The emergency department (ED) manages acute pain on a daily basis, ranging from non-traumatic back pain to traumatic fractures. Some providers jump immediately to opioids without considering other non-opioid alternatives or start at incorrect doses. In the age of the opioid epidemic (ALiEM-Annals of EM journal club; bookclub discussing Dreamland) and medication errors, choosing the initial right agent(s) and dose(s) are important. Dr. Nick Koch and Dr. Sergey Motov (@PainFreeED) from Maimonides Medical Center present a thoughtful, evidence-based PV reference card on selecting and dosing initial pain medications for ED patients. Also congratulations to Dr. Motov and his team for their recent 2015 Annals of EM publication1 on subdissociative dose ketamine for analgesia.
For many years, end tidal CO2 monitoring initially was helpful in differentiating tracheal versus esophageal intubations. Now with continuous end tidal capnography, providers have access to so much more information during a cardiac arrest resuscitation, as summarized by the recently released 2015 American Heart Association (AHA) recommendations.1 Thanks to Dr. Abdullah Bakhsh from Emory University for a great PV card to help remind us of these key cardiac resuscitation pearls.
As emergency medicine providers become more proficient in using bedside ultrasonography as a diagnostic tool, it can be difficult to remember all of the normal cutoff values. Is it 3 or 5 mm as the cutoff? Thanks to the team at UCSF (Dr. Maria Beylin, Dr. Scott Fischette, and Dr. Nate Teismann) for creating a succinct PV card listing the key numbers to remember. You can download this PV card into your mobile device as a reference guide, or you can even print and attach to each of your ultrasound machines!
One of the five 2014 American College of Surgeons’ Choosing Wisely recommendations is to avoid routing whole-body CT imaging of trauma patents, also known as the ‘pan-CT’. Until now, no validated decision instrument existed to help guide clinicians decide whether to obtain a chest CT in the setting of blunt trauma. This month, Dr. Robert Rodriguez and the multi-institutional NEXUS Chest CT research team published a paper describing the derivation and validation of 2 decision instruments in PLOS Medicine .
The 2015 Essentials of EM Fellowship competition was fierce with submissions by U.S. EM residents from around the country. Based on the four predefined judging criteria (design, relevance, content accuracy, and innovation), one submission stood out above the rest. Congratulations to the winner Dr. Gabe Sudario (University of California San Francisco-SFGH), who will attend the 2015 Essentials of EM conference in Las Vegas as the ALiEM Essentials of EM Fellow with all expenses paid. Check out today’s PV card, which was Gabe’s blog submission.
Although there is much advice on helping new interns adjust to residency life (part 1, part 2), not much is shared about helping recent residency graduates survive the real world of EM practice. Dr. Amal Mattu, Professor and Vice Chair at the University of Maryland’s Department of Emergency Medicine, solicited for advice from his department’s faculty and recent residency graduates. Below are the top 15 themes which arose from the discussion and are frankly great reminders for all practitioners in the ED.
Our virtual school doors are open starting today to ALiEM University (ALiEMU), which can best be thought of as our open-access, on-demand, online school of e-courses for anyone practicing Emergency Medicine worldwide. This ambitious venture was made possible by a tremendous team, but primarily led by Chris Gaafary, MD (@CGaafary), ALiEMU’s Chief of Design and Development and an EM chief resident in his free time at the University of Tennessee. Today we are incredibly excited to launch our inaugural longitudinal e-course the ALiEM Capsules Series: A Practical Pharmacology for the EM Practitioner, created and led by Bryan Hayes, PharmD, FAACT (@PharmERToxGuy).