Emergency Medicine (emergency + medicine)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Terms modified by Emergency Medicine

  • emergency medicine guideline

  • Selected Abstracts

    The Risk of Intra-abdominal Injuries in Pediatric Patients with Stable Blunt Abdominal Trauma and Negative Abdominal Computed Tomography

    Jeffrey Hom MD
    Abstract Objectives:, This review examines the prevalence of intra-abdominal injuries (IAI) and the negative predictive value (NPV) of an abdominal computed tomography (CT) in children who present with blunt abdominal trauma. Methods:, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases were searched. Studies were selected if they enrolled children with blunt abdominal trauma from the emergency department (ED) with significant mechanism of injury requiring an abdominal CT. The primary outcome measure was the rate of IAI in patients with negative initial abdominal CT. The secondary outcome measure was the number of laparotomies, angiographic embolizations, or repeat abdominal CTs in those with negative initial abdominal CTs. Results:, Three studies met the inclusion criteria, comprising a total of 2,596 patients. The overall rate of IAI after a negative abdominal CT was 0.19% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.08% to 0.44%). The overall NPV of abdominal CT was 99.8% (95% CI = 99.6% to 99.9%). There were five patients (0.19%, 95% CI = 0.08% to 0.45%) who required additional intervention despite their initial negative CTs: one therapeutic laparotomy for bowel rupture, one diagnostic laparotomy for mesenteric hematoma and serosal tear, and three repeat abdominal CTs (one splenic and two renal injuries). None of the patients in the latter group required surgery or blood transfusion. Conclusions:, The rate of IAI after blunt abdominal trauma with negative CT in children is low. Abdominal CT has a high NPV. The review shows that it might be safe to discharge a stable child home after a negative abdominal CT. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:469,475 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Effectiveness of Corticosteroid Treatment in Acute Pharyngitis: A Systematic Review of the Literature

    Andrew Wing
    Abstract Objectives:, The objective was to examine the effectiveness of corticosteroid treatment for the relief of pain associated with acute pharyngitis potentially caused by group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus (GABHS). Methods:, This was a systematic review of the literature. Data sources used were electronic databases (Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Biosis Previews, Scopus, and Web of Science), controlled trial registration websites, conference proceedings, study references, experts in the field, and correspondence with authors. Selection criteria consisted of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in which corticosteroids, alone or in combination with antibiotics, were compared to placebo or any other standard therapy for treatment of acute pharyngitis in adult patients, pediatric patients, or both. Two reviewers independently assessed for relevance, inclusion, and study quality. Weighted mean differences (WMDs) were calculated and are reported with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results:, From 272 potentially relevant citations, 10 studies met the inclusion criteria. When compared to placebo, corticosteroids reduced the time to clinically meaningful pain relief (WMD = ,4.54 hours; 95% CI = ,7.19 to ,1.89); however, they provided only a small reduction in pain scores at 24 hours (WMD = ,0.90 on a 0,10 visual analog scale; 95% CI = ,1.5 to ,0.3). Heterogeneity among pooled studies was identified for both outcomes (I2 = 81 and 74%, respectively); however, the GABHS-positive subgroup receiving corticosteroid treatment did have a significant mean reduction in time to clinically meaningful pain relief of 5.22 hours (95% CI = ,7.02 to ,3.42; I2 = 0%). Short-term side effect profiles between corticosteroids and placebo groups were similar. Conclusions:, Corticosteroid administration for acute pharyngitis was associated with a relatively small effect in time to clinically meaningful pain relief (4.5-hour reduction) and in pain relief at 24 hours (0.9-point reduction), with significant heterogeneity in the pooled results. Decision-making should be individualized to determine the risks and benefits; however, corticosteroids should not be used as routine treatment for acute pharyngitis. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:476,483 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Heat or Cold Packs for Neck and Back Strain: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Efficacy

    Gregory Garra DO
    Abstract Objectives:, Acute back and neck strains are very common. In addition to administering analgesics, these strains are often treated with either heat or cold packs. The objective of this study was to compare the analgesic efficacy of heat and cold in relieving pain from back and neck strains. The authors hypothesized that pain relief would not differ between hot and cold packs. Methods:, This was a randomized, controlled trial conducted at a university-based emergency department (ED) with an annual census of 90,000 visits. ED patients >18 years old with acute back or neck strains were eligible for inclusion. All patients received 400 mg of ibuprofen orally and then were randomized to 30 minutes of heating pad or cold pack applied to the strained area. Outcomes of interest were pain severity before and after pack application on a validated 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS) from 0 (no pain) to 100 (worst pain), percentage of patients requiring rescue analgesia, subjective report of pain relief on a verbal rating scale (VRS), and future desire for similar packs. Outcomes were compared with t-tests and chi-square tests. A sample of 60 patients had 80% power to detect a 15-mm difference in pain scores. Results:, Sixty patients were randomized to heat (n = 31) or cold (n = 29) therapy. Mean (±standard deviation [SD]) age was 37.8 (±14.7) years, 51.6% were female, and 66.7% were white. Groups were similar in baseline patient and pain characteristics. There were no differences between the heat and cold groups in the severity of pain before (75 mm [95% CI = 66 to 83] vs. 72 mm [95% CI = 65 to 78]; p = 0.56) or after (66 mm [95% CI = 57 to 75] vs. 64 mm [95% CI = 56 to 73]; p = 0.75) therapy. Pain was rated better or much better in 16/31 (51.6%) and 18/29 (62.1%) patients in the heat and cold groups, respectively (p = 0.27). There were no between-group differences in the desire for and administration of additional analgesia. Twenty-five of 31 (80.6%) patients in the heat group and 22 of 29 (75.9%) patients in the cold group would use the same therapy if injured in the future (p = 0.65). Conclusions:, The addition of a 30-minute topical application of a heating pad or cold pack to ibuprofen therapy for the treatment of acute neck or back strain results in a mild yet similar improvement in the pain severity. However, it is possible that pain relief is mainly the result of ibuprofen therapy. Choice of heat or cold therapy should be based on patient and practitioner preferences and availability. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:484,489 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Impact of Scribes on Performance Indicators in the Emergency Department

    Rajiv Arya MD
    Abstract Objectives:, The objective was to quantify the effect of scribes on three measures of emergency physician (EP) productivity in an adult emergency department (ED). Methods:, For this retrospective study, 243 clinical shifts (of either 10 or 12 hours) worked by 13 EPs during an 18-month period were selected for evaluation. Payroll data sheets were examined to determine whether these shifts were covered, uncovered, or partially covered (for less than 4 hours) by a scribe; partially covered shifts were grouped with uncovered shifts for analysis. Covered shifts were compared to uncovered shifts in a clustered design, by physician. Hierarchical linear models were used to study the association between percentage of patients with which a scribe was used during a shift and EP productivity as measured by patients per hour, relative value units (RVUs) per hour, and turnaround time (TAT) to discharge. Results:, RVUs per hour increased by 0.24 units (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.10 to 0.38, p = 0.0011) for every 10% increment in scribe usage during a shift. The number of patients per hour increased by 0.08 (95% CI = 0.04 to 0.12, p = 0.0024) for every 10% increment of scribe usage during a shift. TAT was not significantly associated with scribe use. These associations did not lose significance after accounting for physician assistant (PA) use. Conclusions:, In this retrospective study, EP use of a scribe was associated with improved overall productivity as measured by patients treated per hour (Pt/hr) and RVU generated per hour by EPs, but not as measured by TAT to discharge. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:490,494 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    The Use of Scripting at Triage and Its Impact on Elopements

