Congratulations @sjrhem resident researchers

Congratulations to Dr Mandy Peach, PGY2 in the EM/FM program, on her success in receiving the Doug Sinclair Top Resident Research Award at the Dalhousie University Emergency Medicine Research Day 2018 and also Top Project at the Dalhousie Saint John FM/EM Project/Research Day 2018. Mandy presented her research on Sonography in Hypotension (SHoC-ED) diagnoses and shock categories.

Well done Derek Rollo and Luke Taylor for their joint runners up position. Derek presented his work on the ECPR/ED-ECMO feasibility study, and Luke presented on Sonography in Hypotension (SHoC-ED) resuscitation markers.

 

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ED Rounds – Oncologic Emergencies and Emerging Treatments

ED Rounds – May 2018

Dr. Paul Frankish

 

Take Home Points

  1. In patients on Immunotherapy for cancer beware of diarrhea or dyspnea, as it may represent an autoimmune side effect.

  2. LMWH is the treatment of choice for the duration of Malignancy associated PE.

  3. SVC obstruction is “sneaky” and new dyspnea is far more common than facial swelling.

 

Immunotherapy

 

 

 

 


Febrile Neutropenia

A single oral temperature >38.3 deg C

or

A sustained oral temperature >38 deg C

with

An absolute neutrophil count (ANC) less than 500 cells per microliter (0.5 x 109/L)

 

*Far and away one of the most common oncologic presentations to the ED

*70% hematologic and 30% solid organ malignancies

*Treatment Timelines (as per IDSA):

1.STAT CBC within 10 minutes

2.Broad empiric antibiotics within 60 minutes

 

History

1.Diagnosis

2.Date and type of last Chemo

3.Use of G-CSF

4.Use of antimicrobials

5.History of prior infection

6.PMH/surgical history

7.Medications/Allergies

 

Exam

1.Mental Status

2.Volume Status

3.Oral Mucosa

4.Skin/Catheter Sites

5.Respiratory

6.Cardiovascular

7.Abdomen

 

Treatment

*Imipenem 500 mg IV Q6H or

*Pip/Tazo 3.375 gram IV Q6H or

*Cipro 400 mg IV and Vanco 1 gram IV Q12H if penicillin allergic

*Consider adding Vanco to monotherapy if:

1.IV Catheter Infection

2.Gram positive organism not yet identified

3.MRSA Colonization

4.Hypotension/Shock

 


SVC Obstruction

*Subacute SVCO results in milder symptoms like facial swelling, cough, dyspnea, facial redness, dilated superficial veins.

*Acute SVCO is more severe and can result in altered LOC, increased ICP, airway obstruction.

*Test of choice is a contrast enhanced CT chest

 

 

Treatment

1.Elevate HOB

2.Dexamethasone 10 mg IV

3.Symptom control

4.Airway management if indicated

5.Urgent Radiation Oncology Consult

6.If known Small Cell Lung Cancer, then worth a call to Medical Oncology

 

 


 

Pulmonary Embolus

*New dyspnea of unknown etiology in patient with active malignancy is a PE until proven otherwise

*Alternate explanations for new dyspnea are pericardial effusion, SVCO, lung tumor burden, anemia.

*Preferred treatment is LMWH indefinitely

 

Investigation of choice is CTPA

 

ECG may show S1QT3 – But don’t rely on this sign

PoCUS may also be helpful for initial triage of acute dyspneic patient – look for dilated RV and IVC

 

Treatment

*Dalteparin 200 units/kg sc for 1 month

then

*Dalteparin 150 untis/kg sc thereafter

*Main evidence for LMWH over warfarin comes from CLOT trial

*50% reduction in recurrent VTE with LMWH vs. warfarin

*Presumed to be because of poor tolerance of PO meds in patients with cancer nauseated from chemo

*May not be relevant in era of modern anti-emetics and anticoagulants, data pending

 


 

Epidural Spinal Cord Compression

1.Back pain (90% of cases)

2.Motor weakness

3.Sensory impairment

4.Autonomic dysfunction

5.Perianal numbness

6.Conus medullaris syndrome

 

