Round table in-depth discussions with 2 or more EM Cases guest experts, inherently peer reviewed, and edited for a podcast
This is Part 1 of EM Cases’ series on Diagnostic Decision Making with Walter Himmel, Chris Hicks and David Dushenski discussing the intersection of evidence-based medicine, cognitive bias and systems issues to effect our diagnostic decision making in Emergency Medicine. In this episode we first discuss 5 strategies to help you master evidence-based diagnostic decision making to minimize diagnostic error, avoid over-testing and improve patient care including:
1. The incorporation of patients’ values and clinical expertise into evidence-based decisions
2. Critically appraising diagnostic studies
3. Understanding that diagnostic tests are not perfect
4. Using the concept of test threshold to guide work-ups
5. Understanding that the predictive value of a test depends on the prevalence of disease
We then go on to review some of the factors that play into the clinician’s and patient’s risk tolerance in a given clinical encounter, how this plays into shared decision making and the need to adjust our risk tolerance in critical situations. Finally, we present some strategies to prevent over-testing while improving patient care, patient flow and ethical practice.
This EM Cases episode is Part 1 of The Highlights of The University of Toronto, Divisions of Emergency Medicine, Update in EM Conference from Whistler 2015 with Paul Hannam on Pearls and Pitfalls of Intraosseus Line Placement, Anil Chopra on who is at risk and how to prevent Contrast Induced Nephropathy, and Joel Yaphe on the Best of EM Literature from 2014, including reduction of TMJ dislocations, the TRISS trial (on transfusion threshold in sepsis), PEITHO study for thrombolysis in submassive PE, Co-trimoxazole and Sudden Death in Patients Receiving ACE inhibitors or ARBs, the effectiveness and safety of outpatient Tetracaine for corneal abraisons, chronic effects of shift work on cognition and much more…
In this EM Cases episode Dr. Melanie Baimel and Dr. Ed Etchells discuss a simple and practical step-wise approach to the emergency management of hyponatremia:
1. Assess and treat neurologic emergencies related to hyponatremia with hypertonic saline
2. Defend the intravascular volume
3. Prevent further exacerbation of hyponatremia
4. Prevent rapid overcorrection
5. Ascertain a cause
Dr. Etchells and Dr. Baimel answer questions such as: What are the indications for giving DDAVP in the emergency management of hyponatremia? What is a simple and practical approach to determining the cause of hyponatremia in the ED? How fast should we aim to correct hyponatremia? What is the best fluid for resuscitating the patient in shock who has a low serum sodium? Why is the management of the marathon runner with hyponatremia counter-intuitive? What strategies can we employ to minimize the risk of Osmotic Demyelination Syndrome (OSD) and cerebral edema in the emergency management of hyponatremia? and many more…
In response to Episode 59 with Dr. Sanjay Mehta and Dr. Dennis Scolnik on the emergency department diagnosis and management of Bronchiolitis, Dr. Amy Plint, one of Canada’s most prominent researchers in Bronchiolitis and the Chair of Pediatric Emergency Research Canada, tells her practical approach to choosing medications in the emergency department, the take home message from her landmark 2009 NEJM study on the use of nebulized epinephrine and dexamethasone for treating Bronchiolitis, and the future of Bronchiolitis research.
This EM Cases episode is on the diagnosis and management of Bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis is one of the most common diagnoses we make in both general and pediatric EDs, and like many pediatric illnesses, there’s a wide spectrum of severity of illness as well as a huge variation in practice in treating these children. Bronchiolitis rarely requires any work up yet a lot of resources are used unnecessarily. We need to know when to worry about these kids, as most of them will improve with simple interventions and can be discharged home, while a few will require complex care. Sometimes it’s difficult to predict which kids will do well and which kids won’t. Not only is it difficult to predict the course of illness in some of these children but the evidence for different treatment modalities for Bronchiolitis is all over the place, and I for one, find it very confusing. Then there’s the sphincter tightening really sick kid in severe respiratory distress who’s tiring with altered LOC. We need to be confident in managing these kids with severe disease.
So, with the help of Dr. Dennis Scolnik, the clinical fellowship program director at Toronto’s only pediatric emergency department and Dr. Sanjay Mehta, an amazing educator who you might remember from his fantastic work on our Pediatric Ortho episode, we’ll sort through how to assess the child with respiratory illness, how to predict which kids might run into trouble, and what the best evidence-based management of these kids is.
BONUS Mini podcast
Dr. Amy Plint, one of Canada’s most prominent researchers in Bronchiolitis, the lead author on the landmark 2009 NEJM Bronchiolitis trial looking at the value of nebulized epinephrine and dexamethasone in the management of Bronchiolitis, gives us her approach in choosing medications in the management of Bronchiolitis and the future of research in the controversial area.