    Daniel A. Handel MD
    Abstract Objectives:, The objective of this study was to measure the effect of scripting language at triage on the likelihood of elopements, controlling for patient volume and other potential confounding variables. Methods:, This was a pre- and postintervention cohort study using the same 5-month period (November 2007,March 2008 and November 2008,March 2009, respectively) that included in the analysis all patients 21 years of age and older, who presented to the triage window in the emergency department (ED) waiting room (not by ambulance). As part of the scripting, triage nurses informed patients of the longest waiting time (at that point in time) for any patients still waiting to be brought back from the waiting room into the ED. Rates of elopement were compared between patients who did and did not receive the scripting, controlling for individual and daily ED variables. Results:, A total of 24,390 ED visits were included in this analysis. The elopement rate was 4.4% among ED patients in the prescripting period, compared to 2.3% in the postscripting period. In a multivariate logistic regression model, the use of scripting was significantly associated with decreased odds of elopement, compared to the nonscripting group (odds ratio [OR] = 0.61, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.46 to 0.80). Conclusions:, The use of triage scripting was found to significantly reduce elopement rates in patients placed in the ED waiting room, even after controlling for other confounding variables. Scripting is a simple and underutilized technique that can have a positive effect for patients and the ED. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:495,500 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Emergency Department Patient Volume and Troponin Laboratory Turnaround Time

    Ula Hwang MD
    Abstract Objectives:, Increases in emergency department (ED) visits may place a substantial burden on both the ED and hospital-based laboratories. Studies have identified laboratory turnaround time (TAT) as a barrier to patient process times and lengths of stay. Prolonged laboratory study results may also result in delayed recognition of critically ill patients and initiation of appropriate therapies. The objective of this study was to determine how ED patient volume itself is associated with laboratory TAT. Methods:, This was a retrospective cohort review of patients at five academic, tertiary care EDs in the United States. Data were collected on all adult patients seen in each ED with troponin laboratory testing during the months of January, April, July, and October 2007. Primary predictor variables were two ED patient volume measures at the time the troponin test was ordered: 1) number of all patients in the ED/number of beds (occupancy) and 2) number of admitted patients waiting for beds/beds (boarder occupancy). The outcome variable was troponin turnaround time (TTAT). Adjusted covariates included patient characteristics, triage severity, season (month of the laboratory test), and site. Multivariable adjusted quantile regression was carried out to assess the association of ED volume measures with TTAT. Results:, At total of 9,492 troponin tests were reviewed. Median TTAT for this cohort was 107 minutes (interquartile range [IQR] = 73,148 minutes). Median occupancy for this cohort was 1.05 patients (IQR = 0.78,1.38 patients) and median boarder occupancy was 0.21 (IQR = 0.11,0.32). Adjusted quantile regression demonstrated a significant association between increased ED patient volume and longer times to TTAT. For every 100% increase in census, or number of boarders over the number of ED beds, respectively, there was a 12 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 9 to 14) or 33 (95% CI = 24 to 42)-minute increase in TTAT. Conclusions:, Increased ED patient volume is associated with longer hospital laboratory processing times. Prolonged laboratory TAT may delay recognition of conditions in the acutely ill, potentially affecting clinician decision-making and the initiation of timely treatment. Use of laboratory TAT as a patient throughput measure and the study of factors associated with its prolonging should be further investigated. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:501,507 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Do California Counties With Lower Socioeconomic Levels Have Less Access to Emergency Department Care?

    Deepa Ravikumar
    Abstract Objectives:, The study objective was to examine the relationship between number of emergency departments (EDs) per capita in California counties and measures of socioeconomic status, to determine whether individuals living in areas with lower socioeconomic levels have decreased access to emergency care. Methods:, The authors linked 2005 data from the American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Survey of Hospitals with the Area Resource Files from the United States Department of Health and Human Services and performed Poisson regression analyses of the association between EDs per capita in individual California counties using the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) county codes and three measures of socioeconomic status: median household income, percentage uninsured, and years of education for individuals over 25 years of age. Multivariate analyses using Poisson regression were also performed to determine if any of these measures of socioeconomic status were independently associated with access to EDs. Results:, Median household income is inversely related to the number of EDs per capita (rate ratio = 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.71 to 0.96). Controlling for income in the multivariate analysis demonstrates that there are more EDs per 100,000 population in FIPS codes with more insured residents when compared with areas having less insured residents with the same levels of household income. Similarly, FIPS codes whose residents have more education have more EDs per 100,000 compared with areas with the same income level whose residents have less education. Conclusions:, Counties whose residents are poorer have more EDs per 100,000 residents than those with higher median household incomes. However, for the same income level, counties with more insured and more highly educated residents have a greater number of EDs per capita than those with less insured and less educated residents. These findings warrant in-depth studies on disparities in access to care as they relate to socioeconomic status. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:508,513 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Development of a Novel Animal Burn Model Using Radiant Heat in Rats and Swine

    Reuven Gurfinkel MD
    Abstract Objectives:, The objective was to develop a novel animal model of burns in rats and pigs. Methods:, The model uses heat that is delivered via a radiant heater with an opening of 5 cm by 5 cm, set at 400°C, for 20 seconds. An advantage of this model is that the heating source does not come into direct contact with the animal, and the heat dispersion surrounding its center is very constant. The device was evaluated in 40 rats and seven pigs. With rats, three to four burns were created on each rat, resulting in a burn covering a total body surface area of 30% to 50%. In pigs, 16 burns were created on each animal. Results:, In rats, infliction of burns resulted in mortality rates of 0%,50% depending on the size of the burns and the rats. In pigs, the burns reepithelialized within approximately 3 weeks and resulted in hourglass contracted scars in two of three burns within 1 month. Conclusions:, The authors describe a novel animal burn model that utilizes radiant heat to create consistent burns that maximizes safety to the investigators and animals. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:514,520 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Emergency Department Information System Implementation and Process Redesign Result in Rapid and Sustained Financial Enhancement at a Large Academic Center