Investigations and Treatment

*Dexamethasone 10-20 mg IV immediately if SCC is suspected

*MRI is preferred (generally T/L spine)

*Radiation Oncology if previously diagnosed malignancy

*Neurosurgery if new diagnosis of malignancy

 


 

 

 


SJRH Oncology Services – On Call Consults

 

 

 


Full Presentation

 

Download (PDF, 43.05MB)

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SJRHEM Journal Club – March 2018

DEM Journal Club Report

 

  1. Host/Presenter/Date:

    Dr. Talbot /Dr. Chandra/ March

  2. Title of paper/citation:

Sergey Motov, et al. Comparison of Intravenous Ketorolac at Three Single-Dose Regimens for Treating Acute Pain in the Emergency Department: an RCT. Ann Emerg Med. 2017; 70:177-84.

  1. Research question/PICOD

Question: Does increasing the dose of intravenous Ketorolac improve analgesia in emergency department patients with a variety of pain syndromes?

Population: 240 patients, 80 allocated to each group

Adult patients (18-65) who presented to the emergency department with acute (less than 30 d) moderate to severe (intensity of 5 or greater on a standard 0-10 pain scale) flank, abdominal, musculoskeletal, or headache pain, who would routinely be treated with ketorolac by the attending emergency physician.

(Exclusion criteria: Older than 65 yrs, pregnancy or breastfeeding, active PUD, acute GI hemorrhage, history of renal or hepatic disease, allergy to NSAIDs, unstable vitals systolic BP <90 or > 180 mmHg or HR < 50 or > 150, and patients that had already received analgesic.

Intervention (1): Ketorolac 10 mg IV  (given over 1-2 minutes)

Intervention (2): Ketorolac 15 mg IV (given over 1-2 minutes)

Intervention (3):  Ketorolac 30 mg IV (given over 1-2 minutes)

Patients who still desired pain medications after 30 minutes were offered Morphine 0.1 mg/kg IV as a rescue analgesic.

Outcome:  Primary: Reduction in the numeric pain scale score at 30 minutes from medication administration

Secondary: Rates and percentage of subjects experiencing adverse events or requiring rescue analgesia.

Design: Randomized control trial

  1. Results

Ketorolac dose Pain Score

Initial

Pain Score

30 min

Difference
10 mg 7.73 5.13 2.6
15 mg 7.54 5.05 2.5
30 mg 7.8 4.84 3.0

 

Patients in all dosing regimens had clinically significant improvement in their pain scores after 30 min. The reduction in pain persisted through to 120 minutes.

There was no difference in the rate of rescue morphine use by group over time.

There was no difference in the common adverse effects (dizziness 18% vs 20% vs 15%, nausea 11% vs 14% vs 10%, headache 10% vs 2.5% vs 3.8%, itching 0% vs 1.3% vs 1.3%, or flushing 0% vs 1.3% vs 0%).

Other more serious side effects were not documented (gastrointestinal bleeding, renal impairment, changes in bleeding times). There are other studies that suggest that some of these adverse effects are dose related and therefore lower doses would be expected to reduce these complications.

 

 

  1. Authors conclusions

Ketorolac had similar analgesic efficacy profiles at doses of 10 mg, 15 mg and 30 mg IV for short term treatment of acute moderate to severe pain in the Emergency Department.  The results of the study provide a basis for changes in practice patterns and guidelines in the Emergency Department supporting the use of the 10 mg IV ketorolac dose.

 

  1. Discussion at Journal Club

    1. Strengths
      1. Randomized control blinded design
      2. Excellent data collection for primary outcome (99%)
  • Groups were treated the same
  1. Weakness
    1. Single center
    2. Although randomized, the patients were also only recruited between 8 am and 8 pm Monday to Friday as a convenience sample. This could lead to selection bias.
  • Although the patient, nurse, research coordinator, research fellow and the physicians were blinded to the group allocation, the pharmacist, research manager and the statistician were aware of patient allocation.

