In this episode Dr. Clare Atzema, Dr. Nazanin Meshkat and Dr. Bryan Au discuss the presentation, etiology, precipitants, management and disposition of Atrial Fibrillation in the Emergency Department. The pros and cons of rate and rhythm control are debated, what you need to know about rate and rhythm control medications reviewed, and the strength of the Ottawa Aggressive Protocol discussed. The importance of appropriate anticoagulation is detailed, with a review of the CHADS-VASc score and whether to use Warfarin, Dabigatran or ASA for stroke prevention for patient with Atrial Fibrillation. We end off with a discussion on how to recognize and treat Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome in the setting of Atrial Fibrillation.
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) can be difficult to diagnose. It's unclear who to work up. It's challenging if the patient is already taking blood thinners. Dr. Walter Himmel and Dr. Daniel Selchen discuss the key historical and physical examination maneuvers to determine whether patients with neurologic complaints have had a TIA or whether they have had a TIA mimic. They review the 3 best risk stratification rules including the ABCD2 Score to help us determine who needs to be admitted and who needs timely investigations to reduce vascular morbidity and mortality. The reasoning behind which patients require urgent carotid imaging, echocardiograms and advanced imaging such as CT Angiogram is explained, and the best medication choices are reviewed, as well as the indications for Clopidogrel, Aggrenox, Warfarin, Heparin and carotid endarterectomy in the managment of Transient Ischemic Attack. In the second part of the episode, a simple and practical approach to the patient with dizziness is presented, and a discussion on which patients with dizziness need urgent work-up and treatment for vertebrobasilar TIA.