    Jason S. Shapiro MD
    Abstract Objectives:, The objectives were to measure the financial impact of implementing a fully integrated emergency department information system (EDIS) and determine the length of time to "break even" on the initial investment. Methods:, A before-and-after study design was performed using a framework of analysis consisting of four 15-month phases: 1) preimplementation, 2) peri-implementation, 3) postimplementation, and 4) sustained effects. Registration and financial data were reviewed. Costs and rates of professional and facility charges and receipts were calculated for the phases in question and compared against monthly averages for covariates such as volume, collections rates, acuity, age, admission rate, and insurance status with an autoregressive time series analysis using a segmented model. The break-even point was calculated by measuring cumulative monthly receipts for the last three study phases in excess of the average monthly receipts from the preimplementation phase, corrected for change in volume, and then plotting this against cumulative overall cost. Results:, Time to break even on the initial EDIS investment was less than 8 months. Total revenue enhancement at the end of the 5-year study period was $16,138,953 with an increase of 69.40% in charges and 70.06% in receipts. This corresponds to an increase in receipts per patient from $50 to $90 for professional services and $131 to $183 for facilities charges. Other than volume, there were no significant changes in trends for covariates between the preimplementation and sustained-effects periods. Conclusions:, A comprehensive EDIS implementation with process redesign resulted in sustained increases in professional and facility revenues and a rapid initial break-even point. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:527,535 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Effect of Mandated Nurse,Patient Ratios on Patient Wait Time and Care Time in the Emergency Department

    Theodore C. Chan MD
    Abstract Objectives:, The objective was to evaluate the effect of mandated nurse,patient ratios (NPRs) on emergency department (ED) patient flow. Methods:, Two institutions implemented an electronic tracking system embedded within the electronic medical record (EMR) of two EDs (an academic urban, teaching medical center,Hospital A; and a suburban community hospital,Hospital B), with a combined census of 60,000/year, to monitor real-time NPRs and patient acuity, such that compliance with state-mandated ratios could be prospectively monitored. Data were queried for a 1-year period after implementation and included patient wait times (WTs), ED care time (EDCT), patient acuity, ED census, and NPR status for each nurse, patient, and the ED overall. Median WT and EDCT with interquartile ranges (IQRs) were analyzed to determine the effect of NPR status of each patient, nurse, and the ED overall. To control for factors that could affect the "within the mandated ratio" and the "outside of the mandated ratio" status, including patient volume and acuity, log-linear regression models were used controlling for specified factors for each hospital facility and combined. Results:, There were a total of 30,404 (50.9%) patients who waited in the waiting room prior to being placed in an ED bed (53.8% at Hospital A and 46.4% at Hospital B). Patients who waited at Hospital A waited a median duration of 55 minutes (IQR = 15,128 minutes), compared with 32 minutes (IQR = 12,67 minutes) at Hospital B with a combined median WT of 44 minutes (IQR = 13,101 minutes). In the log-linear regression analysis, WTs were 17% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 10% to 25%, p < 0.001) longer at Hospital A and 13% (95% CI = 3% to 24%, p = 0.008) longer at Hospital B (combined 16% [95% CI = 10% to 22%, p < 0.001] longer at both sites) when the ED overall was out-of-ratio compared to in-ratio. There were a total of 45,660 patients discharged from both EDs during the study period, from which EDCT data were collected (26,894 in Hospital A and 18,766 in Hospital B). Median EDCT was 184 minutes (IQR = 97,311 minutes) at Hospital A, compared to 120 minutes (IQR = 63,208 minutes) at Hospital B, for a combined median EDCT of 153 minutes (IQR = 81,269 minutes). In the log-linear regression analysis, the EDCT for patients whose nurse was out-of-ratio were 34% (95% CI = 30% to 38%, p < 0.001) longer at Hospital A and 42% (95% CI = 37% to 48%, p < 0.001) longer at Hospital B (combined 37% [95% CI = 34% to 41%, p < 0.001] longer at both sites) when compared to patients whose nurse was in-ratio. Conclusions:, In these two EDs, throughput measures of WT and EDCT were shorter when the ED nurse staffing were within state-mandated levels, after controlling for ED census and patient acuity. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:545,552 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    An Epidemiologic Study of Closed Emergency Department Malpractice Claims in a National Database of Physician Malpractice Insurers

    Terrence W. Brown MD
    Abstract Objectives:, The objective was to perform an epidemiologic study of emergency department (ED) medical malpractice claims using data maintained by the Physician Insurers Association of America (PIAA), a trade association whose participating malpractice insurance carriers collectively insure over 60% of practicing physicians in the United States. Methods:, All closed malpractice claims in the PIAA database between 1985 and 2007, where an event in an ED was alleged to have caused injury to a patient 18 years of age or older, were retrospectively reviewed. Study outcomes were the frequency of claims and average indemnity payments associated with specific errors identified by the malpractice insurer, as well as associated health conditions, primary specialty groups, and injury severity. Indemnity payments include money paid to claimants as a result of settlement or court adjudication, and this financial obligation to compensate a claimant constitutes the insured's financial liability. These payments do not include the expenses associated with resolving a claim, such as attorneys' fees. The study examined claims by adjudicatory outcome, associated financial liability, and expenses of litigation. Adjudicatory outcome refers to the legal disposition of a claim as it makes its way into and through the court system and includes resolution of claims by formal verdict as well as by settlement. The study also investigated how the number of claims, average indemnity payments, paid-to-close ratios (the percentage of closed claims that resolved with a payment to the plaintiff), and litigation expenses have trended over the 23-year study period. Results:, The authors identified 11,529 claims arising from an event originating in an ED, representing over $664 million in total liability over the 23-year study period. Emergency physicians (EPs) were the primary defendants in 19% of ED claims. The largest sources of error, as identified by the individual malpractice insurer, included errors in diagnosis (37%), followed by improper performance of a procedure (17%). In 18% of claims, no error could be identified by the insurer. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI; 5%), fractures (6%), and appendicitis (2%) were the health conditions associated with the highest number of claims. Over two-thirds of claims (70%) closed without payment to the claimant. Most claims that paid out did so through settlement (29%). Only 7% of claims were resolved by verdict, and 85% of those were in favor of the clinician. Over time, the average indemnity payments and expenses of litigation, adjusted for inflation, more than doubled, while both the total number of claims and number of paid claims decreased. Conclusions:, Emergency physicians were the primary defendants in a relatively small proportion of ED claims. The disease processes associated with the highest numbers of claims included AMI, appendicitis, and fractures. The largest share of overall indemnity was attributed to errors in the diagnostic process. The financial liability of medical malpractice in the ED is substantial, yet the vast majority of claims resolve in favor of the clinician. Efforts to mitigate risk in the ED should include the diverse clinical specialties who work in this complex environment, with attention to those health conditions and potential errors with the highest risk. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:553,560 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Emergency Department Staff Satisfaction With Rapid Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing

    Aparajita Sohoni MD
    Abstract Objectives:, The authors sought to determine staff satisfaction with an emergency department (ED) rapid human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing program. Methods:, A survey was conducted in an urban ED that has provided rapid HIV testing (routine screening and physician-initiated testing) since August 2007. From May 1, 2008, to August 31, 2008, the survey was administered to all ED staff involved with HIV testing. The primary outcome was satisfaction, and secondary outcomes were the staff attitudes toward the program. Results:, Surveys were administered to 215 of the 217 staff members, and 207 surveys were returned (96% response rate); 201 surveys had complete data available for analysis. The response rate by staffing type was as follows: physicians 64/64 (100%), nurses 124/134 (93%), and registration staff 16/19 (84%). The majority of ED staff (99%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 95% to 100%) were satisfied with the HIV testing program. Physicians, however, rated the program more favorably than nurses or registration staff. Most staff members agreed that HIV testing improved overall care (93%; 95% CI = 89% to 96%) and felt that HIV testing did not interfere with their ability to provide care (82%; 95% CI = 76% to 87%). The majority of staff perceived that patients were satisfied with the procedures for obtaining consent (73%; 95% CI = 67% to 79%) and with the way HIV testing was performed (83%; 95% CI = 77% to 87%). Conclusions:, Emergency department staff satisfaction and overall attitudes with the HIV testing program is high. ED staff does not appear to be a barrier to program implementation. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:561,565 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Injuries Related to Snow Blowers in the United States: 2002 Through 2008

    Bart Hammig PhD
    Abstract Objectives:, The objective was to examine injuries related to the use of a snow blower among patients treated in an emergency department (ED). Methods:, Data were obtained from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) for the years 2002,2008. National estimates of ED visits for injuries associated with the use of a snow blower were obtained, and descriptive epidemiologic characteristics assessed. Results:, From 2002 through 2008, there were an estimated 32,307 ED visits for injuries related to the use of a snow blower in the United States. Older adults had a higher proportion of ED visits for such injuries than younger age groups. The majority of injuries involved injuries to the hand, with 42% of cases diagnosed with fractures and 20% resulting in amputations. Conclusions:, Findings indicate that injuries from snow blowers remain a public health problem. Efforts to reduce injury incidence are discussed in accordance with inherent challenges of prevention of injuries associated with these products. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:566,569 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Tissue Oxygenation Does Not Predict Central Venous Oxygenation in Emergency Department Patients With Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock

    Anthony M. Napoli MD
    Abstract Objectives:, This study sought to determine whether tissue oxygenation (StO2) could be used as a surrogate for central venous oxygenation (ScVO2) in early goal-directed therapy (EGDT). Methods:, The study enrolled a prospective convenience sample of patients aged ,18 years with sepsis and systolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg after 2 L of normal saline or lactate >4 mmol, who received a continuous central venous oximetry catheter. StO2 and ScVO2 were measured at 15-minute intervals. Data were analyzed using a random coefficients model, correlations, and Bland-Altman plots. Results:, There were 284 measurements in 40 patients. While a statistically significant relationship existed between StO2 and ScVO2 (F(1,37) = 10.23, p = 0.002), StO2 appears to systematically overestimate at lower ScVO2 and underestimate at higher ScVO2. This was reflected in the fixed effect slope of 0.49 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.266 to 0.720) and intercept of 34 (95% CI = 14.681 to 50.830), which were significantly different from 1 and 0, respectively. The initial point correlation (r = 0.5) was fair, but there was poor overall agreement (bias = 4.3, limits of agreement = ,20.8 to 29.4). Conclusions:, Correlation between StO2 and ScVO2 was fair. The two measures trend in the same direction, but clinical use of StO2 in lieu of ScVO2 is unsubstantiated due to large and systematic biases. However, these biases may reflect real physiologic states. Further research may investigate if these measures could be used in concert as prognostic indicators. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:349,352 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Complement Activation in Emergency Department Patients With Severe Sepsis

    John G. Younger
    Abstract Objectives:, This study assessed the extent and mechanism of complement activation in community-acquired sepsis at presentation to the emergency department (ED) and following 24 hours of quantitative resuscitation. Methods:, A prospective pilot study of patients with severe sepsis and healthy controls was conducted among individuals presenting to a tertiary care ED. Resuscitation, including antibiotics and therapies to normalize central venous and mean arterial pressure (MAP) and central venous oxygenation, was performed on all patients. Serum levels of Factor Bb (alternative pathway), C4d (classical and mannose-binding lectin [MBL] pathway), C3, C3a, and C5a were determined at presentation and 24 hours later among patients. Results:, Twenty patients and 10 healthy volunteer controls were enrolled. Compared to volunteers, all proteins measured were abnormally higher among septic patients (C4d 3.5-fold; Factor Bb 6.1-fold; C3 0.8-fold; C3a 11.6-fold; C5a 1.8-fold). Elevations in C5a were most strongly correlated with alternative pathway activation. Surprisingly, a slight but significant inverse relationship between illness severity (by sequential organ failure assessment [SOFA] score) and C5a levels at presentation was noted. Twenty-four hours of structured resuscitation did not, on average, affect any of the mediators studied. Conclusions:, Patients with community-acquired sepsis have extensive complement activation, particularly of the alternative pathway, at the time of presentation that was not significantly reversed by 24 hours of aggressive resuscitation. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE,2010; 17:353,359 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Surface Cooling for Rapid Induction of Mild Hypothermia After Cardiac Arrest: Design Determines Efficacy

    Thomas Uray MD
    Abstract Objectives:, Recently, a novel cooling pad was developed for rapid induction of mild hypothermia after cardiac arrest. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cooling efficacy of three different pad designs for in-hospital cooling. Methods:, Included in this prospective interventional study were patients with esophageal temperature (Tes) > 34°C on admission. The cooling pad consists of multiple cooling units, filled with a combination of graphite and water, which is precooled to ,18°C (design A) or to ,9°C (designs B and C) before use. The designs of the cooling pad differed in number, shape, and thickness of the cooling units, with weights of 9.7 kg (design A), 5.3 kg (design B), and 6.2 kg (design C). All three designs were tested in sequential order and were changed according to the results found in the previous trial. Cooling was started after admission until Tes = 34°C, when the cooling pad was removed. The target temperature of Tes = 32,34°C was maintained for 24 hours. Data are presented as medians and interquartile ranges (IQRs = 25%,75%) or proportions. Results:, Cooling rates were 3.4°C/hour (IQR = 2.5,3.7) with design A (n = 12), 2.8°C/hour (IQR = 1.6,3.3) with design B (n = 7), and 2.9°C/hour (IQR = 1.9,3.6) with design C (n = 10; p = 0.5). To reach 34°C, the cooling pad had to be exchanged with a new one due to melting and therefore depleting cooling capacity in three patients with design A, in five patients with design B, and in no patient with design C (p = 0.004). Conclusions:, With adequate design and storage temperature, the cooling pad proved to be efficient for rapid in-hospital cooling of patients resuscitated from cardiac arrest. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:360,367 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Prospective Validation of a Modified Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction Risk Score in Emergency Department Patients With Chest Pain and Possible Acute Coronary Syndrome