 

  1. Bottom line/suggested change to practice/actions

 

Patients presenting to the emergency department with moderate to severe pain receiving a single dose of intravenous Ketorolac had a significant reduction in pain with no difference between the dosing regimens of 10mg, 15 mg and 30 mg IV.

We recommend a change to our renal colic protocol and our ED Assessment order set to administer Ketorolac 10 mg IV instead of 30 mg IV of the treatment of a variety of conditions with moderate to severe pain. Unfortunately, the Ketorolac used in the emergency department comes in a 30 mg/ml vial. It is more efficient to draw up the full dose for each individual patient than be taking 1/3 of a ml out and possibly throwing the remainder out. Recommend asking Emergency Department pharmacist to determine if other solution strengths are available. Ketorolac could be a narcotic sparing analgesic, where in the opinion of the attending physician, appropriate patients can be given ketorolac and then reassessed at 30 minutes and rescue mediation given as required.

 

 

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Pre-hospital Airway Management – the bottom line

Study review of recent Airway World Webinar.

Reviewed by David Lewis and Jay Mekwan

The study: Retrospective Data Review conducted in Australia investigating rates of successful RSI by intensive care paramedics.

Rationale: Controversial whether RSI should be completed pre-hospital as unsuccessful attempts can result in patient complications.

Results: First pass success rate of 89.4% with low rates of complications – hypoxia (1.3%) and hypotension (5.2%).

Bottom line:  Appropriately trained air transport paramedics can perform RSI pre-hospital with high levels of success.

 

The study: Retrospective review of a global database tracking critical care transport program. Looked at first pass success attempts at tracheal intubation in the field

Rationale: Critical care transport teams are the first point of critical care contact for acutely unwell patients. Tracheal intubation can be a lifesaving intervention performed while transporting to a tertiary care center.

Results: First attempt intubation success was higher in adult focused critical care transport paramedics, regardless of the age of the patient (>86%).

Bottom Line: Experience may be a significant factor for intubation success. Experienced intubators have better success rates in all patient age groups.

 

The study: Retrospective chart review of air medical patient records where cricothyrotomy was performed to assess frequency, success and technique.

Rationale: When all other airway maneuvers fail, cricothyrotomy is a potentially lifesaving skill.

The results: Performance of cricothyrotomy is rare (<1% of over 22,000 patients), but when performed had 100% success rate.

Bottom Line: Although a rarely performed skill, Helicopter Emergency Medicine Service providers can successfully perform cricothyrotomy when needed.

 

The study: Multicenter randomized clinical trial comparing outcomes in patients who were either intubated or bagged following out of hospital cardiorespiratory arrest.

Rationale: Bag mask ventilation is an easier clinical technique to perform during CPR and previously reported as superior than intubation in terms of survival. Neurological outcomes at 28 days post arrest had not been reported.

Results: No difference in rates of survival or neurological at 28 days between bagged or intubated patients. Bag mask ventilation was associated with higher regurgitation rates and, in general, were more difficult airways to manage.

Bottom line: We don’t know if bag mask ventilation or intubation is superior. More research needed.

This post was copyedited by Mandy Peach

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Congratulations to Dr. Kavish Chandra!

Congratulations to Dr. Kavish Chandra – recipient of the Iype/Wilfred Resident Award!

Dr. Chandra, a PGY3 in the Integrated Family Medicine/Emergency Medicine program, was one of 3 recipients of the prestigious Iype/Wilfred award. This is awarded annually by the New Brunswick Medical Society to residents who have demonstrated outstanding achievements during their residency training in New Brunswick. Recipients are recognized as being leaders in research and professionalism, and who do so while showing compassion and caring towards patients and colleagues.

This award will be presented to Dr. Chandra at the Celebration of Medicine ceremony hosted by the New Brunswick Medical Society on May 26, 2018.

Congratulations, Dr. Chandra!

Far right: Dr. Chandra in a simulation training session

 

This post was copy edited by Mandy Peach

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EM Reflections – March 2018

Thanks to Dr. Paul Page for leading the discussions this month

Edited by Dr David Lewis 

 


 

Top tips from this month’s rounds:

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – Size matters, but it isn’t everything

CME QUIZ

 

 


Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – Which patients require urgent consult / transfer ?

