspected massive PE as the cause of their cardiac arrest the Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines do recommend consideration of thrombolytics.  There is however, no uniform consensus on the type, dose, duration, timing, or method of administration.  The current study (PEAPETT Trial) was an attempt to do exactly that.

January 2, 2017

Background: How many of you have had this scenario…patient comes into ED, just ate a big steak and now they can’t swallow.  You call gastroenterology, who asks… “Did you try glucagon yet?” OK, well maybe not exactly like that, but you get what I am asking.  Esophageal foreign body impactions are a rare entity, that cause quite a bit of discomfort to patients and have the potential for esophageal necrosis and perforation.  The definitive treatment for removal is endoscopy with direct visualization and removal of the object causing the obstruction.  This procedure is invasive, time consuming, requires a gastroenterologist, as well as procedural sedation.  Due to the time it takes to set up for this procedure, many consultants will ask to try medical therapy first.  There are several options including carbonated beverages, calcium channel blockers, sublingual nitroglycerin, proteolytic enzymes, benzodiazepines, and last but not least intravenous glucagon. This review will focus on the use of glucagon for esophageal foreign bodies.

December 19, 2016

The standard treatment for patients with obstructive left main coronary artery disease has typically been coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG), however some newer trials have suggested that maybe drug-eluting stents may be an acceptable alternative to CABG in select patients. In this episode we will be reviewing the two most recent publications on this topic:
  1. The EXCEL Trial
  2. The NOBLE Trial

December 15, 2016

Background: The American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology (AHA/ACC) give a Class I recommendation for activation of the cardiac catheterization lab in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) whom ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is present.  The evidence for early cardiac catheterization in patients after cardiac arrest, with ROSC and no STEMI is a bit more controversial.  The most recent 2015 AHA/ACC guidelines recommend, “it may be reasonable,” to perform an emergent cardiac catheterization in select patients without STEMI.
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