    Erik P. Hess MD
    Abstract Objectives:, This study attempted to prospectively validate a modified Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) risk score that classifies patients with either ST-segment deviation or cardiac troponin elevation as high risk. The objectives were to determine the ability of the modified score to risk-stratify emergency department (ED) patients with chest pain and to identify patients safe for early discharge. Methods:, This was a prospective cohort study in an urban academic ED over a 9-month period. Patients over 24 years of age with a primary complaint of chest pain were enrolled. On-duty physicians completed standardized data collection forms prior to diagnostic testing. Cardiac troponin T-values of >99th percentile (,0.01 ng/mL) were considered elevated. The primary outcome was acute myocardial infarction (AMI), revascularization, or death within 30 days. The overall diagnostic accuracy of the risk scores was compared by generating receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and comparing the area under the curve. The performance of the risk scores at potential decision thresholds was assessed by calculating the sensitivity and specificity at each potential cut-point. Results:, The study enrolled 1,017 patients with the following characteristics: mean (±SD) age 59.3 (±13.8) years, 60.6% male, 17.9% with a history of diabetes, and 22.4% with a history of myocardial infarction. A total of 117 (11.5%) experienced a cardiac event within 30 days (6.6% AMI, 8.9% revascularization, 0.2% death of cardiac or unknown cause). The modified TIMI risk score outperformed the original with regard to overall diagnostic accuracy (area under the ROC curve = 0.83 vs. 0.79; p = 0.030; absolute difference 0.037; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.004 to 0.071). The specificity of the modified score was lower at all cut-points of >0. Sensitivity and specificity at potential decision thresholds were: >0 = sensitivity 96.6%, specificity 23.7%; >1 = sensitivity 91.5%, specificity 54.2%; and >2 = sensitivity 80.3%, specificity 73.4%. The lowest cut-point (TIMI/modified TIMI >0) was the only cut-point to predict cardiac events with sufficient sensitivity to consider early discharge. The sensitivity and specificity of the modified and original TIMI risk scores at this cut-point were identical. Conclusions:, The modified TIMI risk score outperformed the original with regard to overall diagnostic accuracy. However, it had lower specificity at all cut-points of >0, suggesting suboptimal risk stratification in high-risk patients. It also lacked sufficient sensitivity and specificity to safely guide patient disposition. Both scores are insufficiently sensitive and specific to recommend as the sole means of determining disposition in ED chest pain patients. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE,2010; 17:368,375 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Prospective Multicenter Study of Bronchiolitis: Predictors of an Unscheduled Visit After Discharge From the Emergency Department

    Agatha Norwood MD
    Abstract Objectives:, There is little evidence about which children with bronchiolitis will have worsened disease after discharge from the emergency department (ED). The objective of this study was to determine predictors of post-ED unscheduled visits. Methods:, The authors conducted a prospective cohort study of patients discharged from 2004 to 2006 at 30 EDs in 15 U.S. states. Inclusion criteria were diagnosis of bronchiolitis, age <2 years, and discharge home; the exclusion criterion was previous enrollment. Unscheduled visits were defined as urgent visits to an ED/clinic for worsened bronchiolitis within 2 weeks. Results:, Of 722 patients eligible for the current analysis, 717 (99%) had unscheduled visit data, of whom 121 (17%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 14% to 20%) had unscheduled visits. Unscheduled visits were more likely for children age <2 months (11% vs. 6%; p = 0.04), males (70% vs. 57%; p = 0.007), and those with history of hospitalization (27% vs. 18%; p = 0.01). The two groups were similar in other demographic and clinical factors (all p > 0.10). Using multivariable logistic regression, independent predictors of unscheduled visits were age <2 months, male, and history of hospitalization. Conclusions:, In this study of children age younger than 2 years with bronchiolitis, one of six children had unscheduled visits within 2 weeks of ED discharge. The three predictors of unscheduled visits were age under 2 months, male sex, and previous hospitalization. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:376,382 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Disease Progression in Hemodynamically Stable Patients Presenting to the Emergency Department With Sepsis

    Seth W. Glickman MD
    Abstract Background:, Aggressive diagnosis and treatment of patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with septic shock has been shown to reduce mortality. To enhance the ability to intervene in patients with lesser illness severity, a better understanding of the natural history of the early progression from simple infection to more severe illness is needed. Objectives:, The objectives were to 1) describe the clinical presentation of ED sepsis, including types of infection and causative microorganisms, and 2) determine the incidence, patient characteristics, and mortality associated with early progression to septic shock among ED patients with infection. Methods:, This was a multicenter study of adult ED patients with sepsis but no evidence of shock. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify patient factors for early progression to shock and its association with 30-day mortality. Results:, Of 472 patients not in shock at ED presentation (systolic blood pressure > 90 mm Hg and lactate < 4 mmol/L), 84 (17.8%) progressed to shock within 72 hours. Independent factors associated with early progression to shock included older age, female sex, hyperthermia, anemia, comorbid lung disease, and vascular access device infection. Early progression to shock (vs. no progression) was associated with higher 30-day mortality (13.1% vs. 3.1%, odds ratio [OR] = 4.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.01 to 11.1; p , 0.001). Among 379 patients with uncomplicated sepsis (i.e., no evidence of shock or any end-organ dysfunction), 86 (22.7%) progressed to severe sepsis or shock within 72 hours of hospital admission. Conclusions:, A significant portion of ED patients with less severe sepsis progress to severe sepsis or shock within 72 hours. Additional diagnostic approaches are needed to risk stratify and more effectively treat ED patients with sepsis. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:383,390 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Out-of-hospital Cardiac Arrest in Denver, Colorado: Epidemiology and Outcomes

    Jason S. Haukoos MD
    Abstract Objectives:, The annual incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OOHCA) in the United States is approximately 6 per 10,000 population and survival remains low. Relatively little is known about the performance characteristics of a two-tiered emergency medical services (EMS) system split between fire-based basic life support (BLS) dispersed from fixed locations and hospital-based advanced life support (ALS) dispersed from nonfixed locations. The objectives of this study were to describe the incidence of OOHCA in Denver, Colorado, and to define the prevalence of survival with good neurologic function in the context of this particular EMS system. Methods:, This was a retrospective cohort study using standardized abstraction methodology. A two-tiered hospital-based EMS system for the County of Denver and 10 receiving hospitals were studied. Consecutive adult patients who experienced nontraumatic OOHCA from January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2004, were enrolled. Demographic, prehospital arrest characteristics, treatment data, and survival data using the Utstein template were collected. Good neurologic survival was defined by a Cerebral Performance Categories (CPC) score of 1 or 2. Results:, During the study period, 1,985 arrests occurred. Of these, 715 (36%) had attempted resuscitation by paramedics and constitute our study sample. The median age was 65 years (interquartile range = 52,78 years), 69% were male, 41% had witnessed arrest, 25% had bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performed, and 30% had ventricular fibrillation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT) as their initial rhythm. Of the 715 patients, 545 (76%) were transported to a hospital, 223 (31%) had return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), 175 (25%) survived to hospital admission, 58 (8%) survived to hospital discharge, and 42 (6%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4% to 8%) had a good neurologic outcome. Conclusions:, Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival in Denver, Colorado, is similar to that of other United States communities. This finding provides the basis for future epidemiologic and health services research in the out-of-hospital and ED settings in our community. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE,2010; 17:391,398 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Adult Emergency Department Patients with Sickle Cell Pain Crisis: A Learning Collaborative Model to Improve Analgesic Management

