Episode 86 – Emergency Management of Hyperkalemia

This is 'A Nuanced Approach to Emergency Management of Hyperkalemia' on EM Cases. Of all the electrolyte emergencies, hyperkalemia is the one that has the greatest potential to lead to cardiac arrest. And so, early in my EM training I learned to get the patient on a monitor, ensure IV access, order up an ECG, bombard the patient with a cocktail of kayexalate, calcium, insulin, B-agonists, bicarb, fluids and furosemide, and get the patient admitted, maybe with some dialysis to boot. Little did I know that some of these therapies were based on theory alone while others were based on a few small poorly done studies. It turns out that some of these therapies may cause more harm than good, and that precisely when and how to give these therapies to optimize patient outcomes is still not really known...

Episode 60: Emergency Management of Hyponatremia

In this EM Cases episode Dr. Melanie Baimel and Dr. Ed Etchells discuss a simple and practical step-wise approach to the emergency management of hyponatremia: 1. Assess and treat neurologic emergencies related to hyponatremia with hypertonic saline 2. Defend the intravascular volume 3. Prevent further exacerbation of hyponatremia 4. Prevent rapid overcorrection 5. Ascertain a cause Dr. Etchells and Dr. Baimel answer questions such as: What are the indications for giving DDAVP in the emergency management of hyponatremia? What is a simple and practical approach to determining the cause of hyponatremia in the ED? How fast should we aim to correct hyponatremia? What is the best fluid for resuscitating the patient in shock who has a low serum sodium? Why is the management of the marathon runner with hyponatremia counter-intuitive? What strategies can we employ to minimize the risk of Osmotic Demyelination Syndrome (OSD) and cerebral edema in the emergency management of hyponatremia? and many more...