In part 2 of our round-table discussion on EM Cases with sports medicine guru Dr. Ivy Cheng and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Hossein Mehdian we elucidate some key commonly missed uncommon orthopedic injuries that if mismanaged, carry significant long term morbidity. Injuries of the tendons and ligaments are often overlooked by emergency providers as relatively benign injuries and generally are not well understood.
Syndesmosis Injuries typically occur in impact sports. They are missed in about 20% of cases, as x-rays findings are often subtle or absent. The mechanism, physical exam findings, such as the Hopkin’s Test, and associated injuries are important to understand to help make the diagnosis and provide appropriate ED care.
Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture is almost exclusively a male injury and occurs in a younger age group compared to the Proximal Biceps Rupture. It is important to distinguish these injuries as their management and outcomes are different. The mechanism and physical exam findings of Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture, such as the Hook Test, are key in this respect.
Quadriceps Tendon Rupture is often misdiagnosed as a simple ‘knee sprain’, but should be consideration for surgical intervention. Quadriceps tendon ruptures are more commonly seen in patients older than 40 years and are more common than patella tendon ruptures which are more commonly seen in patients under 40 years of age. Interestingly, up to 1/3 of patients present with bilateral quadriceps tendon ruptures, so comparing to the contralateral knee may be misleading. There is a spectrum of knee extensor injuries that should be understood in order to provide proper care, with the Straight-Leg-Raise Test being abnormal in all of them. This is of the most important physical exam maneuvers to perform on every ED patient with a knee injury. The x-ray findings of these injuries may be subtle or absent, and proper immobilization of these injuries is important to prevent recoil of the tendon.
Patients with calf pain and Gastrocnemius Tears are often misdiagnosed as having a DVT. In fact, one small study showed that gastrocnemius tears were misattributed to DVT in 29% of patients. This confusion occurs because sometimes patients who suffer a gastrocnemius tear report a prodrome of calf tightness several days before the injury, suggesting a potential chronic predisposition. With a good history and physical, and POCUS if you’re skilled at it, needless work-ups for DVT can be avoided.
For well thought out approaches, pearls and pitfalls, to these 4 Commonly Missed Uncommon Orthopedic Injuries, listen to the podcast and read the rest of this blog post….
In this bonus EM Cases podcast, The Stiell Sessions 2, we have Dr. Ian Stiell discussing an update in Atrial Fibrillation 2014 management including the age-old question of rate control vs rhythm control, the new CHADS-65 algorithm for oral anticogulant therapy, the need to initiate anticoagulant therapy in the ED, the more aggressive use of the Ottawa Aggressive Protocol, the dangers of attempting to cardiovert unstable patients who are in permanent Atrial Fibrillation, the new 150 rule to help determine the likelihood of successful cardioversion and much more. Thanks to all the listeners who did the survey on clinical decision rules and the post-listen survey.
There are hundreds of clinical decision rules and risk scales published in the medical literature, some more widely adopted than others. Ian Stiell, the father of clinical decision rules, shares with us his views and experiences gained from co-creating some of the most influential CDRs and risk scales to date. He explains the criteria for developing a CDR, the steps to developing a valid CDR, how best to apply CDRs and risk scales to clinical practice, and the hot-off the-press new Ottawa COPD Risk Score and Ottawa Heart Failure Risk Score for helping you with disposition decisions. It turns out that in Canada, we discharge about two thirds of the acute decompensated heart failure patients that we see in the ED, while the US almost all patients with decompensated heart failure are admitted to hospital. Dr. Stiell’s new risk scores may help physicians in Canada make safer disposition decisions while help physicians in the US avoid unnecessary admissions.
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In this second part of the Weingart-Himmel Sessions on critical care pearls for the community ED on the EM Cases podcast, we discuss the many controversies and recent changes in fluid management in severe sepsis and septic shock. With the recently published ARISE trial, and some deviations from Early Goal Directed Therapy, we are changing the way we think about fluids in sepsis: the type of fluid, the volume of fluid, the rate of fluid administration, the timing of introducing vasopressors and the goals of fluid resuscitation. In the next section of the podcast we discuss the PAD mnemonic for post-intubation analgesia and sedation, the prevention of delirium, and medication choices to minimize time on the ventilator, and improve prognosis.
Hot on the heels of Dr. Weingart’s latest publication in the Annal of EM on Preoxygenation & Delayed Sequence Intubation, we have Dr. Weingart, perhaps the world’s most influential critical care educator, and Dr. Walter Himmel, ‘The Walking Encyclopedia of EM’ discussing how the community ED doc can use preoxygenation, apneic oxygenation and delayed sequence intubation to help improve airway management knowledge and skills. Whether you work in a rural setting or a big urban community hospital, Dr. Himmel and Dr. Weingart explain how these concepts and skills are easily adaptable to your work environment. We introduce the Triple 15 Rule for preoxygenation as a memory aid that will help you the next time you’re faced with a critically ill patient who’s oxygen saturation isn’t good enough on a non-rebreather.