    Paula Tanabe PhD
    Abstract Objectives:, The objectives were to report the baseline (prior to quality improvement interventions) patient and visit characteristics and analgesic management practices for each site participating in an emergency department (ED) sickle cell learning collaborative. Methods:, A prospective, multisite longitudinal cohort study in the context of a learning-collaborative model was performed in three midwestern EDs. Each site formed a multidisciplinary team charged with improving analgesic management for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Each team developed a nurse-initiated analgesic protocol for SCD patients (implemented after a baseline data collection period of 3.5 months at one site and 10 months at the other two sites). All sites prospectively enrolled adults with an acute pain crisis and SCD. All medical records for patients meeting study criteria were reviewed. Demographic, health services, and analgesic management data were abstracted, including ED visit frequency data, ED disposition, arrival and discharge pain score, and name and route of initial analgesic administered. Ten interviews per quarter per site were conducted with patients within 14 days of their ED discharge, and subjects were queried about the highest level of pain acceptable at discharge. The primary outcome variable was the time to initial analgesic administration. Variable data were described as means and standard deviations (SDs) or medians and interquartile ranges (IQR) for nonnormal data. Results:, A total of 155 patients met study criteria (median age = 32 years, IQR = 24,40 years) with a total of 701 ED visits. Eighty-six interviews were conducted. Most patients (71.6%) had between one and three visits to the ED during the study period. However, after removing Site 3 from the analysis because of the short data enrollment period (3.5 months), which influenced the mean number of visits for the entire cohort, 52% of patients had between one and three ED visits over 10 months, 21% had four to nine visits, and 27% had between 10 and 67 visits. Fifty-nine percent of patients were discharged home. The median time to initial analgesic for the cohort was 74 minutes (IQR = 48,135 minutes). Differences between choice of analgesic agent and route selected were evident between sites. For the cohort, 680 initial analgesic doses were given (morphine sulfate, 42%; hydromorphone, 46%; meperidine, 4%; morphine sulfate and ibuprofen or ketorolac, 7%) using the following routes: oral (2%), intravenous (67%), subcutaneous (3%), and intramuscular (28%). Patients reported a significantly lower targeted discharge pain score (mean ± SD = 4.19 ± 1.18) compared to the actual documented discharge pain score within 45 minutes of discharge (mean ± SD = 5.77 ± 2.45; mean difference = 1.58, 95% confidence interval = .723 to 2.44, n = 43). Conclusions:, While half of the patients had one to three ED visits during the study period, many patients had more frequent visits. Delays to receiving an initial analgesic were common, and post-ED interviews reveal that sickle cell pain patients are discharged from the ED with higher pain scores than what they perceive as desirable. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:399,407 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Thirty-day Outcomes of Emergency Department Patients Undergoing Electrical Cardioversion for Atrial Fibrillation or Flutter

    Frank Xavier Scheuermeyer MD
    Abstract Objectives:, While the short-term (<7-day) safety and efficiency of electrical cardioversion for emergency department (ED) patients with atrial fibrillation or flutter have been established, the 30-day outcomes with respect to stroke, thromboembolic events, or death have not been investigated. Methods:, A two-center cohort of consecutive ED patients undergoing cardioversion for atrial fibrillation or flutter between January 1, 2000, and September 30, 2007, was retrospectively investigated. This cohort was probabilistically linked with both a regional ED database and the provincial health registry to determine which patients had a subsequent ED visit or hospital admission, stroke, or thromboembolic event or died within 30 days. In addition, trained reviewers performed a detailed chart abstraction on 150 randomly selected patients, with emphasis on demographics, vital signs, medical treatment, and predefined adverse events. Hemodynamically unstable patients or those whose condition was the result of an underlying acute medical diagnosis were excluded. Data were analyzed by descriptive methods. Results:, During the study period, 1,233 patients made 1,820 visits for atrial fibrillation or flutter to the ED. Of the 400 eligible patients undergoing direct-current cardioversion (DCCV), no patients died, had a stroke, or had a thromboembolic event in the following 30 days (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.0 to 0.8% for all outcomes). A total of 141 patients were included in the formal chart review, with five patients (3.5%, 95% CI = 0.5% to 6.6%) failing cardioversion, six patients (4.3%, 95% CI = 0.9% to 7.6%) having a minor adverse event that did not change disposition, and five patients (3.5%, 95% CI = 0.5% to 6.6%) admitted to hospital at the index visit. Conclusions:, Cardioversion of patients with atrial fibrillation or flutter in the ED appears to have a very low rate of long-term complications. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:408,415 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    A Descriptive Comparison of Ultrasound-guided Central Venous Cannulation of the Internal Jugular Vein to Landmark-based Subclavian Vein Cannulation

    Daniel Theodoro MD
    Abstract Objectives:, The safest site for central venous cannulation (CVC) remains debated. Many emergency physicians (EPs) advocate the ultrasound-guided internal jugular (USIJ) approach because of data supporting its efficiency. However, a number of physicians prefer, and are most comfortable with, the subclavian (SC) vein approach. The purpose of this study was to describe adverse event rates among operators using the USIJ approach, and the landmark SC vein approach without US. Methods:, This was a prospective observational trial of patients undergoing CVC of the SC or internal jugular veins in the emergency department (ED). Physicians performing the procedures did not undergo standardized training in either technique. The primary outcome was a composite of adverse events defined as hematoma, arterial cannulation, pneumothorax, and failure to cannulate. Physicians recorded the anatomical site of cannulation, US assistance, indications, and acute complications. Variables of interest were collected from the pharmacy and ED record. Physician experience was based on a self-reported survey. The authors followed outcomes of central line insertion until device removal or patient discharge. Results:, Physicians attempted 236 USIJ and 132 SC cannulations on 333 patients. The overall adverse event rate was 22% with failure to cannulate being the most common. Adverse events occurred in 19% of USIJ attempts, compared to 29% of non,US-guided SC attempts. Among highly experienced operators, CVCs placed at the SC site resulted in more adverse events than those performed using USIJ (relative risk [RR] = 1.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.05 to 3.39). Conclusions:, While limited by observational design, our results suggest that the USIJ technique may result in fewer adverse events compared to the landmark SC approach. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:416,422 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Prevalence of Herniation and Intracranial Shift on Cranial Tomography in Patients With Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and a Normal Neurologic Examination

