June 24, 2020

Take Home Points
  • Heat stroke is a life-threatening disorder characterized by elevated core temperature, compromise to neurologic function and multi-system organ dysfunction
  • The keystone of treatment is rapid cooling within 30 minutes of presentation preferably with ice water immersion
  • Patients with heat stroke should be investigated for rhabdomyolysis, AKI, liver failure and concomitant infection

June 23, 2020

Background: We have been in need of a sign of hope in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 as it runs from city to city overwhelming health systems.  The majority of patients will be either asymptomatic or have only mild disease.  These patients will improve for the most part with symptomatic care.  There is a smaller portion of patients admitted to the hospital and ICU requiring oxygen therapy or invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV).  In this group of patients, there has not been much promise in the way of treatments improving mortality.  Patients requiring oxygen therapy (HFNC, NIV, IMV, ECMO) are mostly in the pulmonary and hyperinflammatory stage of disease (see below figure). One theoretical option in this hyperinflammatory stage of disease is corticosteroids to help quell the immune response and potentially improve mortality outcomes.

June 22, 2020

Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) complaints are commonly seen in the emergency department. When you hear “ENT emergencies,” you probably think about epistaxis, sinusitis, and possibly foreign body removal (either from the ear or nose). While not as common, auricular hematomas are equally important to both understand and know how to manage. As a former wrestler, I can attest to the importance of 1) knowing how to accurately diagnose and 2) how to treat this injury to prevent future development of “cauliflower ear”. An auricular hematoma is a collection of blood underneath the perichondrium of the ear that typically occurs secondary to trauma. Common mechanisms of injury include an ear-piercing gone wrong or blunt trauma in contact sports (wrestling, boxing, and martial arts). Inadequate treatment of an auricular hematoma can lead to the development of an auricular deformity commonly known as “cauliflower ear,” which develops from permanent cartilage destruction.

June 18, 2020

Background: Here we go again with another “Time is Brain,” acute ischemic stroke study.  The authors start out by saying that earlier administration of intravenous tPA in acute ischemic stroke is associated with reduced mortality by the time of hospital discharge and better functional outcomes at 3 months.  These statements are based on flawed studies [3][4] (Check out Ken Milne discussing these issues HERE). Additionally, tPA has not been demonstrated to decrease mortality in any randomized clinical trial though it does increase early mortality. If you can’t tell, I am very skeptical about the spin of this trial.

June 15, 2020

Background: Factor Xa inhibitors have gained more use over the past several years due to the ease of administration and easier monitoring. However, bleeding, namely intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is still a risk and the lack of a proven antidote is a cause for concern. Guidelines for the treatment of ICH published in 2016 recommended the administration of prothrombin complex concentrates (PCCs, both activated [aPCC] and 4 factor) [2]. In 2018 andexanet alfa gained accelerated approval by the FDA for the reversal of factor Xa inhibitors. Despite this new antidote, many organizations such as the American Society of Hematology and the European Stroke Organization still recommend the use of PCCs.  Research thus far has been performed in healthy volunteers, or small (<100 total patients with ICH) trials leaving a gap in the literature of what agent to use at the bedside.