Seasons greetings from the ALiEM team. We have been publishing so many posts this year that you may have missed a few. Did you catch at least the top 10 most-read ALiEM clinical posts, which were published in 2016? These include some Tricks of the Track pearls and clinical tips in toxicology, orthopedics, and neurology. Check them out.
For the third consecutive year, we provide a quick summary of some important Emergency Medicine pharmacotherapy articles from the last 12 months. We have tried to focus on articles you may have missed, but are potentially high-impact for improving clinical practice in the ED. Without further ado, we present the 8 must-know EM pharmacotherapy articles of 2016.
We love magnesium in the Emergency Department. It’s been said that magnesium is second-line for everything (kind of like doxycycline). But what about rate/rhythm control in atrial fibrillation (AF)? The 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS guideline for the management of patients with AF doesn’t mention magnesium at all.1 Dr. Josh Farkas (@PulmCrit) wrote about magnesium infusions for atrial fibrillation and torsade last year. His post looked at its use for cardioversion, rhythm-control, and rate-control in critically-ill patients. Our post will focus specifically on the IV magnesium data for rate-control in ED-related settings.
Often in the prehospital setting, naloxone is administered by EMS (or possibly a bystander) to reverse respiratory and CNS depression from presumed opioid overdose. The patient then wakes up, and not uncommonly, refuses transport to the hospital. The question is: Is it safe to ‘treat and release?’ Or, rather, what is the risk of death associated with this practice. A hot-off-the-press article, just published in Prehospital Emergency Care, addresses this question.
We often have less than optimal IV access to administer fluids, blood products, and medications in sick ED patients. If more than one medication needs to be infused in the same line, how do we know if they are compatible? The gold standard for checking IV compatibility is Trissel’s Stability of Compounded Formulations. 1 But a textbook doesn’t help us in critical situations. Is there a better way?