    Larry J. Baraff MD
    Abstract Objectives:, Patients frequently present to the emergency department (ED) with headache. Those with sudden severe headache are often evaluated for spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) with noncontrast cranial computed tomography (CT) followed by lumbar puncture (LP). The authors postulated that in patients without neurologic symptoms or signs, physicians could forgo noncontrast cranial CT and proceed directly to LP. The authors sought to define the safety of this option by having senior neuroradiologists rereview all cranial CTs in a group of such patients for evidence of brain herniation or midline shift. Methods:, This was a retrospective study that included all patients with a normal neurologic examination and nontraumatic SAH diagnosed by CT presenting to a tertiary care medical center from August 1, 2001, to December 31, 2004. Two neuroradiologists, blinded to clinical information and outcomes, rereviewed the initial ED head CT for evidence of herniation or midline shift. Results:, Of the 172 patients who presented to the ED with spontaneous SAH diagnoses by cranial CT, 78 had normal neurologic examinations. Of these, 73 had initial ED CTs available for review. Four of the 73 (5%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2% to 13%) had evidence of brain herniation or midline shift, including three (4%; 95% CI = 1% to 12%) with herniation. In only one of these patients was herniation or shift noted on the initial radiology report. Conclusions:, Awake and alert patients with a normal neurologic examination and SAH may have brain herniation and/or midline shift. Therefore, cranial CT should be obtained before LP in all patients with suspected SAH. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:423,428 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Cardiovascular and Metabolic Effects of High-dose Insulin in a Porcine Septic Shock Model

    Joel S. Holger MD
    Abstract Objectives:, High-dose insulin (HDI) has inotropic and vasodilatory properties in various clinical conditions associated with myocardial depression. The authors hypothesized that HDI will improve the myocardial depression produced by severe septic shock and have beneficial effects on metabolic parameters. In an animal model of severe septic shock, this study compared the effects of HDI treatment to normal saline (NS) resuscitation alone. Methods:, Ten pigs were randomized to an insulin (HDI) or NS group. All were anesthetized and instrumented to monitor cardiovascular function. In both arms, Escherichia coli endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and NS infusions were begun. LPS was titrated to 20 ,g/kg/hour over 30 minutes and continued for 5 hours, and saline was infused at 20 mL/kg/hour throughout the protocol. Dextrose (50%) was infused to maintain glucose in the 60,150 mg/dL range, and potassium was infused to maintain a level greater than 2.8 mmol/L. At 60 minutes, the HDI group received an insulin infusion titrated from 2 to 10 units/kg/hour over 40 minutes and continued at that rate throughout the protocol. Survival, heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP), pulmonary artery and central venous pressure, cardiac output, central venous oxygen saturation (SVO2), and lactate were monitored for 5 hours (three pigs each arm) or 7 hours (two pigs each arm) or until death. Cardiac index, systemic vascular resistance (SVR), pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR), O2 delivery, and O2 consumption were derived from measured data. Outcomes from the repeated-measures analysis were modeled using a mixed-effects linear model that assumed normally distributed errors and a random effect at the subject level. Results:, No significant baseline differences existed between arms at time 0 or 60 minutes. Survival was 100% in the HDI arm and 60% in the NS arm. Cardiovascular variables were significantly better in the HDI arm: cardiac index (p < 0.001), SVR (p < 0.003), and PVR (p < 0.01). The metabolic parameters were also significantly better in the HDI arm: SVO2 (p < 0.01), O2 delivery (p < 0.001), and O2 consumption (p < 0.001). No differences in MAP, HR, or lactate were found. Conclusions:, In this animal model of endotoxemic-induced septic shock that results in severe myocardial depression, HDI is associated with improved cardiac function compared to NS resuscitation alone. HDI also demonstrated favorable metabolic, pulmonary, and peripheral vascular effects. Further studies may define a potential role for the use of HDI in the resuscitation of septic shock. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:429,435 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Effect of an Electronic Control Device Exposure on a Methamphetamine-intoxicated Animal Model

    Donald M. Dawes MD
    Abstract Objectives:, Because of the prevalence of methamphetamine abuse worldwide, it is not uncommon for subjects in law enforcement encounters to be methamphetamine-intoxicated. Methamphetamine has been present in arrest-related death cases in which an electronic control device (ECD) was used. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the cardiac effects of an ECD in a methamphetamine intoxication model. Methods:, Sixteen anesthetized Dorset sheep (26,78 kg) received 0.0 mg/kg (control animals, n = 4), 0.5 mg/kg (n = 4), 1.0 mg/kg (n = 4), or 1.5 mg/kg (n = 4) of methamphetamine hydrochloride as a slow intravenous (IV) bolus during continuous cardiac monitoring. The animals received the following exposures in sequence from a TASER X26 ECD beginning at 30 minutes after the administration of the drug: 1) 5-second continuous exposure, 2) 15-second intermittent exposure, 3) 30-second intermittent exposure, and 4) 40-second intermittent exposure. Darts were inserted at the sternal notch and the cardiac apex, to a depth of 9 mm. Cardiac motion was determined by thoracotomy (smaller animals, , 32 kg) or echocardiography (larger animals, > 68 kg). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square tests. Results:, Animals given methamphetamine demonstrated signs of methamphetamine toxicity with tachycardia, hypertension, and atrial and ventricular ectopy in the 30-minute period immediately after administration of the drug. Smaller animals (n = 8, , 32 kg, mean = 29.4 kg) had supraventricular dysrhythmias immediately after the ECD exposures. Larger animals (n = 8, > 68 kg, mean = 72.4) had only sinus tachycardia after the exposures. One of the smaller animals had frequent episodes of ventricular ectopy after two exposures, including runs of delayed onset, nonsustained six- to eight-beat unifocal and multifocal ventricular tachycardia that spontaneously resolved. This animal had significant ectopy prior to the exposures as well. Thoracotomy performed on three smaller animals demonstrated cardiac capture during ECD exposure consistent with previous animal studies. In the larger animals, none of the methamphetamine-intoxicated animals demonstrated cardiac capture. Two control sheep showed evidence of capture similar to the smaller animals. No ventricular fibrillation occurred after the exposure in any animal. Conclusions:, In smaller animals (32 kg or less), ECD exposure exacerbated atrial and ventricular irritability induced by methamphetamine intoxication, but this effect was not seen in larger, adult-sized animals. There were no episodes of ventricular fibrillation after exposure associated with ECD exposure in methamphetamine-intoxicated sheep. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:436,443 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    Can Computed Tomography Angiography of the Brain Replace Lumbar Puncture in the Evaluation of Acute-onset Headache After a Negative Noncontrast Cranial Computed Tomography Scan?

