December 30, 2019

REBEL EM-ers: Salim & I would like to introduce the launch of a new REBEL EM project. We are adding a podcast focused on a wide variety of resuscitation and critical care topics in both Adult & Pediatric Medicine to the website. The podcast will be called REBEL Crit Cast, and will compliment are already popular REBEL Crit content on our parent site.  This will include blog posts and podcast content with a dedicated place on the parent site. Instead of creating a separate podcast, we’ll be bringing you REBEL Crit Cast as part of REBEL Cast. This way, you won’t need to download another podcast. The format may change over time, and I'd love to know your questions, and ideas for topics so that I can make this as practical and useful to YOU, our audience, as possible.

December 23, 2019

Background: Dealing with a patient in status epilepticus, refractory to treatment with benzodiazepines, can be a sphincter tightening ordeal.  While most seizure activity responds to appropriately dosed benzodiazipines, some will not respond. The choice of second line medication has been hotly debated (i.e. Levetiracetam, fosphenytoin, and valproate).  One of the key aspects of management of status epilepticus is early termination.  The longer the seizure continues, the more likely patients can have cardiac/respiratory complications, brain injury, rhabdomyolysis, hyperkalemia, and acidosis. Thus, prompt termination of seizure activity with second line agents is critical. Despite recent pediatric studies (ConSEPT, ECLIPSE etc) there is limited guidance on the efficacy or safety of second line mediations for status epilepticus.

December 12, 2019

Background: The 2015 American Heart Association guidelines for Adult Advanced Cardiac Life Support recommend adenosine in non-hypotensive patients in regular narrow-complex supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).  Adenosine has a rapid onset and a half-life that is <10 seconds, which makes it an ideal agent for hemodynamically stable SVT. Typically, adenosine is administered as an initial 6mg rapid IV bolus over 1 – 2 seconds followed by a rapid 10 – 20mL saline flush.  If SVT is not terminated and normal sinus rhythm maintained within 1 – 2 minutes, a repeat dose of 12mg is given followed by a 10 – 20mL saline flush, and this can be repeated for a total of 3 doses. Because of the short half-life of adenosine, several advocate for a two-way stopcock, where adenosine and a 10 – 20mL saline flush are given in tandem. The logistics and timing with using a two way stopcock can be challenging and can result in less rapid flush than intended.

December 9, 2019

You are working at a Level 1 Trauma Center; a 35-year-old female arrives via EMS from the scene of a motor vehicle accident. She was an unrestrained passenger, ejected 50 feet. She was hypotensive and hypoxic on scene with concern for head injury with a GCS of 7. She is clearly in shock on arrival with weak pulses, clammy skin, and a BP of 80/50mmHg, HR 140, sats 85%.  She is intubated, a chest tube is placed on the left (with improvement in O2 sats to 95%), and a pelvic binder is placed for suspected pelvic fracture. eFast demonstrates free fluid in the pelvis. Massive Transfusion Protocol (MTP) has been activated appropriately, and despite rapid delivery of 4 units Packed Red Blood Cells (PRBCs), 2 units of Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP) and 1 pack of Platelets, she remains hypotensive, with presumed hemorrhagic shock. The patient is destined for the OR, but you ask yourself, in traumatic hemorrhagic shock, is there a role for vasoactive agents?

December 5, 2019

Background: Saline (0.9% sodium chloride) has historically been one of the most common intravenous fluids administered in critically ill adults.  However, the supraphysiologic chloride concentration can cause hyperchloremia, metabolic acidosis, renal vasoconstriction and alter immune function.  There is nothing normal about normal saline. Balanced crystalloids (i.e. lactated Ringer’s solution, Plasma-Lyte A, etc) contain electrolyte compositions that are closer to physiologic levels.  Recently, the Isotonic Solutions and Major Adverse Renal Events Trial (SMART) [2] compared balanced crystalloids to saline among critically ill adults and found that balanced crystalloids decreased the composite outcome of death, new renal replacement therapy, or persistent renal dysfunction (This composite outcome was primarily driven by mortality benefit).  Interestingly, in the subgroup analyses of septic patients, balanced crystalloids seemed to have its biggest benefit in MAKE30 compared to saline.