emergency medicine toxicology

Best Case Ever 64 Salicylate Poisoning

In this EM Cases Best Case Ever Hans Rosenberg and Rajiv Thavanathan discuss recognition and management pearls and pitfalls in salicylate poisoning. They answer question such as: What are the most important diagnostic clues of salicylate poisoning in the patient who presents with undifferentiated fever and altered level of awareness? What is the best timing and ventilation strategy for intubation? Which electrolyte abnormalities do you need to be on the lookout for? and many more...

Best Case Ever 56 Anion Gap Metabolic Acidosis

In this month's Best Case Ever on EM Cases Dr. Ross Claybo and Dr. Keerat Grewal tell the story of a patient with a complicated anion gap metabolic acidosis. We discuss how to sort through the differential diagnosis with a better mnemonic than MUDPILES, the controversy around administering sodium bicarbonate for metabolic acidosis, the indications for fomepizole and the value of taking time to to build a therapeutic relationship with your ED patients...

Episode 90 – Low and Slow Poisoning

One of the things we need to think about whenever we see a patient who’s going low and slow with hypotension and bradycardia is an overdose. B-blockers, calcium channel blockers (CCB) and digoxin are some of the most frequently prescribed cardiovascular drugs. And inevitably we’re gonna be faced with both intentional and unintentional overdoses from these drugs in the ED. If we can recognize these overdoses early and manage them appropriately, well - we’ll save some lives...

Episode 87 – Alcohol Withdrawal and Delerium Tremens: Diagnosis and Management

Alcohol withdrawal is everywhere. We see over half a million patients in U.S. EDs for alcohol withdrawal every year. Despite these huge volumes of patients and the diagnosis of alcohol withdrawal seeming relatively straightforward, it’s actually missed more often than we’d like to admit, being confused with things like drug intoxication or sepsis. Or it’s not even on our radar when an older patient presents with delirium. What’s even more surprising is that even if we do nail the diagnosis, observational studies show that in general, alcohol withdrawal is poorly treated. So, to help you become masters of alcohol withdrawal management, our guest experts on this podcast are Dr. Bjug Borgundvaag, an ED doc and researcher with a special interest in emergency alcohol related illness and the director of Schwartz-Reismann Emergency Medicine Institute, Dr. Mel Kahan, an addictions specialist for more than 20 years who’s written hundreds of papers and books on alcohol related illness, and the medical director of the substance use service at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, and Dr. Sara Gray, ED-intensivist at St. Michael's Hospital...

Best Case Ever 50 – Delirium Tremens

In anticipation of EM Cases Episode 87 on Alcohol Withdrawal Dr. Sara Gray describes her Best Case Ever of severe alcohol withdrawal and Delirium Tremens from Janus General. Also on this podcast Dr. Anand Swaminathan reacts to Episode 86 Emergency Management of Hyperkalemia and discusses the use of calcium in the setting of digoxin toxicity. Early recognition and treatment of Delirium Tremens - a rapid onset of severe alcohol withdrawal accompanied by delirium and autonomic instability about 3-10 days after the appearance of withdrawal symptoms - is key to preventing long term morbidity and mortality...

Episode 85 – Medical Clearance of the Psychiatric Patient

Psychiatric chief complaints comprise about 6 or 7% of all ED visits, with the numbers of psychiatric patients we see increasing every year. The ED serves as both the lifeline and the gateway to psychiatric care for millions of patients suffering from acute behavioural or psychiatric emergencies. As ED docs, besides assessing the risk of suicide and homicide, one of the most important jobs we have is to determine whether the patient’s psychiatric or behavioral emergency is the result of an organic disease process, as opposed to a psychological one. There is no standard process for this. With the main objective in mind of picking up and appropriately managing organic disease while improving flow, decreasing cost and maintaining good relationships with our psychiatry colleagues, we have Dr. Howard Ovens, Dr. Brian Steinhart and Dr. Ian Dawe discuss this controversial topic...

CritCases 1: Massive TCA Overdose

Welcome to the new EM Cases CritCases blog, a collaboration between Mike Betzner, the STARS air ambulance service and EM Cases' Michael Misch and Anton Helman! These are educational cases with multiple decision points where there is no strong evidence to guide us. Various strategies and opinions from providers around the world are coalesced and presented to you in an engaging format. Enjoy!

Episode 74 Opioid Misuse in Emergency Medicine

Pain leads to suffering. Opioid misuse leads to suffering. We strive to avoid both for our patients. On the one hand, treating pain is one of the most important things we do in emergency medicine to help our patients and we need to be aggressive in getting our patients' pain under control in a timely, effective, sustained and safe fashion. This was the emphasis 10-20 years ago after studies showed that we were poor at managing pain and our patients were suffering. On the other hand, opioid dependence, addiction, abuse and misuse are an enormous public health issue. Opioid misuse in Emergency Medicine has become a major problem in North America over the past 10 years at least partly as a reaction to the years that we were being told that we were failing at pain management. As Dr. Reuben Strayer said in his SMACC talk on the topic: “Opioid misuse explodes in our face on nearly every shift, splattering the entire department with pain and suffering, and addiction and malingering and cursing and threats and hospital security, and miosis and apnea and naloxone and cardiac arrest.” So how do we strike a balance between managing [...]

Best Case Ever 41 Opiate Misuse and Physician Compassion

Opiate misuse is everywhere. Approximately 15-20% of ED patients in the US are prescribed outpatient opiates upon discharge. In Ontario, about 10 people die accidentally from prescription opiates every week. Between 1990 and 2010, drug overdose deaths in the US increased by almost four fold, eclipsing the rate of death from motor vehicle collisions in 2009. This was driven by deaths related to prescription opiates, which now kill more people than heroin and cocaine combined. Opiates are the most prescribed class of medication in the US. In 2010, one out of every eight deaths among persons aged 25 to 34 years was opiate-related. Four out of 5 new heroin users report that their initial drug was a prescription opiate. In Ontario, three times the people died from opiate overdose than from HIV in 2011. Yet, we are expected to treat pain aggressively in the ED. Dr. Reuben Strayer, the brains behind the fantastic blog EM Updates tells his Best Case Ever, in which he realizes the importance of physician compassion in approaching the challenging drug seekers and malingerers that we manage in the ED on a regular basis. This Best Case Ever is in anticipation of an upcoming main episode in which Dr. Strayer and toxicologist Dr. David Juurlink discuss how to strike a balance between managing pain effectively and providing the seed for perpetuating a drug addiction or feeding a pre-existing drug addiction, and how we best take care of our patients who we suspect might have a drug misuse problem.

Best Case Ever 37 Neonatal Lazy Feeder

On this EM Cases Best Case Ever Dr. Anthony Crocco, the Head and the Division Head of Pediatric EM at McMaster University and Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Hamilton Health Sciences Hosptial, discusses an approach to the neonatal lazy feeder and why we should abandon the use of codeine in pediatrics as well as in breastfeeding mothers. The approach to the neonatal lazy feeder should be considered as an approach to altered level of awareness with a wide differential diagnosis, and there is one question that should always be asked of the neontal lazy feeder....

By | 2017-02-16T10:44:48+00:00 June 16th, 2015|Categories: Best Case Ever, Medical Specialty, Pediatrics, Toxicology|Tags: , , |0 Comments