October 8, 2015

Welcome to the October 2015 REBELCast, where Swami, Matt, and I are going to tackle a couple of topics in the world of Trauma, specifically ED Thoracotomy. Now we all know that ED thoracotomy is a last ditch salvage effort, performed under specific clinical circumstances, during a traumatic arrest. The purpose of the ED thoracotomy is to evacuate pericardial tamponade, control hemorrhage, improve coronary/cerebral blood flow, and if needed internal cardiac massage. The purpose of this podcast is to discuss specific indications where this already low yield procedure may have some benefit.
  • Topic #1: FAST US Examination as a Predictor of Outcomes After Resuscitative Thoracotomy
  • Topic #2: Blunt Trauma Thoracotomy

September 10, 2015

“I’ve been in this game for years, it made me an animal There’s rules to this sh*t; I wrote me a manual” -- Notorious BIG You know, whether you sling crack rocks or not, there are some sage words of wisdom in the late Notorious BIG’s Ten Crack Commandments. Life pearls like “Never let ‘em know your next move” and “Never keep no weight on you” have helped guide me through some challenging life decisions. 1. Never let no one know how much dough you hold 2. Never let ‘em know your next move 3. Never trust nobody 4. Never get high on your own supply 5. Never sell no crack where you rest at 6. That Goddamn credit, forget it 7. Keep your family and business completely separated 8. Never keep no weight on you 9. If you ain’t getting bags stay the f*ck from police 10. A strong word called consignment; If you ain’t got the clientele say hell no Table 1. The ten crack commandments. While not much is new in the world of hustlin’, when it comes to trauma resuscitation, the game done changed*. It was easier in the old days: 2L of crystalloid for a hypotensive patient, and then blood. While new science on trauma resuscitation has helped us understand how flawed that paradigm is, the new school can be some tricky water to navigate. From damage control to fibrinogen, from TXA to thromboelastometry, there is no doubt that resuscitating a bleeding trauma patient is a more nuanced endeavor than we originally envisioned it. So, inspired by Biggie’s Descartesian ten-point discourse on method, I present the ten rules of the contemporary trauma resuscitation game as I see them – backed by science, and occasionally editorialized with personal opinion. * Some academics have argued that the game has in fact not changed, but has just become more fierce; see Slim Charles vs. Cuddy

September 3, 2015

You are working as an EM resident and have just evaluated a patient with a right long finger DIP joint dislocation. You perform a digital nerve block with 1% lidocaine with 1:100,000 epinephrine, and go to present to your attending before attempting the reduction. Your attending, on hearing about the epinephrine use goes berserk, and says “don’t you know that you shouldn’t use epi in fingers, noses, ears and toes?”. When confronted with this situation we all like to have a one stop valid literature review to produce that validates our practice. Several social media authors have weighed in on this topic, however blogs sometimes don’t cut it for those unfamiliar with the current quality of peer reviewed online content. The use of epinephrine in digital nerve blocks has been shown to increase duration of action for the anesthetic, and to allow the avoidance of bupivacaine, thereby decreasing the pain of the injection. (REBEL flashback)

July 20, 2015

Background: In elderly patients on chronic anticoagulation (i.e. warfarin and clopidogrel), falls have been shown to increase the incidence of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) versus those not on anticoagulation (8.0% vs 5.3%). Mortality in those with ICH on anticoagulation is also higher than those who are not (21.9% vs 15.2%). Patients >65 years of age account for almost 10% of ED visits and 30% of admissions for traumatic brain injury. Even more frustrating is clinical decision rules on who to scan and not scan (i.e. Canadian CT Head Rule, New Orleans Criteria, and NEXUS-II criteria) do not apply to anticoagulated patients, because these patients were excluded in many of these studies. To date studies on patients taking warfarin who suffer minor head injuries have shown an incidence of ICH from 6.2 – 29%, suggesting that physicians should have a low threshold to scan these patients. Finally, several European guidelines suggest that all anticoagulated patients with head trauma should be admitted for observation, even if the initial head CT is negative, based on limited data. Unfortunately, the risk of traumatic intracranial hemorrhage after blunt head trauma for patients on warfarin and clopidogrel, has never really been studied in a large generalizable cohort or under a rigorous, prospective, multicenter designed studies. Therefore, knowledge of the true prevalence and incidence of immediate and delayed traumatic ICH in patients on anticoagulation would allow for evidence based decisions to be made about initial patient evaluation and disposition instead of admitting all patients for observation for concern of delayed ICH [1].

April 23, 2015

When selecting a local anesthetic agent for skin wounds I have historically been taught to use lidocaine to provide a faster onset, and to use bupivacaine for a longer duration of action. It can be time consuming to find 0.5% Bupivacaine with epinephrine and 2% Lidocaine with Epinephrine to produce a final mixture of 1% Lidocaine and 0.25% Bupivacaine with Epinephrine.
  • If there is no difference in effect between these agents time could be saved when drawing up local anesthetics.