Episode 101 GI Bleed Emergencies Part 1

In this Part 1 of our two part podcast on GI bleed emergencies we answer questions such as: How do you distinguish between an upper vs lower GI bleed when it's not so obvious clinically? What alterations to airway management are necessary for the GI bleed patient? What do we need to know about the value of fecal occult blood in determining whether or not a patient has a GI bleed? Which patients require red cell transfusions? Massive transfusion? Why is it important to get a fibrinogen level in the sick GI bleed patient? What are the goals of resuscitation in a massive GI bleed? What's the evidence for using an NG tube for diagnosis and management of upper GI bleeds?  In which patients should we give tranexamic acid and which patients should we avoid it in? How are the indications for massive transfusion in GI bleed different to the trauma patient? What are your options if the bleeding can't be stopped on endoscopy? and many more...

Episode 65 – IV Iron for Anemia in Emergency Medicine

For years we’ve been transfusing red cells in the ED to patients who don’t actually need them. A study looking at trends in transfusion practice in the ED found that about 1/3 of transfusions given were deemed totally inappropriate. As we explained in previous EM Cases episodes, there have been a whole slew of articles in the literature over the years that have shown that morbidity and mortality outcomes with lower hemoglobin thresholds, like 70g/L for transfusing ICU patients (TRICC trial), patients in septic shock (TRISS trial), and patients with GI bleeds are similar to outcomes with traditional higher hemoglobin thresholds of 90 or 100g/L. We’re simply transfusing blood way too much! The American Association of Blood Banks in conjunction with the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Choosing Wisely campaign, as one of its 5 statements on overuse of procedures, stated, “don’t transfuse iron deficiency without hemodynamic instability”. So, in this episode with the help of Transfusion specialist, researcher and co-author of the American Association of Blood Banks transfusion guidelines Dr. Jeannie Callum, Transfusion specialist and researcher Dr. Yulia Lin, and 'the walking encyclopedia of EM' Dr. Walter Himmel, we give you an understanding of why it’s important to avoid red cell transfusions in certain situations, why IV iron is sometimes a better option in a significant subset of anemic patients in the ED, and the practicalities of exactly how to administer IV iron.

Episode 37: Anticoagulants, PCCs and Platelets

In the second part of this epic 2-part authoritative episode, Anticoagulants, PCCs & Platelets, we have Dr. Walter Himmel (also known as 'The walking encyclopedia of EM') along with Dr. Katerina Pavenski (Head of Transfusion Medicine at St. Michael's Hospital) & Dr. Jeannie Callum (Head of Transfusion Medicine at Sunnybrook Hospital) who will discuss the latest on comparative efficacy and reversal of Warfarin vs Dabigatran vs Rivaroxiban vs Abixaban, the use of prothrombin complex concentrates (PCCs), the ins and outs of thrombocytopenia & platelet transfusions, ITP, TTP, anti-platelet associated intracranial bleeds, indications for Tranexamic Acid & more...