June 1, 2020

Background: Humeral shaft fractures are commonly seen in the Emergency Department and emergency management is relatively straightforward: assess for other trauma, assess for radial nerve injury, analgesia, sling or functional bracing and follow up with orthopedics. However, there are debates in management specifically around operative vs non-operative management. The non-operative approach has been the standard but, the rate of surgery has markedly risen in the last decade (Schoch 2017). Operative management appears to reduce the risk of nonunion significantly but, comes with other risks including infections and iatrogenic radial nerve injuries. In the absence of high-quality evidence, marked practice variation persists.

May 31, 2020

I am fortunate to work in a hospital system that is very forward thinking.  We have a phenomenal relationship with our intensivists, and I have been fortunate enough to have several discussions with them about how we are managing COVID-19 in our ICUs.  For full transparency, I don’t work up in the ICU, but had the opportunity to discuss what we are doing in our ICUs with one of our intensivists (ECMO, steroids, Remdesivir, etc...).  We are doing something different in San Antonio that I thought was worth discussing on this podcast that may be a feasible option for some institutions and some patients, but not all. If there is one thing this disease has taught me, that is one size does not fit all.

May 30, 2020

Background: One of the hot topics in COVID-19 care is the mortality rate associated with invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV). There have been early reports of IMV having mortality rates ranging from 50 to 90%.  These high rates are concerning but, context is important; many of the reports emerged from areas with large surges where hospital systems were overwhelmed. Additional data looking at outcomes of critical patients is important particularly within systems that were able to maintain baseline critical care provisions despite surges.

May 28, 2020

Background Information:

Physicians have and continue to heavily contribute to the current opioid epidemic in the United States and Canada.1 Although much of the focus has been opioid prescriptions given to patients in the emergency department,2,3 not much attention has been paid to critically ill patients who survive to hospital discharge. The long-term sequelae of these opioids is concerningly overlooked especially when physicians utilize these medications as part of an “analgesia first” approach to sedating critically ill patients for the purposes of invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV).4 Previous observational studies in Canada found that approximately 85% of critically ill patients receiving IMV were exposed to opioids.1 Furthermore, the average daily opioid dosing for 2-7 days was 63 milligrams of morphine equivalent (MME), increasing to 106 MME per day for patients receiving IMV for greater than 7 days. The authors of this study performed a retrospective chart review of population-based data from Ontario Canada to investigate the frequency of new opioid initiation and persistent opioid use among critically ill patients who received mechanical ventilation. They compared this to patients who were hospitalized but not critically ill.

May 27, 2020

Take Home Points
  • Small to Moderate Size Pneumothorax - consider managing conservatively with observation (need to make sure consulting services on same page)
  • Needle aspiration for spontaneous pneumothorax recommend by British Thoracic and European Respiratory Societies
  • 1 in 5 patients requiring a chest tube will suffer complications - many are iatrogenic in nature. Practice procedure via simulation 
  • Chest tubes placed for traumatic pneumothoraces should get prophylactic antibiotics
  • When deciding on treatment strategy, discuss with your consultants and make sure you have institutional buy-in.