AAA is a disease of older age. The prevalence of AAA among men aged 65 to 80 is 4 to 6 times higher than in women of the same age. The Canadian Task Force on Preventative Healthcare have recently (2017) made the following recommendations on screening:

Recommendation 1: We recommend one-time screening with ultrasound for AAA for men aged 65 to 80. (Weak recommendation; moderate quality of evidence)

Recommendation 2: We recommend not screening men older than 80 years of age for AAA. (Weak recommendation; low quality of evidence)

Recommendation 3: We recommend not screening women for AAA. (Strong recommendation; very low quality of evidence)

 

Emergency Physicians are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of ruptured AAA (hypotension, tachycardia, pulsatile abdominal mass, back pain) and are always on the lookout for those curveball presentations e.g renal colic mimic, syncope, sciatica etc.

With the organization of centralized vascular services predominating in the majority of developed national health systems, patients with ruptured AAAs are now being transferred for specialist care. Recent evidence from the UK suggests that this practice is safe with no observed increased mortality or length of stay. and other studies have shown a benefit, with reduced mortality post service-centralization.

While there maybe benefits of centralization for patients, vascular surgeons and health economies, the initial management of the patient with AAA disease can be increasingly challenging for the Emergency Physician, especially if they are located in a peripheral hospital.

Let us consider a few scenarios:

  • A 70yr old man presents to a peripheral hospital (without CT), 120km from the vascular centre, with severe back pain and hypotension. Point of Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) confirms the diagnosis of a 7.5cm AAA.

This scenario is relatively straightforward. The patient is judiciously resuscitated (avoiding aggressive fluid infusion), and transferred, after discussion with on-call vascular surgery, as quickly as possible directly to the receiving hospital’s vascular OR.

 

  • A 70yr old man presents to a peripheral hospital (without CT), 120km from the vascular centre, with moderate flank pain and normal vital signs. They are known to have a 3.7cm AAA (last surveillance scan 6 months ago). PoCUS confirms the presence of an AAA measuring approx. 3.7cm. Urinalysis is negative.

This scenario is also relatively straightforward. While the cause of the flank pain has not been determined, the risk of AAA rupture is highly improbable. For men with an AAA of 4.0 cm or smaller, it takes more than 3.5 years to have a risk of rupture greater than 1%. Given the stable vital signs, low pain score and lack of significant change in AAA size, this patient can be safely worked-up initially at the peripheral hospital pending transfer for abdominal CT if diagnosis remains unclear or symptoms change.

 

  • A 70yr old man presents to a peripheral hospital (without CT), 120km from the vascular centre, with moderate flank pain and normal vital signs. They have no past medical history. PoCUS confirms the presence of a new 4.7cm AAA.  

This scenario starts to become more challenging. Is the AAA leaking? Is the AAA rapidly expanding? Has PoCUS accurately measured the AAA size, Is the AAA causing the symptoms or is there another diagnosis? While this AAA is still below the elective repair size (5.5cm), the rate of growth is not know (and this is important), 4.7cm AAAs do occasionally rupture and rapidly expanding AAA’s can cause pain (the phenomena is more common in inflammatory and mycotic aetiologies). In this scenario the safest approach would be to organize transfer for an urgent CT and to arrange for Vascular Surgey consult immediately thereafter.

 

 

Salmonella aortitis may appear after a febrile gastroenteritis. The common location of primary aortitis and aneurysm formation is at the posterior wall of the suprarenal or supraceliac aorta – . 2010; 3(1): 7–15.

 

Aortitis is the all-encompassing term ascribed to inflammation of the aorta. The most common causes of aortitis are the large-vessel vasculitides including GCA and Takayasu arteritis. The majority of cases of aortitis are non-infectious, however an infectious cause must always be considered, as treatment for infectious and non-infectious aortitis is significantly different.

