March 6, 2019

Take Home Points:

  1. If the patient is a clear traumatic arrest, compressions aren’t indicated and, instead we should focus on the important interventions that need to be done.
  2. Ultrasound can be incredibly helpful in traumatic arrest. If you’ve got a traumatic arrest patient with neither pericardial fluid nor cardiac activity, it may be reasonable to stop resuscitation without the thoracotomy.
  3. When decompressing the chest, it’s better to place you angiocath in the 5th intercostal space in the anterior axillary line. This helps you avoid the great vessels in the as well as the thick anterior chest wall
  4. And last, if you are doing a thoracostomy, you may as well go bilaterally. You are doing invasive things to a dying patient, there is no reason to guess where the problem is. Similarly, if you have to do a thoracotomy, you could consider making it a clamshell as it space to look into and making sure the right side of the chest is accessed.

February 20, 2019

Take Home Points:

  1. Hypothermia is neuroprotective and patients can survive prolonged periods of cardiac arrest. Termination of resuscitative efforts in cardiac arrest should not considered until the patient is >32°C or has a K > 12 mEq/L
  2. Active internal rewarming is the keystone of treatment for unstable hypothermic patients. Utilize available resources including ECMO to effectively warm your patient
  3. Consider alternate causes for hypothermia, especially in patients who fail to respond to warming

December 26, 2018

REBEL EM-ers: Salim, Jenny and I would like to announce the launch of a new REBEL EM project. Beginning in 2019, we'll be adding a core content section to the website. This will include core content blog posts and a core content podcast with a dedicated place on the parent site. Instead of creating a separate podcast, we'll be bringing you REBEL Core Cast as part of REBEL Cast. This way, you won't need to download another podcast. Twice a month, Jenny and I will bring you a podcast based on a core topic in EM or based on pearls from our conferences. See you all in the New Year!

December 6, 2018

Friday, 2300 hours:

A 24 year-old woman presents to your Emergency Department after a motor vehicle collision. She was the restrained driver of a car that collided head-on with another vehicle. She is complaining only of chest pain and appears uncomfortable and anxious.  The monitor shows sinus tachycardia and you spot a sternal fracture on her chest x-ray.  After IVF and Fentanyl, she remains slightly tachycardic and you wonder:

  • Do I need to send a troponin?
  • If the troponin is negative does this patient need to be admitted?
  • What other testing should I consider in the Emergency Department?

October 8, 2018

Definition:

  • Accidental hypothermia is an unintentional core body temperature of < 35°C when heat loss to surroundings is greater than heat generation
  • Most frequent cause is environmental exposure
  • Patient with impaired thermoregulation can develop hypothermia in relatively warm environments
    • Elderly, underlying illness, trauma, intoxication, or malnutrition (Brown 2012)