July 8, 2020

Take Home Points
  • When approaching the patient with uspected seizure, focus on questions that matter in determining if the event was a seizure or not
  • Extensive lab work after a first time seizure is not necessary in patients who are back to baseline.  Focus on serum glucose, determining pregnancy/postpartum status, and in patients who continue to seize, check that sodium!
  • Get a CT of the Head on
    • First-time seizure patients
    • High-risk groups (alcoholics, immunocompromised, infants < 6 months of age)
    • Those with an abnormal neuro exam
    • Those presenting with focal seizures
  • Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures are difficulty to distinguish from true epilepsy and there is significant overlap between the two conditions.  Take all seizure activity seriously.
  • Give clear discharge instructions to your first-time seizure patients and close the loop on close neurology follow-up.

June 25, 2020

Definition: Suppurative infection enclosed within the epidural space

Epidemiology

  • Incidence: 2-3 cases per 10,000 hospitalized patients (Sendi 2008).
    • Rate is increasing given the rise in number of spinal procedures and anesthesia techniques
  • Mortality is low at 5%, however, if untreated paralysis may occur
  • Can occur at any age but most patients are between 50 and 70 years old.

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.

May 14, 2020

Background: The publication of the MR CLEAN trial in January 2015 changed the face of ischemic stroke care. This was the first study demonstrating a benefit to endovascular treatment of a specific subset of ischemic stroke patients: those with a large vessel occlusion (LVO) presenting within 6 hours of symptom onset. MR CLEAN was followed by a flurry of publications seeking to replicate and refine treatment as well as expand the window for treatment. The REBEL EM team reviewed this literature back in 2018 and, with the help of Dr. Evie Marcolini, created a workflow (shown below).

One major component of LVO management is the use of systemic thrombolytics in patients presenting within the current thrombolytic treatment window prior to endovascular intervention. However, it’s unclear if systemic thrombolytic administration results in better outcomes or if it simply exposes the patient to increased risks at a higher cost. Limited evidence questions the utility of the current approach with lytics + endovascular therapy (Phan 2017, Rai 2018). There is a clear need for further research into systemic thrombolytics dosing and use.

May 3, 2020

The Novel Coronavirus 2019, was first reported on in Wuhan, China in late December 2019.  The outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern in January 2020 and on March 11th, 2020, the outbreak was declared a global pandemic. The spread of this virus is now global with lots of media attention.  The virus has been named SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes has become known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).  This post will serve as a summary of emerging available evidence in regard to neurologic manifestations associated with COVID-19.
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