Episode 87 – Alcohol Withdrawal and Delirium 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 73 Emergency Management of Pediatric Seizures

Pediatric seizures are common. So common that about 5% of all children will have a seizure by the time they’re 16 years old. If any of you have been parents of a child who suddenly starts seizing, you’ll know intimately how terrifying it can be. While most of the kids who present to the ED with a seizure will end up being diagnosed with a benign simple febrile seizure, some kids will suffer from complex febrile seizures, requiring some more thought, work-up and management, while others will have afebrile seizures which are a whole other kettle of fish. We need to know how to differentiate these entities, how to work-them up and how to manage them in the ED. At the other end of the spectrum of disease there is status epilepticus – a true emergency with a scary mortality rate - where you need to act fast and know your algorithms like the back of your hand. This topic was chosen based on a nation-wide needs assessment study conducted by TREKK (Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids), a collaborator with EM Cases. With the help of two of Canada’s Pediatric Emergency Medicine seizure experts hand picked by TREKK, Dr. Lawrence Richer and Dr. Angelo Mikrogianakis, we’ll give you the all the tools you need to approach the child who presents to the ED with seizure with the utmost confidence.

Best Case Ever 22: Nonconvulsive Status Epilepticus (NCSE)

In the first of our series on Best Case Ever of 'Carr's Cases' we have, the legend himself, Dr. David Carr. This series will run on the theme of interesting diagnoses that we don't think of too often, but that are not as rare as we might think and can make a significant difference to your patient's outcome if you pick up on them early - and maybe even make you look as smart as David! Dr. Carr will be highlighted in our upcoming episode on Whistler's Update in EM Conference highlights 2014 when he will be speaking about his approach to the shocky patient as well as the controversial management of submassive pulmonary embolism. He will be featured along with Dr. Lisa Thurgur speaking about lipid emulsion therapy and other toxicologic goodies and Joel Yaphe will give us his take on the best of the EM literature from 2013 including the TTM trial, tranexamic acid for epistaxis, return to sport after concussion guidelines and more. Please go to the 'Next Time on EM Cases' page to submit your question about these topics.