Best Case Ever is a 10-20 minute podcast where an Emergency Medicine Cases guest expert describes a practice changing case, what they learned from it, and clinical pearls and pitfalls you can use on your next shift. Tacit knowledge sharing at it’s best.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Dr. Mike Winters on his first ever visit to Canada at North York General's Emergency Medicine Update Conference, where he gave two fantastic presentations. His credentials are impressive: He is the Medical Director of the Emergency Department, Associate Professor in both EM and IM, EM-IM-Critical Care Program co-director and Residency Program Director of EM-IM at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. Sometimes we are so caught up with the job we need to get done during cardiac arrest that we forget about the important and profound effect that this event has on patients' families. On this Best Case Ever Dr. Winters tells the story of witnessing his grandfather's cardiac arrest, being present in the ED during the resuscitation attempts, and how that experience has coloured his practice. We discuss some pearls on communication with patients' families after death, colour-coded cardiac arrest teams and how to integrate POCUS into cardiac arrest care while minimizing chest compressions.
Dr. Salim Rezaie of R.E.B.E.L. EM tells his Best Case Ever of a Low Risk Pulmonary Embolism that begs us to consider a work-up and management plan that we might not otherwise consider. With new guidelines suggesting that subsegmental pulmonary embolism need not be treated with anticoagulants, exceptions to Well's Score and PERC rule to help guide work-ups, the adaptation of outpatient management of pulmonary embolism, and the option of NOACs for treatment, the management of pulmonary embolism in 2016 has evolved considerably. In which situations would you treat subsegmental pulmonary embolism? How comfortable are you sending patients home with pulmonary embolism? How does the patient's values play into these decisions? Listen to Dr. Rezaie provide an insightlful perspective on these important issues and much more...
I caught up with Dr. Anand Swaminathan, otherwise known as EM Swami, at The Teaching Course in NYC where he told his Best Case Ever from Janus General of his heroic and collaborative attempts at saving the life of a gentleman who presented to the ED with a classic story for a ruptured AAA. As William Olser famously said, "There is no disease more conducive to clinical humility than aneurysm of the aorta."
When was the last time you saw ventricular fibrillation in a 4 month old? Dr. Simard tells his Best Case Ever of a Pediatric Cardiac Arrest in which meticulous preparation, sticking to his guns, early activation of the transportation service, and clever use of point of care ultrasound helped save the life of a child. He explains the importance of debriefing your team after an emotionally charged case.
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.
Dr. Paul Miller, emergency physician and head of a palliative care unit at McMaster Univeristy tells the story of his Best Case Ever on End of Life Care. He shows us that clear consultant communication can make the difference between end of life care that takes into account patients' wishes and values and end of life care that fails. The upcoming episode on End of Life Care and Palliative Care in Emergency Medicine with Dr. Miller, Dr. Howard Ovens and Dr. Shona McLachlan will elucidate some strategies to manage some of the most challenging situations in Emergency Medicine such as critically ill patients with 'Full Code' status who have no chance of meaningful survival, and cancer patients near the end of life who have false hopes of a cure and request aggressive medical management over aggressive palliative care. We review the most important treatment options for symptom management for the dying patient including pain, dyspnea and terminal delirium and much more...