Putting an Older Patient Under: Tips for Geriatric Procedural Sedation

iv-sedationAn 84-year old woman presents to your ED with a traumatic, left-sided posterior hip dislocation. You need to reduce the hip. But how should you sedate her? Procedural sedation is an important component of ED care. It allows us to more comfortably perform otherwise painful procedures such as fracture or dislocation reductions, endoscopies, large laceration repairs, and I&Ds. How safe is procedural sedation in older adults?

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CPR: Hands-on or Hands-off Defibrillation?

website cpr image 2Pauses in chest compressions are known to be detrimental to survival in cardiac arrest, so much so that the 2010 American Heart Association (AHA) emphasize high-quality compressions while minimizing interruptions. There have been some studies that now advocate for continuous chest compressions during a defibrillation shock. There have been substantial changes to external defibrillation technology  including:

  • Biphasic shocks with real-time impedance monitoring to reduce peak voltages
  • Paddles being replaced by adhesive pre-gelled electrodes
  • Enhancement in ECG filtering permitting rhythm monitoring during chest compressions.

So the mantra of “hard and fast” may be true when it comes to CPR, but the real question now becomes, should we be continuing CPR during defibrillation?

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Treating Ischemic Stroke with tPA in the ED: Time is Brain

Ischemic stroke is an emergent and devastating neurologic disorder, and is a leading cause of both death and disability in the United States. With each minute of brain ischemia, two million neurons are irreversibly damaged. Total ischemic time is linked to functional outcome, and therefore, the role of the Emergency Department is paramount in the management of these patients. Fibrinolytic therapy has become a mainstay of therapy for acute stroke, but guidelines for the use of tPA are dynamic, and often even controversial. When you identify someone with symptoms of stroke, what is your approach to determining if a patient should receive tPA?

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Diagnosing hyperthyroidism: Answers to 7 common questions

T3hyperExpertPeerReviewStamp2x200The prevalence of hyperthyroidism in the general population is about 1-2%, and is ten times more likely in women than men. The spectrum of hyperthyroidism ranges from asymptomatic or subclinical disease to thyroid storm. So how do we diagnose various presentations of hyperthyroidism in the Emergency Department? Below are answers to 7 common questions that commonly arise.
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September 2013 Update: Expert Peer Reviewed posts

ExpertPeerReviewStamp2x200It’s been a month since we started adding expert peer reviews to our blog posts, and we have had a flurry of engaging conversation surrounding the new process. During this time we have worked to develop a sustainable peer review process. In fact there are two ongoing expert peer-review processes:

  1. Clinical articles: There have been 10 clinical articles thus far expert peer reviewed on a post-publication basis. See list below.
  2. MEdIC series: Dr. Teresa Chan and Dr. Brent Thoma host this monthly series on challenging educational cases with initial posited questions, followed by a summary review which includes expert input (added on a pre-publication basis) one week later.

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2017-01-20T12:30:39-08:00

10 Tips for Approaching Abdominal Pain in the Elderly

KUBAfter seeing your fifth young patient of the day with chronic pelvic pain, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome, it is easy to be lulled into the mindset that abdominal pain is nothing to worry about. Not so with the elderly. These 10 tips will help focus your approach to atraumatic abdominal pain in older adults and explain why presentations are frequently subtle and diagnoses challenging.

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Deciphering Acid-Base Disorders

AcidBaseDerangements in acid-base status are commonly discovered on routine emergency department evaluation and often suggest the presence of severe underlying disease. Many acute conditions can disrupt homeostatic mechanisms used to buffer and excrete acid, and these changes may necessitate immediate intervention. When you discover a patient with an abnormal pH, what is your approach to the diagnosis?

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