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Journal Jam 1: Age Adjusted D-dimer with Jeff Kline and Jonathan Kirschner

In this first ever episode of the Journal Jam podcast, a collaboration between EM Cases, Academic Life in EM and The Annals of Emergency Medicine's Global Emergency Medicine Journal Club, Teresa Chan and I, along with Jeff Kline, Jonathan Kirschner, Anand Swaminathan, Salim Rezaie and Sam Shaikh from ALiEM, discuss the potential for Age Adjusted D-dimer to rule out pulmonary embolism in low risk patients over the age of 50. We discuss 4 key questions about the ADJUST-PE Study from JAMA in March 2014 including: Would you order a CTPA on a 60 year old woman with an age adjusted D-dimer of 590 ng/L? The problem until now has been that the older the patient, the more likely the D-dimer is to be positive whether they have a PE or not, so many of us have thrown the D-dimer out the window in older patients and go straight to CTPA, even in low risk patients. If you are a risk averse doc, this strategy will lead to over-utilization of resources, huge costs, length of stay, radiation effects etc; and if you’re not so risk averse, then you might decide not to work up the low risk older patient at all and miss clinically important PEs. expert peer reviewFor all the questions discussed on this podcast, the original Google Hangout interview from which this podcast was based, and the crowd sourced opinions from around world, visit the ALiEM website. Many thanks to all the talented people who made this podcast possible. Together, we're smarter!

Best Case Ever 8: Acute Dyspnea

Acute Dyspnea has a wide differential diagnosis from Metabolic Acidosis to Medically Unexplained Dyspnea. As a bonus to Episode 21 on Pulmonary Embolism and Acute Dyspnea, Dr. John Foote the CCFP(EM) residency program director at the University of Toronto presents his Best Case Ever related to an Acute Dyspnea presentation. In the related episode on Pulmonary Embolism we havet, with Dr. Foote, the triumphant return of Dr. Anil Chopra, the Head of the Divisions of Emergency Medicine at University of Toronto . We kick it off with Dr. Foote’s approach to undifferentiated acute dyspnea and explanation of Medically Unexplained Dyspea (‘MUD’) and go on to discuss how best to develop a clinical pretest probability for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism using risk factors, the value of the PERC rule, Well’s criteria and how clinical gestalt plays into pretest probability. Dr. Chopra tells about the appropriate use of D-dimer to improve our diagnostic accuracy without leading to over-investigation and unwarranted anticoagulation. We then discuss the value of V/Q scan in the workup of PE, and the pitfalls of CT angiography. A discussion of anticoagulation choices follows and the controversies around thrombolysis for submassive PE closes the podcast. [wpfilebase tag=file id=384 tpl=emc-play /] [wpfilebase tag=file id=385 tpl=emc-mp3 /]

Episode 18 Part 2: More Point of Care Ultrasound

In Part 2 of this Episode on Emergency Ultrasound or Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Dr. Fischer, Dr. Hannam, Dr. Chenkin & Dr. Hall, Canada's EM ultrasound gurus discuss how POCUS can help our decision-making in the pediatric patient with a limp, in the patient with necrotizing fasciitis, in the pregnant patient with vaginal bleeding and in the common and challenging elderly patient with undifferentiated abdominal pain. They cover POCUS indications from urinary retention to appendicitis and debate the utility of these indications. This is followed by a debate on how best to educate ourselves and the EM community in POCUS and how best to designs quality assurance programs so that point of care ultrasound (POCUS) becomes an accepted tool across the entire medical community.

Episode 18 Part 1: Point of Care Ultrasound Pearls, Pitfalls and Controversies

In this first installment of this Episode, Point of Care Ultrasound Pearls, Pitfalls & Controversies we have a panel of POCUS gurus, Dr. Greg Hall, Dr. Jordan Chenkin, Dr. Paul Hannam & Dr. Jason Fischer. They review the basic criteria for commonly used, practical Point of Care Ultrasound indications at the bedside and then dive into heated debate about specific pearls and pitfalls in Point of Care Ultrasound assessment of the patient with undifferentiated shortness of breath, undifferentiated shock, cardiac arrest and swollen leg. They discuss how best to interpret the massive body of literature for POCUS and when we can hang our hats on our Point of Care Ultrasound findings.

Episode 7: Medical and Surgical Emergencies in Pregnancy

The whole playing field changes with pregnant patients in the emergency department. When you're faced with one of the Medical and Surgical Emergencies in Pregnancy that we'll cover in this episode, there are added challenges and considerations. Dr. Shirley Lee and Dr. Dominick Shelton discuss a challenging case of a pregnant patient presenting to the emergency department with shortness of breath and chest pain. They review those diagnoses that the pregnant patient is at risk for and discuss the challenges of lab test interpretation and imaging algorithms in the pregnant patient. Next, they walk us through the management of cardiac arrest in the pregnant patient. In another case of a pregnant patient who presents with abdominal pain and fever, they discuss strategies to minimize delays in diagnosis to prevent serious morbidity and mortality. The pros and cons of abdominal ultrasound, CT and MRI are reviewed as well as the management of appendicitis, pyelonephritis and septic abortion in pregnant patients.

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