Best Case Ever 48 – Organic vs Psychiatric Illness

Sometimes what initially appears to be a psychiatric illness turns out to be an organic illness, and vise versa. In our assessment of the patient with altered behaviour, it is critical to drill down and dissect apart the type of hallucinations a patient might be displaying, whether the demented patient is simply suffering from worsening dementia or alternatively has acute delirium (which carries a high mortality rate), and whether their somatic complaints might be due to depression or a psychotic psychiatric illness. In anticipation of our upcoming episode on Medical Clearance of the Psychiatric Patient Dr. Brian Steinhart tells the story of his Best Case Ever, reminding us of some of the clinical clues that can help us in our approach to the patient with altered behaviour, so that we avoid misdiagnosing a psychiatric illness with an organic one, or even worse, an organic illness with a psychiatric one...

Episode 84 – Congenital Heart Disease Emergencies

Congenital Heart Disease Emergencies on EM cases with Gary Joubert and Ashley Strobel. You might be surprised to learn that the prevalence of critical cardiac disease in infants is almost as high as the prevalence of infant sepsis. And if you’re like me, you don’t feel quite as confident managing sick infants with critical heart disease as you do managing sepsis. Critical congenital heart defects are often missed in the ED. For a variety of reasons, there are currently more children with congenital heart disease presenting to the ED than ever before and these numbers will continue to grow in the future. When I was in medical school I vaguely remember learning the complex physiology and long lists of congenital heart diseases, which I’ve now all but forgotten. What we really need to know about congenital heart disease emergencies is what actions to take in the ED when we have a cyanotic or shocky baby in front of us in the resuscitation room. So with the goal of learning a practical approach to congenital heart disease emergencies using the child’s age, colour and few simple tests, Dr. Strobel and Dr. Joubert will discuss some key actions, pearls and pitfalls so that the next time you’re faced with that crashing baby in the resuscitation room, you’ll know exactly what to do.

Journal Jam 7 – Amiodarone vs Lidocaine vs Placebo in Cardiac Arrest: The ALPS Trial

Journal Jam 7 - Amiodarone vs Lidocaine vs Placebo in Cardiac Arrest: The ALPS Trial. In our most popular EM Cases episode to date - ACLS Guidelines Cardiac Arrest Controversies, we boldly stated, that there has never been an antiarrhythmic medication that has shown any long term survival benefit in cardiac arrest. The use of medications in cardiac arrest has been one of those things that we all do, but that we know the evidence isn’t great for. Yet Amiodarone is still in the newest AHA adult cardiac arrest algorithm for ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycarida – 300mg IV after the 3rd shock with the option to give it again at 150mg after that. Anti-arrhythmics have been shown in previous RCTs to increase the rate of return of spontaneous circulation and even increased survival to hospital admission, however none of them have been able to show a decrease in mortality or a favourable neurological outcome at hospital discharge. In other words, there has never been shown a long term survival or functional benefit - which is a bit disconcerting. But now, we have a recent large randomized, controlled trial that shines some new light on the role of anti-arrythmics in cardiac arrest - The ALPS trial: Amiodarone vs Lidocaine vs placebo in out of hospital cardiac arrest. In this Journal Jam podcast, Justin Morgenstern and Anton Helman interview two authors of the ALPS trial, Dr. Laurie Morrison a world-renowned researcher in cardiac arrest and Dr. Paul Dorian, a cardiac electrophysiologist and one of Canada's leading authorities on arrhythmias about what we should take away from the ALPS trial. It turns out, it's not so simple. We also discuss the value of dual shock therapy for shock resistant ventricular fibrillation and the future of cardiac arrest care.

Best Case Ever 47 – Cyanotic Infant

In anticipation of EM Cases' upcoming episode, Congenital Heart Disease Emergencies we have Dr. Gary Joubert a double certified Pediatric EM and Pediatric Cardiology expert telling his Best Case Ever of a four month old infant who presents with intermittent cyanosis. The Cyanotic Infant can present a significant challenge to the EM provider as the differential is wide, ranging from benign causes such as GERD to life threatening heart disease that may present atypically in a well-appearing child. Dr. Joubert gives us some simple sweet clinical pearls to help us along the way...

Episode 83 – 5 Critical Care Controversies from SMACC Dublin

EM Cases Episode 83 - 5 Critical Care Controversies from SMACC Dublin: I had the great opportunity to gather some of the brightest minds in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care from around the world (Mark Forrest from U.K., Chris Nickson from Australia, Chris Hicks from Canada and Scott Weingart from U.S.) at the SMACC Dublin Conference and ask them about 5 Critical Care Controversies and concepts: How to best prepare your team for a resuscitation Optimum fluid management in sepsis Direct vs. video laryngoscopy as first line tool for endotracheal intubation Early vs. late trauma intubation Whether or not to attempt a thoracotomy in non-trauma centres The discussion that ensued was enlightening...

Best Case Ever 46 – Chris Nickson on Hickam’s Dictum

EM Cases Best Case Ever - Chris Nickson on Hickam's Dictum. Usually we use the heuristic of Occam's razor to help us arrive at one diagnosis that makes sense of all the data points that a particular patient presents to us. However sometimes it's not so straight forward and we need to think about multiple diagnoses that explain a patient's condition - Hickam's Dictum. Dr. Chris Nickson, the brains behind the Life in the Fast Lane blog tells his Best Case Ever from the SMACC Conference in Dublin, in which a patient thrombolysed for massive pulmonary embolism suffers a cardiac arrest, and the thought process he went through to discover the surprising complicating diagnoses that ensue...