Epistaxis is a common Emergency Department (ED) complaint with over 450,000 visits per year and a lifetime incidence of 60% (Gifford 2008, Pallin 2005). Posterior epistaxis is considerably less common than anterior epistaxis and represents about 5-10% of all presentations. Many patients with posterior epistaxis will be managed with a posterior pack and admitted for further monitoring. Traditional teaching argues that:
Patients with nasal packs should be given prophylactic antibiotics to prevent serious infectious complications.
Patients with posterior packs should be admitted to the ICU for cardiac monitoring as they are at risk for serious bradydysrhythmias.
Since 2002, the surviving sepsis campaign (SSC) has stated that best practice in sepsis care includes: early recognition, source control, appropriate/timely antibiotic therapy, resuscitation with intravenous fluids (IVF) and vasoactive medications. Resuscitation of the septic patient in the emergency department has been largely based off the 2001 Rivers trial . This single center study's focus was to optimize tissue oxygen delivery following several parameters including, central venous pressure (CVP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and central venous oxygen saturation (SCVO2) to guide IVF, vasoactive medications, and packed red blood cell (PRBC) transfusions. Well today, part 3 of the sepsis trilogy was published in the saga of Early Goal Directed Therapy (EGDT) versus "usual" care. The 3 parts to this saga consist of:
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  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. ...Read More
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....Read More