This article provides a detailed summary of the diagnosis and management of Aortitis

 


CME QUIZ

EM Reflections - March 2018 - CME Quiz

EM Reflections – March 2018 – CME Quiz

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CPoCUS Independent Practitioner Certification Workshop

 CPoCUS Independent Practitioner Certification Workshop

Halifax, Nova Scotia

June 22-24, 2018

This intensive workshop will give participants the opportunity to obtain all of the required observed scans PLUS complete the three-part examination series towards CORE Independent Practitioner certification with the Canadian Point of Care Ultrasound Society (formerly the Canadian Emergency Ultrasound Society). This includes the addition of basic lung (hemothorax and pneumothorax) certification. There will be many instructors, ultrasound machines and many models available while you are here.

A CPoCUS approved introductory ultrasound course is strongly recommended prior to taking this workshop but is not required.

Cost for this workshop: 

$4600 + GST (Space is limited so register early)

Eligible for 25 Royal College Section 3 OR 60 CCFP Cert+ credits.

Registration fees are refundable (minus a $300 processing fee) up to one month prior to course dates. After this time, full course payments are non-refundable.

The course will take place at the Best Western Plus in Dartmouth.

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Posted in CPD

RCP – Regional anesthesia of the hand

Regional anesthesia of the hand: ultrasound-guided vs tumescent anesthesia

Resident Clinical Pearl (RCP) – February 2018

Sean Hurley Emergency Medicine PGY1 (FRCPC), Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Reviewed by Dr. David Lewis

 

The goal of this resident clinical pearl is to discuss two different methods of achieving complete anesthesia of the hand. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have the knowledge to perform both methods in the emergency department. The first method is ultrasound (US)-guided nerve blocks of the ulnar, median, and radial nerves. The second method is the “tumescent anaesthesia” approach used by many hand surgeons around the world for wide-awake hand surgery, including local, local anesthetic guru and plastic surgeon, Dr. Donald Lalonde who provided many of the clinical pearls in this article.

 

Method 1:  Ultrasound-guided nerve block

In a recent article by Amini et al. (2016), 84% of 121 emergency medicine residency programs surveyed in the United States reported that US-guided nerve blocks are performed at their institution. Of the 16 different nerve blocks reported, forearm blocks were the most commonly performed (74%) (Table 1). The main indications for nerve blocks are outlined in Table 2 1.

Table 1 and 2 from Amini et al., 2016 1

 

Three major nerves, median, ulnar, and radial, provide sensory innervation of the hand (Figure 1). Each nerve needs to be blocked in a simple straightforward approach, which was shown to to be quick, safe and effective. After a 1-hour training session, residents, fellows, and staff emergency physicians had 100% success rate with no rescue anesthesia on 11 hand pathology patients presenting to the ED. The blocks were performed in a median time of 9 minutes with no complications 2.

 

Figure 1. Cutaenous innervation of the hand. https://www.nysora.com/wrist-block

 

Figure 2. Indications for different nerve blocks of the hand http://highlandultrasound.com/forearm-blocks/

 

Radial Nerve: Palpate the radial artery in the volar aspect of distal forearm then place the US probe over the artery in a transverse orientation. Move the probe proximally until you clearly identify the radial nerve (Figure 3), which is located at the radial aspect of the radial artery. Insert your needle using an in-line approach (Figure 4). Inject 5-10cc of 1% lidocaine with epinephrine until you can clearly see the nerve bathed in lidocaine.

Pearl: The radial nerve is often difficult to visualize in the forearm. The radial nerve is more easily visualized above the elbow along the spiral groove of the humerus. Place the probe in a transverse orientation along the lateral aspect of the humerus between the brachioradialis and brachialis muscles. This block is more proximal and will require longer time to peak anesthesia.

 

Ulnar nerve: Use the exact same 2-step approach but on the ulnar side of the forearm. The ulnar nerve is located at the ulnar aspect of the ulnar artery (Figure 3).

