About Bryan D. Hayes, PharmD, DABAT, FAACT, FASHP

Leadership Team, ALiEM
Creator and Lead Editor, Capsules series, ALiEMU
Attending Pharmacist, EM and Toxicology, MGH
Assistant Professor of EM, Harvard Medical School

Magnesium for Rapid Atrial Fibrillation Rate-Control in the ED

magnesium-ivWe 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.

(more…)

‘Treat and Release’ after Naloxone – What is the Risk of Death?

NaloxoneOften 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.

Last updated: January 2, 2019

(more…)

Trick-of-the-Trade: IV Compatibility Information at Your Fingertips

MicromedexWe 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?

(more…)