I remember when I started practicing emergency medicine a decade and a half ago it seemed that any kid who came to our ED in cardiac arrest died. I know, depressing thought. But, over the past 15 years, survival to discharge from pediatric cardiac arrest has markedly improved, at least for in-hospital arrests. This is probably mostly due to an emphasis on high-quality CPR and advances in post-resuscitation care; nonetheless the more comfortable, knowledgeable and prepared we are for the always scary critically ill pediatric patient, the more likely we will be able to resuscitate them successfully - which is always a huge save.
A recent needs assessment completed in Toronto found that Emergency providers are undereducated when it comes to the Emergency Management of Sickle Cell Disease. This became brutally apparent to me personally, while I was researching this topic. It turns out that we’re not so great at managing these patients. Why does this matter? These are high risk patients. In fact, Sickle Cell patients are at increased risk for a whole slew of life threatening problems. One of the many reasons they are vulnerable is because people with Sickle Cell disease are functionally asplenic, so they’re more likely to suffer from serious bacterial infections like meningitis, osteomyelitis and septic arthritis. For a variety of reasons they’re also more likely than the general population to suffer from cholycystitis, priapism, leg ulcers, avascular necrosis of the hip, stroke, acute coronary syndromes, pulmonary embolism, acute renal failure, retinopathy, and even sudden exertional death. And often the presentations of some of these conditions are less typical than usual. Those of you who have been practicing long enough, know that patients with Sickle Cell Disease can sometimes present a challenge when it comes to pain management, as it’s often difficult to discern whether they’re malingering or not. It turns out that we’ve probably been under-treating Sickle Cell pain crisis pain and over-diagnosing patients as malingerers. Then there are the sometimes elusive Sickle Cell specific catastrophes that we need to be able to pick up in the ED to prevent morbidity, like Aplastic Crisis for example, where prompt recognition and swift treatment are paramount. A benign looking trivial traumatic eye injury can lead to vision threatening hyphema in Sickle Cell patients and can be easy to miss. In this episode, with the help of Dr. Richard Ward, Toronto hematologist and Sickle Cell expert, and Dr. John Foote, the Residency Program Director for the CCFP(EM) program at the University of Toronto, we’ll deliver the key concepts, pearls and pitfalls in recognizing some important sickle cell emergencies, managing pain crises, the best fluid management, appropriate use of supplemental oxygen therapy, rational use of transfusions and more...
In this second part of the Weingart-Himmel Sessions on critical care pearls for the community ED on the EM Cases podcast, we discuss the many controversies and recent changes in fluid management in severe sepsis and septic shock. With the recently published ARISE trial, and some deviations from Early Goal Directed Therapy, we are changing the way we think about fluids in sepsis: the type of fluid, the volume of fluid, the rate of fluid administration, the timing of introducing vasopressors and the goals of fluid resuscitation. In the next section of the podcast we discuss the PAD mnemonic for post-intubation analgesia and sedation, the prevention of delirium, and medication choices to minimize time on the ventilator, and improve prognosis.
Hot on the heels of Dr. Weingart's latest publication in the Annal of EM on Preoxygenation & Delayed Sequence Intubation, we have Dr. Weingart, perhaps the world's most influential critical care educator, and Dr. Walter Himmel, 'The Walking Encyclopedia of EM' discussing how the community ED doc can use preoxygenation, apneic oxygenation and delayed sequence intubation to help improve airway management knowledge and skills. Whether you work in a rural setting or a big urban community hospital, Dr. Himmel and Dr. Weingart explain how these concepts and skills are easily adaptable to your work environment. We introduce the Triple 15 Rule for preoxygenation as a memory aid that will help you the next time you're faced with a critically ill patient who's oxygen saturation isn't good enough on a non-rebreather.