 

Median nerve: The median nerve lies between the palmaris longus and the flexor carpi radialis. Position the probe in the transverse plane over this location. Insert your needle from either side using an in-plane or out-of-plane approach

 

Pearl: the median nerve and the many tendons of the distal forearm can be difficult to distinguish. You can identify the nerve by tilting the probe, which causes the tendons to disappear, as the US waves are no longer reflected back to probe, while the median nerve fibers still reflect waves back to the probe. Alternatively, you can slide the probe proximally where the tendons transition to muscle fibers, allowing the median nerve to be easily distinguishable.

Pearl: The palmar cutaneous branch of the median nerve that supplies the thenar eminence branches off before the carpal tunnel. Make sure you move the probe proximally before blocking the nerve so you don’t miss this important sensory branch.

Pearl: The more local anesthetic, the better! Some resources recommend 3-5cc of 1% lidocaine per nerve. Why not use 10cc or more for each nerve? You will still be safely under 7mg/kg limit.

 

Figure 3. Ultrasound identification of the ulnar nerve (left), median nerve (middle), and radial nerve (right). (Figure from Liebemann et al, 2006) 2.

 

Figure 4. Ultrasound guided ulnar nerve block using an in-plane technique (Figure from Sohoni et al., 2016) 3.

 

Please see link to excellent descriptions and videos of ulnar, radial, and median US-guided nerve blocks in the ED. www.highlandultrasound.com/forearm-blocks/

 

Method 2: Tumescent anesthesia

Tumescent means “Swollen”. In relation to local anaesthesia, Dr. Lalonde provides the following definition in his textbook Wide-Awake Hand Surgery: “Injecting a large enough volume of local anesthetic that you can see it plump up the skin and feel its slightly firm consistency with your finger through the skin” 4. The tumescent anesthesia approach has been described in depth for a variety of hand surgeries 4-6.

Using a 10cc syringe, aim for the space directly between the median and ulnar nerve (figure 5 and Video 1).  As you puncture the skin, Inject 3-5cc in the subcutaneous space. This is critical to block superficial nerves in this region, including the palmar cutaneous branch of the median nerve. Then, move your needle >3-4mm deeper through the superficial fascia in the forearm compartment where the median and ulnar nerves reside. Inject the remainder of your 10cc syringe into this space. With a single poke, the ulnar and median nerve distributions should be completely anesthetized.

Now, all that remain are the superficial branches of radial nerves and the posterior interosseus nerve. The superficial branches of radial nerve lie over the anatomical snuffbox. Insert your needle within 1cm of your previously anesthetized skin and blow local anesthesia into the subcutaneous space as you slowly move your needle towards the radial aspect of the wrist until you have a tumescent area of local anesthesia over the snuffbox. For the PIN, which is primarily a motor branch of radial nerve but has some sensory contribution, palpate the distal radial ulnar joint  of the dorsal aspect of the wrist. The PIN runs along the interosseous membrane so the needle needs to pass through the deep fascia of the forearm. Inject another 5cc of lidocaine in this location.

 

Figure 5. Tumescent anesthesia of the median and ulnar nerve 5.

 

Video 1. Tumescent anesthesia of the hand (courtesy of S. Hurley).

 

Which approach is better?

No studies have directly compared the two approaches discussed in this article. A recent Cochrane review article reviewed compared US-guided vs. anatomical landmark technique vs. trans-arterial vs. peripheral nerve stimulation for lower and upper limb blocks by trained anaesthetists. They found US-guided had greater success rates, less conversions to general anesthetic, lower rates of parathesias and vascular puncture 7.

A recent small randomized control trial compared US-guided nerve blocks of the forearm to anatomical landmark-based technique and found 14 of 18 ultrasound-guided forearm blocks were successful, as opposed to 10 of 18 for the anatomical technique 3.

Pearl: The tumescent anesthesia technique blocks both smaller and larger nerves of the hand and will likely achieve faster anesthesia compared to nerve blocks of the ulnar, median, and radial nerve.  Expect up to an hour for the large nerve blocks to take full effect.