    Robert F. McCormack MD
    Abstract Objectives:, The primary goal of evaluation for acute-onset headache is to exclude aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Noncontrast cranial computed tomography (CT), followed by lumbar puncture (LP) if the CT is negative, is the current standard of care. Computed tomography angiography (CTA) of the brain has become more available and more sensitive for the detection of cerebral aneurysms. This study addresses the role of CT/CTA versus CT/LP in the diagnostic workup of acute-onset headache. Methods:, This article reviews the recent literature for the prevalence of SAH in emergency department (ED) headache patients, the sensitivity of CT for diagnosing acute SAH, and the sensitivity and specificity of CTA for cerebral aneurysms. An equivalence study comparing CT/LP and CT/CTA would require 3,000 + subjects. As an alternative, the authors constructed a mathematical probability model to determine the posttest probability of excluding aneurysmal or arterial venous malformation (AVM) SAH with a CT/CTA strategy. Results:, SAH prevalence in ED headache patients was conservatively estimated at 15%. Representative studies reported CT sensitivity for SAH to be 91% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 82% to 97%) and sensitivity of CTA for aneurysm to be 97.9% (95% CI = 88.9% to 99.9%). Based on these data, the posttest probability of excluding aneurysmal SAH after a negative CT/CTA was 99.43% (95% CI = 98.86% to 99.81%). Conclusions:, CT followed by CTA can exclude SAH with a greater than 99% posttest probability. In ED patients complaining of acute-onset headache without significant SAH risk factors, CT/CTA may offer a less invasive and more specific diagnostic paradigm. If one chooses to offer LP after CT/CTA, informed consent for LP should put the pretest risk of a missed aneurysmal SAH at less than 1%. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:444,451 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    The Use of Impedance Cardiography in Predicting Mortality in Emergency Department Patients With Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock

    Anthony M. Napoli MD
    Abstract Objectives:, Pulmonary artery catheterization poses significant risks and requires specialized training. Technological advances allow for more readily available, noninvasive clinical measurements of hemodynamics. Few studies exist that assess the efficacy of noninvasive hemodynamic monitoring in sepsis patients. The authors hypothesized that cardiac index, as measured noninvasively by impedance cardiography (ICG) in emergency department (ED) patients undergoing early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) for sepsis, would be associated with in-hospital mortality. Methods:, This was a prospective observational cohort study of patients age over 18 years meeting criteria for EGDT (lactate > 4 or systolic blood pressure < 90 after 2 L of normal saline). Initial measurements of cardiac index were obtained by ICG. Patients were followed throughout their hospital course until discharge or in-hospital death. Cardiac index measures in survivors and nonsurvivors are presented as means and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Diagnostic performance of ICG in predicting mortality was tested by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and areas under the ROC curves (AUC) were compared using Wilcoxon test. Results:, Fifty-six patients were enrolled; one was excluded due to an inability to complete data acquisition. The mean cardiac index in nonsurvivors (2.3 L/min·m2, 95% CI = 1.6 to 3.0) was less than that for survivors (3.2, 95% CI = 2.9 to 3.5) with mean difference of 0.9 (95% CI = 0.12 to 1.71). The AUC for ICG in predicting mortality was 0.71 (95% CI = 0.58 to 0.88; p = 0.004). A cardiac index of < 2 L/min·m2 had a sensitivity of 43% (95% CI = 18% to 71%), specificity of 93% (95% CI = 80% to 95%), positive likelihood ratio of 5.9, and negative likelihood ratio of 0.6 for predicting in-hospital mortality. Conclusions:, Early, noninvasive measurement of the cardiac index in critically ill severe sepsis and septic shock patients can be performed in the ED for those who meet criteria for EGDT. There appears to be an association between an initial lower cardiac index as measured noninvasively and in-hospital mortality. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:452,455 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    The Association Between Hypothermia, Prehospital Cooling, and Mortality in Burn Victims

    Adam J. Singer MD
    Abstract Objectives:, Hypothermia is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in trauma victims. The prognostic value of hypothermia on emergency department (ED) presentation in burn victims is not well known. The objective of this study was to determine the incidence of hypothermia in burn victims and its association with mortality and hospital length of stay (LOS). The study also examined the potential causative role of prehospital cooling in hypothermic burn patients. Methods:, This was a retrospective review of a county trauma registry. The county was both suburban and rural, with a population of 1.5 million and with one burn center. Burn patients between 1994 and 2007 who met trauma registry criteria were included. Demographic and clinical data including prehospital cooling, burn size and depth, and presence of inhalation injury were collected. Hypothermia was defined as a core body temperature of less than or equal to 35°C. Data analysis consisted of univariate associations between patient characteristics and hypothermia. Results:, There were 1,215 burn patients from 1994 to 2007. Mean age (±standard deviation [±SD]) was 29 (±24) years, 67% were male, 248 (26.7%) had full-thickness burns, and 24 (2.6%) had inhalation injury. Only 17 (1.8%) had a burn larger than 70% total body surface area (TBSA). A total of 929 (76%) patients had an initial ED temperature recorded. Only 15/929 (1.6%) burn patients had hypothermia on arrival, and all were mild (lowest temperature was 32.6°C). There was no association between sex, year, and presence of inhalation injury with hypothermia. Hypothermic patients were older (44 years vs. 29 years, p = 0.01), and median Injury Severity Score (ISS) was higher (25 vs. 4, p = 0.002) than for nonhypothermic patients. Hypothermia was present in 6/17 (35%) patients with a TBSA of 70% or greater and in 8/869 (0.9%) patients with a TBSA of <70% (p < 0.001). Mortality was higher in hypothermic patients (60% vs. 3%, p < 0.001). None of the hypothermic patients received prehospital cooling. Conclusions:, Hypothermia on presentation to the ED was noted in 1.6% of all burn victims in this trauma registry. Hypothermia was more common in very large burns and was associated with high mortality. In this series, prehospital cooling did not appear to contribute to hypothermia. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:456,459 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]

    The Usefulness of Design of Experimentation in Defining the Effect Difficult Airway Factors and Training Have on Simulator Oral,Tracheal Intubation Success Rates in Novice Intubators

    Frank Thomas MD
    Abstract Objectives:, This exploratory study examined novice intubators and the effect difficult airway factors have on pre- and posttraining oral,tracheal simulation intubation success rates. Methods:, Using a two-level, full-factorial design of experimentation (DOE) involving a combination of six airway factors (curved vs. straight laryngoscope blade, trismus, tongue edema, laryngeal spasm, pharyngeal obstruction, or cervical immobilization), 64 airway scenarios were prospectively randomized to 12 critical care nurses to evaluate pre- and posttraining first-pass intubation success rates on a simulator. Scenario variables and intubation outcomes were analyzed using a generalized linear mixed-effects model to determine two-way main and interactive effects. Results:, Interactive effects between the six study factors were nonsignificant (p = 0.69). For both pre- and posttraining, main effects showed the straight blade (p = 0.006), tongue edema (p = 0.0001), and laryngeal spasm (p = 0.004) significantly reduced success rates, while trismus (p = 0.358), pharyngeal obstruction (p = 0.078), and cervical immobilization did not significantly change the success rate. First-pass intubation success rate on the simulator significantly improved (p = 0.005) from pre- (19%) to posttraining (36%). Conclusions:, Design of experimentation is useful in analyzing the effect difficult airway factors and training have on simulator intubation success rates. Future quality improvement DOE simulator research studies should be performed to help clarify the relationship between simulator factors and patient intubation rates. ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:460,463 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine [source]