In this EM Cases CritCases blog - a collaboration between STARS Air Ambulance Service, Mike Betzner and EM Cases, a middle aged woman presents to a rural ED with headache and vomiting, normal vital signs with subsequent status epilepticus and serum sodium of 110 mmol/L. What management recommendations would you make to the rural ED physician, the transport team and in your ED with regards to treatment of seizures, safe correction of hyponatremia, airway management, search for underlying cause and prevention of Osmotic Demyelenation Syndrome?
There exists a kind of self-fulfilling prognostic pessimism when it comes to ICH. And this pessimism sometimes leads to less than optimal care in patients who otherwise might have had a reasonably good outcome if they were managed aggressively. Despite the poor prognosis of these patients overall, there is some evidence to suggest that early aggressive medical management may improve outcomes. As such, the skill with which you manage your patient with ICH in those first few hours could be the most important determinant of their outcome. In this Golden Hour you have a chance to prevent hematoma expansion, stabilize intracerebral perfusion and give your patient the best chance of survival with neurologic recovery.
In anticipation of the upcoming EM Cases main episode on Pediatric Polytrauma Dr. Suzanne Beno, Co-director of the Trauma Program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, tells her Best Case Ever of a child who suffers a severe traumatic head injury with signs of raised intracranial pressure and cerebral herniation. She discusses the importance of being vigilant when presented with classic patterns of injury, the use of hypertonic saline, crisis resource management and shared decision making with consultants...
Welcome to the new EM Cases CritCases blog, a collaboration between Mike Betzner, the STARS air ambulance service and EM Cases' Michael Misch and Anton Helman! These are educational cases with multiple decision points where there is no strong evidence to guide us. Various strategies and opinions from providers around the world are coalesced and presented to you in an engaging format. Enjoy!
Pediatric DKA was identified as one of key diagnoses that we need to get better at managing in a massive national needs assessment conducted by the fine folks at TREKK – Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids – one of EM Cases’ partners who’s mission is to improve the care of children in non-pediatric emergency departments across the country. You might be wondering - why was DKA singled out in this needs assessment? It turns out that kids who present to the ED in DKA without a known history of diabetes, can sometimes be tricky to diagnose, as they often present with vague symptoms. When a child does have a known history of diabetes, and the diagnosis of DKA is obvious, the challenge turns to managing severe, life-threatening DKA, so that we avoid the many potential complications of the DKA itself as well as the complications of treatment - cerebral edema being the big bad one. The approach to these patients has evolved over the years, even since I started practicing, from bolusing insulin and super aggressive fluid resuscitation to more gentle fluid management and delayed insulin drips, as examples. There are subtleties and controversies in the management of DKA when it comes to fluid management, correcting serum potassium and acidosis, preventing cerebral edema, as well as airway management for the really sick kids. In this episode we‘ll be asking our guest pediatric emergency medicine experts Dr. Sarah Reid, who you may remember from her powerhouse performance on our recent episodes on pediatric fever and sepsis, and Dr. Sarah Curtis, not only a pediatric emergency physician, but a prominent pediatric emergency researcher in Canada, about the key historical and examination pearls to help pick up this sometimes elusive diagnosis, what the value of serum ketones are in the diagnosis of DKA, how to assess the severity of DKA to guide management, how to avoid the dreaded cerebral edema that all too often complicates DKA, how to best adjust fluids and insulin during treatment, which kids can go home, which kids can go to the floor and which kids need to be transferred to a Pediatric ICU.
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...
In response to Episode 59 with Dr. Sanjay Mehta and Dr. Dennis Scolnik on the emergency department diagnosis and management of Bronchiolitis, Dr. Amy Plint, one of Canada's most prominent researchers in Bronchiolitis and the Chair of Pediatric Emergency Research Canada, tells her practical approach to choosing medications in the emergency department, the take home message from her landmark 2009 NEJM study on the use of nebulized epinephrine and dexamethasone for treating Bronchiolitis, and the future of Bronchiolitis research.
In this episode on Trauma Pearls and Pitfalls, Dr. Dave MacKinnon and Dr. Mike Brzozowski discuss the latest in trauma controversies. In Part 1 they give us some key pearls and pitfalls on traumaairway management, the value of the C-spine collar, how to clear the C-spine, vascular access options in trauma, 'Damage Control Rescuscitation', the best resuscitation fluids to use including hypertonic saline, hemostatic drugs such as Tranexamic Acid in trauma, the vulue, or lack thereof, of Recombinant Factor 7a in trauma, and the use of Prothrombin Complex Concentrates in trauma.
Dr. Rahim Valani and Dr. Jennifer Riley discuss their approach to the workup and management of both minor and major Pediatric Head Injury. They review two recent landmark studies (Kupperman - PECARN & CATCH studies) describing clinical decision rules for performing CT head in minor pediatric head injury, as well as practical tips on instructing parents regarding back to sport activities after discharge. In major pediatric head injury, they discuss key clinical pearls on managing blood pressure, the use of hypertonic saline and managing raised intracranial pressure in the treatment of major head injury.