Urolithiasis is one of the more frequent diagnoses we are faced with in the Emergency Department, with an estimated 1 million ED visits due to renal colic. As such we are tasked with its diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. The following is a brief summation of the evidence regarding some of the most frequent questions encountered when diagnosing and managing urolithiasis. Four questions are answered by Rory Spiegel on this BEEM Cases. What is the optimal initial imaging modality for the diagnostic work-up of urolithiasis? Once the diagnosis of renal colic has been made what is the most efficacious analgesic strategy? Is there clinical utility to IV fluid administration in the management of renal colic? What is the use of medical expulsion therapy in the management of urolithiasis?
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...
This is Part 1 of EM Cases' series on Diagnostic Decision Making with Walter Himmel, Chris Hicks and David Dushenski discussing the intersection of evidence-based medicine, cognitive bias and systems issues to effect our diagnostic decision making in Emergency Medicine. In this episode we first discuss 5 strategies to help you master evidence-based diagnostic decision making to minimize diagnostic error, avoid over-testing and improve patient care including: 1. The incorporation of patients' values and clinical expertise into evidence-based decisions 2. Critically appraising diagnostic studies 3. Understanding that diagnostic tests are not perfect 4. Using the concept of test threshold to guide work-ups 5. Understanding that the predictive value of a test depends on the prevalence of disease We then go on to review some of the factors that play into the clinician’s and patient’s risk tolerance in a given clinical encounter, how this plays into shared decision making and the need to adjust our risk tolerance in critical situations. Finally, we present some strategies to prevent over-testing while improving patient care, patient flow and ethical practice.
Dr. Walter Himmel (the 'walking encyclopedia of EM') gave a fantastic talk from North York General's Emergency Medicine Update Conference in Toronto, which have edited into a podcast with key commentary and summaries. Dr. Himmel eloquently shows us, through absolutely stunning personal cases, how evidence based medicine can be appropriately or inappropriately applied in real practice, resulting in major outcome differences for your patients. He elucidates the importance of clinical experience, patient values and ED resources in helping apply the medical literature to your practice. He reviews the essence of critical appraisal, the hierarchy of evidence and how to keep up with the emergency medicine literature. The famous NINDS thrombolysis for stroke trial is distilled down to a few key considerations and the NEJM transfusion for upper GI bleed trial from last year is dissected, analyzed and then applied to Dr. Himmel's personal cases, to help us understand exactly how to apply the literature to our daily practice. Blog post and written summary prepared by Keerat Grewal, edited by Anton Helman July 2014