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3 09, 2018

Resuscitation of a Drowning Victim: A Review

2018-09-02T23:21:41+00:00

Drowning cases peak this time of year and represent a leading cause of mortality in children. For example, drowning represents the leading cause of death in boys ages 5-14 years old, and worldwide, there are 500,000 annual deaths from drowning.1 Hypoxic injury and subsequent respiratory failure represent the primary causes of morbidity and mortality. Although providers are typically taught to be aware of possible trauma (e.g. cervical spine fracture) when evaluating a drowning case, less than 0.5% of drownings are traumatic.2 The duration of immersion, volume of aspirated fluid, and water temperature dictate clinical outcomes.1 We review the presentation, pathophysiology, and management of drowning to raise awareness about this important public health issue.
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29 06, 2018

ALiEM Cards: Tumor Lysis Syndrome

2018-06-29T04:20:56+00:00

Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) is an oncologic emergency characterized by life-threatening metabolic disturbances. Although it is most frequently associated with the treatment of hematological malignancies, its frequency may be increasing among patients with solid tumors. Emergency providers should be familiar with the presentation and treatment of these electrolyte abnormalities, which can lead to renal failure, seizures, and cardiac dysrhythmias. ALiEM Cards: Tumor Lysis Syndrome, written by Drs. Christopher Nash and Derek Monette, reviews TLS and the latest updates in its management.
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22 06, 2018

ALiEM Cards: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome – Berlin Definition

2018-06-21T11:40:11+00:00

Berlin Definition of ARDSAcute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a complex, life-threatening form of respiratory failure. It is responsible for almost 75,000 annual deaths in the United States.1Management remains lung-protective mechanical ventilation, an intervention that can begin in the ED. The Berlin Definition of ARDS has better predictive validity for mortality in comparison to previous definitions of ARDS.2 ALiEM Cards: ARDS, written by Dr. Michelle Lin, reviews the Berlin Definition and provides EPs with an on-shift resource to help manage critically-ill patients.
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15 06, 2018

PEM Practice Changing Paper: Clinical Trial of Fluid Infusion Rates for Pediatric DKA

Most protocols for managing pediatric patients with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) are based on a theoretical association between fluid resuscitation and subsequent neurological decline. Although the evidence for an association between IV fluids and cerebral edema comes from retrospective reviews, for over 20 years, it is an accepted teaching principle of pediatric DKA.

Clinical Trial of Fluid Infusion Rates for Pediatric Diabetic Ketoacidosis, published just days ago in the New England Journal of Medicine, challenges this teaching with the first randomized controlled trial designed to investigate the relationship between IV fluids and cerebral edema. We review this publication and present a behind-the-scenes podcast interview with lead authors Dr. Nathan Kuppermann and Dr. Nicole Glaser from the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN). (more…)

11 06, 2018

The Myth of Vasopressors and Ischemia

2018-06-11T08:02:01+00:00

Despite the widespread clinical use, and their well-documented life-saving properties, vasopressors are often maligned, accused of causing ischemia to fingers, toes, mesentery, kidneys, and so forth. Not only is the evidence that this happens poor, but, a fear of this dreaded complication can unwarrantedly lead good clinicians to limit or withhold potentially life- and organ-saving medications. This article showcases the importance of end-organ perfusion and explains how vasopressors may in fact be one of the most important therapies in an emergency physician’s armamentarium.
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31 05, 2018

ECMO for ARDS: Key Pearls for Emergency Physicians from the EOLIA Trial

2018-05-31T07:46:14+00:00

The role of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in the management of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has been a source of debate within the critical care community.1 The use of ECMO has steadily increased over the past decade;2 however, evidence to support the widespread adoption of this expensive and invasive technology is limited. As advances in ECMO technology have rapidly outpaced evidence, clinicians have been left to speculate as to ECMO’s true value. Is ECMO a promising tool to advance the care of patients with respiratory failure3 or an expensive distraction that has inappropriately supplanted evidence-based strategies?4

All who care for patients with ARDS have been eagerly awaiting the results of the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (EOLIA) trial which were recently published in May 2018’s New England Journal of Medicine.5

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15 05, 2018

Climate Change and Emergency Medicine: A Specialty on the Frontline

2018-05-15T10:34:35+00:00

Emergency medicine (EM) is on the frontlines of climate change, which the Lancet Commission declared “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century” with “potentially catastrophic risk to human health.”1,2 Climate change is having broad and profound negative impacts on the health of our patients, especially for the vulnerable populations. It is also affecting our healthcare systems and mandating the creation of climate-resilient emergency departments (ED) with robust disaster preparedness. EM needs to engage climate change advocacy efforts for 2 key reasons. It has a profound impact on our specialty, and it is built into the moral fiber of our practice. As this threat continues to grow, EM is perfectly situated to lead the charge.
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