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13 08, 2017

Team-Focused CPR: Bringing Pre-hospital Success to the ED

2017-09-07T21:23:14+00:00

High-quality chest compressions and early defibrillation are the cornerstones of effective cardiac arrest care.1 When implemented correctly these two interventions enhance patient outcomes and improve overall survival.2 However, despite simplified advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) algorithms and extensive training of providers, cardiac arrest scenarios in the emergency department (ED) are still high-stress and mortality rates remain high.3,4 

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21 07, 2017

ALiEM’s Greatest Hits for Interns: A Curated Collection of High-Yield Topics

greatest hits for interns

Congratulations, you’ve made it! On July 1, thousands of medical students across the country made the transition to becoming Emergency Medicine residents. It was a particularly competitive year for Emergency Medicine, with 99.7% of first-year spots filled despite a whopping 2,047 positions being offered in 2017 (up by 152 spots compared to last year).1 Now begins the most crucial 3 or 4 years of your medical training that will prepare you for the rest of your career in Emergency Medicine.

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17 07, 2017

ED Charting and Coding: Critical Care Time

2017-07-25T10:22:12+00:00

After a STEMI activation from the field on Monday morning, the cardiac catheterization team scoops the patient away shortly after the paramedics arrive in the Emergency Department (ED). “Well that was a smooth and seamless resuscitation. The patient was barely in the ED for more than 15 minutes,” you think to yourself. You diligently complete your critical care documentation, noting 20 minutes of critical care time, before seeing your next patient. A few weeks later the chart is bounced back and noted as an erroneous documentation of critical care time. The coding department notifies you that the case will be billed as a Level 3 visit (E/M code #99283). Why is that the case?

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13 02, 2017

Trick of the Trade: Rapid Insertion of Orogastric Tube

2017-02-10T05:43:11+00:00

We have all been in the situation: an intubated patient needs an orogastric (OG) tube and no one has been able to place it successfully. Unfortunately, we typically find out about this situation after several failed attempts, when the patient is bleeding and/or the anatomy is distorted. It may coil in the mouth or esophagus. Here I present a novel technique to rapidly place an OG tube within seconds.
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23 11, 2016

PV Card: LVAD Complications

lvad-image-from-mayo

Patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) often cause much anxiety amongst providers in the emergency department. This is understandable with all of the hardware, diminished or absent peripheral pulses at baseline, and potential for complications. To add to the already helpful reviews about LVADs at REBELEM and emDocs, this is a PV card set providing a methodical approach to troubleshooting LVAD complications, including a reproduction of an algorithm for managing the LVAD patient with altered mental status from EMCrit.1–3
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12 09, 2016

AIR Series: Procedures Module (2016)

Welcome to the Procedures Module! After carefully reviewing all relevant posts from the top 50 sites of the Social Media Index the ALiEM AIR Team is proud to present the highest quality procedure content. Below we have listed our selection of the 13 highest quality blog posts within the past 12 months (as of June 2016) related to procedure emergencies, curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. More specifically in this module, we identified 3 AIRs and 10 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 4 hours (about 20 minutes per article) of III credit for this module.

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20 07, 2016

Trick of the Trade: Tibial Intraosseous Line Stabilization in an Agitated Patient

Intraosseous needle - image from Dr. Rob CooneyWith the advent of commercial intraosseous (IO) needles for vascular access, administering IV medications for patients in extremis has been made much easier. Securing the IO needle to the patient’s tibia, femur, or humerus, however, is a different story. After successful patient resuscitation, these needles often tenuously secured through creative uses of sterile gauze, trimmed paper cups, bag valve masks, and/or just tape. Stabilization of tibial IO lines can be difficult in a sedated, intubated patient. This can be even more difficult in an agitated, moving patient.

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