April 23, 2018

Background:There are two trains of thought in using transthoracic direct current cardioversion (DCCV) when it comes to converting atrial fibrillation.  The first is an escalating energy approach which allows cardioversion to occur at the lowest energy for each individual patient and potentially decrease post-shock arrhythmias.  The second train of thought is to start at the highest energy approach in order to minimize total number of shocks delivered and duration of the procedural sedation.  There is a considerable variation in practice that exists as I recently discovered based on conversations on social media.  The authors of this study aimed to compare an escalating energy protocol starting at 100J with a non-escalating energy protocol of 200J to establish the efficacy and safety of both practices of cardioversion using biphasic DCCV of atrial fibrillation.

March 5, 2018

Definition: Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is a form of low blood pressure that occurs with positional change (i.e. sitting up from lying down, standing up from sitting). It is commonly used for the diagnosis of volume depletion

Orthostatic Vital Signs

  • A reduction of systolic blood pressure (SBP) of at least 20 mm Hg
  • A reduction in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of at least 10 mm Hg
  • An increase in heart rate (HR) by > 30 beats per minute

One of the above criteria must be met while measured 3 minutes after standing from a supine position.

Clinical Question: Are orthostatic vital signs useful in finding patients with occult volume loss? Do they add to our standard clinical assessment of patients?

February 22, 2018

Background: Typical medical treatment of ACS patients include dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) and revascularization with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI).  Nitroglycerin is first line therapy in the treatment of pain in ACS with morphine as a common adjunct. Morphine helps relieve pain which decreases catecholamines and oxygen demand.  We have written about the use of Morphine in ACS before on REBEL EM and advocated for fentanyl over morphine for pain control in patients with refractory pain to IV nitroglycerin.  However, two new trials have been published in the past month: An observational trial in 300 patients with STEMI receiving morphine and a randomized trial using fentanyl which requires us to revisit the use of opioids in ACS.

November 27, 2017

Background: Acute congestive heart failure (AHF) is a common complaint seen in the ED and associated with a high morbidity, mortality, cost, and resources.  Many patients with AHF, ultimately end up being admitted and interventions in the ED can make a huge difference in the outcomes of these patients.  The REALITY-AHF (Registry Focused on Very Early Presentation and Treatment in Emergency Department of Acute Heart Failure) was a prospective, multicenter, observational study with the primary goal of evaluating the door to furosemide time in the treatment of AHF and clinical outcomes.

November 9, 2017

This year ACEP 2017 took place in Washington D.C. from Oct. 29th – Nov 1st, 2017.   There were lots of amazing speakers and topics as was evidenced by the eruption of everyone’s twitter feeds with the #ACEP17 hashtag.  I was fortunate enough to attend this amazing conference and approached by several attendees if I would put together a list of my favorite pearls from this conference.  I decided to put a top 10 list together, in no particular order.