Round table in-depth discussions with 2 or more EM Cases guest experts, inherently peer reviewed, and edited for a podcast
If you believe that coping with some of the people we deal with in emergency medicine is difficult or impossible, you’re not alone. We all feel this way from time to time. We all work in stressful environments where it may feel as though we have too little time for effective patient communication, patient centered care and patient satisfaction. You and your patients may often have mismatched views of what’s important. You may have a specific medical agenda and they might have a very different agenda.
Then there’s the difficult patient – we all know who these people are – the hostile aggressive patient, the demanding patient, the know-it-all, the excessively anxious patient, and the incessant complainer, among others. If we don’t know how to handle these patients appropriately, they may receive suboptimal care, grind patient flow to a halt, and delay care of other patients. And of course, if the staff has to deal with a multitude of these patients on a given shift, there’s a sort of swarm-based escalation in frustration and sometimes, unfortunately, a total breakdown of effective care. These frustrations don’t only come out when we’re presented with multiple sequential difficult patients, but for some of us, the more we practice, the more we become desensitized to the needs of all of our patients and their families and, we run the risk of destroying the doctor-patient relationship, as well as making most of our patient interactions frustrating, unsatisfying, – even detrimental to our health and the outcomes of our patients.
How you communicate in the ED can improve patient outcomes and enhance job satisfaction, yet there is little education on patient centered care for EM practitioners. After listening to this episode, it is my hope that what you learn from the literature and from expert opinion,and then apply to the way you communicate with your patients, will effectively make you a happier health care professional.
Dr.Walter Himmel, Dr. Jean Pierre Champagne and RN Ann Shook guide us in this round table discussion on effective patient communication, patient centered care and patient satisfaction – this has evolved my practice into what I perceive as a higher level of personal satisfaction as well as patient care….I hope it will do the same for you.
Have you ever seen a child in your emergency department with a fever – he asks sarcastically? At the ginormous community hospital where I work, we see about 25,000 kids each year in our ED and about half of them present with fever. Yes, there still exists fever phobia in our society, which brings hoards of worried parents into the ED with their febrile kids. For most of these kids it’s relatively straight forward: Most kids with fever have clinical evidence of an identifiable source of infection – a viral respiratory infection, acute otitis media, gastro, or a viral exanthem. However, about 20% have Fever Without a Source despite your thorough history and physical exam.
A small but significant number of this 20% without an identifiable source of fever will have an occult bacterial infection – UTI, bacteremia, pneumonia, or even the dreaded early bacterial meningitis. These are all defined as Serious Bacterial Infections (SBI), with occult UTI being the most common SBI especially in children under the age of 2 years.
In the old days we used to do a full septic work-up including LP for all infants under the age of 3 months, but thankfully, times have changed in the post-Hib and pneumoccocal vaccine age, and we aren’t quite so aggressive any more with our work-ups. Nonetheless, it’s still controversial as to which kids need a full septic workup, which kids need a partial septic workup, which kids need just a urine dip and which kids need little except to reassure the parents.
In this episode, with the help of Dr. Sarah Reid and Dr. Gina Neto from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, we will elucidate how to deal with fever phobia, when a rectal temp is necessary, how to pick out the kids with fever that we need to worry about, how to work up kids with fever depending on their age, risk factors and clinical picture, who needs a urinalysis, who needs a CXR, who needs blood cultures and who needs an LP, and much more….
Dr. Walter Himmel (the ‘walking encyclopedia of EM’) gave a fantastic talk from North York General’s Emergency Medicine Update Conference in Toronto, which have edited into a podcast with key commentary and summaries. Dr. Himmel eloquently shows us, through absolutely stunning personal cases, how evidence based medicine can be appropriately or inappropriately applied in real practice, resulting in major outcome differences for your patients. He elucidates the importance of clinical experience, patient values and ED resources in helping apply the medical literature to your practice. He reviews the essence of critical appraisal, the hierarchy of evidence and how to keep up with the emergency medicine literature. The famous NINDS thrombolysis for stroke trial is distilled down to a few key considerations and the NEJM transfusion for upper GI bleed trial from last year is dissected, analyzed and then applied to Dr. Himmel’s personal cases, to help us understand exactly how to apply the literature to our daily practice.