 

Conclusions

Both methods, US-Guided nerve blocks and tumescent anesthesia are safe, effective, and relatively easy options to achieve complete anesthesia of the hand. For both techniques, remember basic principles for minimizing pain during injection of local anaesthesia to optimize patient comfort and satisfaction 4-6.

 

References

  1. Amini R, Kartchner JZ, Nagdev A, Adhikari S. 2016. Ultrasound‐Guided nerve blocks in emergency medicine practice. Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine 35: 731-736.
  2. Liebmann O, Price D, Mills C, et al. 2006. Feasibility of forearm ultrasonography-guided nerve blocks of the radial, ulnar, and median nerves for hand procedures in the emergency department. Ann Emerg Med 48: 558-562.
  3. Sohoni A, Nagdev A, Takhar S, Stone M. 2016. Forearm ultrasound-guided nerve blocks vs landmark-based wrist blocks for hand anesthesia in healthy volunteers. Am J Emerg Med 34: 730-734.
  4. Lalonde D. 2016. Wide awake hand surgery, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group. Boca Raton, FL.
  5. Lalonde DH. 2010. “Hole-in-one” local anesthesia for wide-awake carpal tunnel surgery. Plast Reconstr Surg 126: 1642-1644.
  6. Farhangkhoee H, Lalonde J, Lalonde DH. 2012. Teaching medical students and residents how to inject local anesthesia almost painlessly. Can J Plast Surg 20: 169-172.
  7. Lewis SR, Price A, Walker KJ, McGrattan K, Smith AF. 2015. Ultrasound guidance for upper and lower limb blocks. The Cochrane Library.

 

This post was copyedited by Kavish Chandra @kavishpchandra

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Improving the economy, and our health with one simple action – reading.

Improving the health and the wealth of the population can seem like a complex, almost impossible, task for governments. It may therefore seem somewhat surprising that a single inexpensive intervention could make a major impact on both. Believe it or not, the number of hours a child reads when young could significantly impact their health and wealth later in life, and also improve the economy.

Indeed, it seems that simply by ensuring kids read more before they start school, and most certainly in the early years at school, the economy and the lives of citizens could be impacted significantly for the better. How so?

In New Brunswick (NB), our students preform reasonably well on reading and mathematics when compared to other countries. NB reading scores for 15 year olds (PISA 2016) are just above the OECD average of 493 points at 505. However, they lag behind the rest of Canada, where the average score was 527 points. A similar pattern is seen with GDP, with New Brunswick showing a GDP per capita of CAN$45,187 (US$35,375) in 2016, compared with Canada at CAN$56,129 (US$43,938), and international rates as high as US$102,831 in Luxembourg (World Bank 2016).

Research from many countries has shown that the best predictor of future education achievement and life success regardless of socio-economic background is reading ability. And what is the best predictor of Grade 2 reading levels? That would be how much a child has read up to that age (Simplicity 2018). Not what they have read, just the total reading hours.

So the number of hours a child spends reading in their early years predicts their reading ability (learning to read), which in turn helps them read to learn through their school years. This in turn is associated with better earnings and better GDP per capita, which in turn is associated with improved health outcomes (Swift 2011).

So, if you want your child to be healthy, wealthy and wise, perhaps getting early to bed every day is important, but not before they have spent some time reading!

Let’s get our children reading early, and reading more!

 

 

 

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Fall ECCU Fest 2018 – PoCUS Conference Workshop and ECCU2 Course

September 27th – 28th 2018

The Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, Canada

 

Atlantic Canada’s top PoCUS event

 

Now open for applications/booking

 

 

The ECCU Conference is being held in conjunction with the ECCU2 Advanced Applications Course in order to provide those attending the course and other delegates with an opportunity to access an update in the hottest clinical PoCUS topics. The focus will be on presenting the best emerging evidence, strategies for developing a local PoCUS program and developing competencies.

