Welcome to the fifth ALiEM Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) Module! In an effort to reward our residents for the reading and learning they are already doing online we have created an Individual Interactive Instruction (III) opportunity utilizing FOAM resources for U.S. Emergency Medicine residents. For each module, the AIR board curates and scores a list of blogs and podcasts. A quiz is available to complete after each module to obtain residency conference credit. Once completed, your name and institution will be logged into our private database, which participating residency program directors can access to provide proof of completion.
A patient presents to the emergency department complaining of increasing insomnia due to anxiety. She states that she is not actively suicidal nor homicidal but she has trouble “turning off her brain” at night in order to sleep and her insomnia is worsening her anxiety. She has a history of morbid obesity and smokes 1 pack of cigarettes per day. In order to help you consider writing her a prescription for 5 mg of zolpidem as you presume it to be a benign way to deal with her current sleep disorder. But what does the evidence say about these drugs and the risks of harm? (more…)
The acute episode of intoxication and agitation has subsided and your patient is calm. She has been medically cleared and is ready to be moved to a less acute, less monitored portion of the ED to await further assessment and treatment for her underlying psychiatric conditions. As a well-intentioned emergency medicine practitioner, you wish to give your patient the tools she needs to maintain this calm status by restarting her home atypical antipsychotic medication. What is the best way to go about doing this?
The winter holiday season is a busy time in most EDs. Colder weather, respiratory infections, and many factors contribute to this. However Christmas Day and New Year’s Day in particular are two of the deadliest days of the year. Missed medications due to travel, delayed presentations because of a desire to stay home for family gatherings, increased stress, alcohol and substance abuse, travel, and drunk driving, are just a few of the things that can contribute to morbidity and mortality in patients of all ages, and particularly in older adults. If you are working this holiday season, here is a glimpse of what you can expect.
Dr. Rob Orman emailed me last week about creating a pocket card on Suicide Risk Stratification. In many community ED’s, risk assessment is done by the emergency physician. I’m lucky where I work, because we have a 24/7 psychiatric ED, which consults on suicidal patients in the “medical ED”.
In the end, assessment is primarily based on physician judgment, because there’s no great clinical decision tool, rules, or scores to assess risk. Rob has created his own mnemonic to help you ask the right questions in assessing a suicidal patient. This is a sneak peek into a larger article that Rob is planning to unleash on the world on suicide assessment. Based on his review of the literature and own clinical experience, the mnemonic is: TRAAPPED SILO SAFE.