Blog post and written summary prepared by Keerat Grewal, edited by Anton Helman July 2014
This past May in Toronto, the largest and, in my opinion, best Canadian EM conference, North York General Hospital’s Emergency Medicine Update Conference, attracted ‘Captain Cortex’ himself, Stuart Swadron, a Toronto native to talk about his approach to vertigo, which highlights how not to miss a posterior circulation stroke. For the seventh year running the EMU conference was proud to have one of the worlds most well known EM educators, Amal Mattu who presented the most important Cardiology Literature from the past year. This podcast includes edited versions of their talks with commentary and summaries.
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In this episode on Whistler’s Update in Emergency Medicine Conference 2014 Highlights we have… Chapter 1 with David Carr on his approach to Shock, including the RUSH protocol, followed by a discussion on Thrombolysis for Submassive Pulmonary Embolism…. Then in Chapter 2 Lisa Thurgur presents a series of Toxicology Cases packed with pearls, pitfalls and surprises and reviews the use of Lipid Emulsion Therapy in toxicology….Finally in Chapter 3 Joel Yaphe reviews the most important articles from 2013 including the Targeted Temperature Managment post-arrest paper, the use of Tranexamic Acid for epistaxis, return to play concussion guidelines and clinical decision rules for subarachnoid hemorrhage. Another Whistler’s Update in Emergency Medicine Conference to remember…….
In this episode on Appendicitis Controversies, we have the continuation of our discussion on abdominal pain emergencies with Dr. Brian Steinhart & Dr. David Dushenski. We kick off the discussion with key clinical pearls and pitfalls in the history and physical exam with their respective liklihood ratios when assessing patients with abdominal pain for appendicitis – a diagnosis that is still sometimes missed despite its prevalence. Dr. Dushenski hacks apart the Alvarado and Appendicitis Inflammatory Response Scores and we discuss the value of WBC, CRP and urinalysis in the work-up of appendicitis. Next up are the controversies of imaging algorithms using ultrasound and CT abdomen, as well as the factors affecting which imaging algorithm you might pursue. We wrap up the discussion on Appendicitis Controversies with a critical look at the value of antibiotics in the ED for appendicitis and which patients might be appropriate for non-surgical management.
In this episode Dr. Steinhart, (one of my biggest mentors – the doc that everyone turns to when no one can figure out what’s going on with a patient in the ED), & Dr. Dave Dushenski, (a master of quality assurance and data analysis, who would give David Newman a run for his money), discuss the 4 diagnoses that make up the deadly & difficult diagnosis of Mesenteric Ischemia, it’s key historical and physical exam features, the value of serum lactate, D-dimer & blood gas, when CT can be misleading, ED management of Mesenteric Ischemia, the difficult post-ERCP abdominal pain patient, the pitfalls in management of Pancreatitis, the BISAP score for Pancreatitis compared to the APACHE ll & Ranson Score, the comparative value of amylase and lipase, ultrasound vs CT for pancreatitis and much more…
In this episode on Hypertensive Emergencies, Dr. Joel Yaphe, EM residency program director at the University of Toronto & Dr. Clare Atzema, one of Canada’s leading cardiovascular EM researchers will discuss the controversies of how to manage patients who present to the ED with high blood pressure and evidence of end organ damage related to the high blood pressure. Hypertensive emergencies are a grab bag of diagnoses that all need to be treated differently. Hypertensive Encephalopathy, Aortic Dissection, Acute Pulmonary Edema, Pre-eclampsia & Eclampsia, Acute Renal Failure, Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and Intracranial Hemorrhage all need individualized blood pressure management.
University of Toronto EM Residency program director, Joel Yaphe and cardiovascular EM researcher, Clare Atzema discuss the guidelines, controversies, pearls & pitfalls of Asymptomatic Hypertension in the ED. The literature is thin in this area, and there are many controversies: Does an elevated BP measured in the ED represent true essential hypertension? Do these patients need to be worked up? Are they at risk of serious morbidity and mortality? Should we treat these patients in the ED with antihypertensives? Should we send them home on antihypertensives? and many more……