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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By |2017-01-20T12:30:39-08:00Oct 2, 2013|Expert Peer Reviewed (Clinical)|

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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PV Card: Emergency Drug Cards for Adults and Children

MedicationSyringeDrawRob Bryant, MD (@RobJBryant13), Amie Hatch, PharmD, BCPS (@Amie_EMPharmD), and Jeremy Bair, PharmD (@bairpharm) from Intermountain Healthcare in Utah have created and adopted a fantastic medication reference card which is used by physicians and nurses in the Emergency Department. The medications were chosen because they are often prone to dosing errors and require time-sensitive ordering. They generously offered to share this incredibly compact resource for free to the Emergency Medicine community as a PV card. If you see them, give them a high-five.

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Are Acetaminophen Levels Necessary in All Overdose Patients?

pills SS (1)ExpertPeerReviewStamp2x200Intentional overdose patients are notorious for giving inaccurate histories. “I took 14 tablets of this and 8 capsules of that. No, wait. It was 3 tablets of this and a handful of capsules of that… This happened about 2 hours ago. Actually, I think it was last night.” Round and round the merry-go-round we go.

  • How should we risk-assess whether acetaminophen is involved? 
  • If the patient provides no history of acetaminophen ingestion, do we need to order a level?

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