Includes:

  • International PoCUS experts
  • Clinical PoCUS hot topics and updates
  • Top PoCUS research
  • IP2 Diagnostic stream lectures

Conference delegates will have access to the Diagnostic stream lectures of the ECCU2 Advanced Applications Course, which will include an Gallbladder, Renal, DVT and Ocular

Invited Faculty – 2018

Dr. Hein Lamprecht – South Africa – (ECCU Fest 2018) – PoCUS Educator Extraordinaire – IFEM – WinFocus

Dr. Darryl Wood – UK/South Africa – (ECCU Fest 2018) – PoCUS bushcraft on the frontline

Dr. Peter Croft – USA – (ECCU Fest 2018) – New England PoCUS disrupter –past MGH PoCUS Fellow

Dr. David Mackenzie – USA – (ECCU Fest 2018) – Canadian New Englander, PoCUS innovator – past MGH PoCUS Fellow

 

Also our top Dalhousie Faculty of PoCUS Experts

 


 

Open for applications and booking: More Information Here

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EM Reflections – February 2018

Thanks to Dr. Paul Page for leading the discussions this month

Edited by Dr David Lewis 

 


 

Top tips from this month’s rounds:

Pleuritic Chest Pain – Don’t forget the Abdomen

Headache – Not always Migraine

Epistaxis – Posterior Bleed

CME QUIZ

 


Pleuritic Chest Pain – Don’t forget the Abdomen

The commonest causes of pleuritic chest pain (pleurisy) presenting to the ED include:

  • Pulmonary embolus
  • Pneumonia
  • Pericarditis
  • Myocardial infarct
  • Pneumothorax

Once these have been ruled out consider the following differential diagnosis:

ref: American Family Physician (May 2007)

 

Another differential to consider is:

Perforated peptic ulcer

This can result in localized sub-diaphragmatic peritonitis that can result in pleuritic chest pain

 

Tips:

  • If a CT Chest has been performed – look for free air under the diaphragm
  • Always document an abdominal exam when assessing a patient with pleuritic chest pain
  • Although radiologists are highly skilled, like any physician, they are not infallible. Conservative estimates suggest an error rate of 4%. See this excellent article: The Epidemiology of Error in Radiology and Strategies for Error Reduction
  • Wherever possible physicians should always review the images from CT and X-Ray prior to reading the formal radiology report.

Arrows depicting free air on erect CXR – note the double stomach bubble sign on the left

Free air seen on lower slice of CT Chest. Easily mistaken for bowel

 

 


Headache – Not always migraine

The commonest cause of headache presenting to the ED is migraine

The features of migraine headache are well documented in this article – The diagnosis and treatment of chronic migraine

 

The differential diagnosis for patients presenting with headache is large. This excellent website (https://ddxof.com/) provides algorithms to help consider the differential diagnosis in the cardinal EM presentations.

From: DDxof.com

 

Another differential to consider is:

Anemia

Sub-acute onset anemia secondary to chronic blood loss e.g menorrhagia, chronic GI bleed, etc can present with fatigue, visual disturbance and headache.

Tips:

  • Patients who present to ED with a new headache (no previous hx of primary headache syndrome or change in symptoms) should have baseline investigations including CBC and Glucose.
  • Always review the paramedic and triage notes for supplementary information and the presence of additional symptoms that may broaden or narrow the differential.
  • Patient ethnicity and skin colour may mask the presence of anemia.

 

 

 

 


Epistaxis – Posterior Bleed

Posterior epistaxis is a difficult condition to manage and is associated with a number of acute and serious complications. In this study, 3.7% required intubation.

The #FOAM Blog post provides an excellent outline to the management of posterior epistaxis – EMDocs.net

The Emergency Department Management of Posterior Epistaxis

 

Posterior Nasal Packing – video

 

 

Tips:

  • All cases of major bleeding, including epistaxis should be initially managed in the highest acuity areas of the ED. Patients can then be rapidly stepped down and relocated to lower acuity areas if determined to be lower risk after initial assessment.
  • Consider using a suction device to aid intubation in cases of massive obscuring oro/naso-pharynx haemorrhage.

PulmCrit: Large-bore suction for intubation: strategies & devices

 


 

 

CME QUIZ

EM Reflections - Feb 18 - CME Quiz

EM Reflections – Nov 17 – CME Quiz

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