Congratulations Dr. Rob Dunfield – Iype/Wilfred Resident Award Winner!

Congratulations Dr. Rob Dunfield – Iype/Wilfred Resident Award Winner!


Our own Dr. Rob Dunfield is the recipient of the 2022 Iype/Wilfred Resident Award. The New Brunswick Medical Society awards this honor to residents who have demonstrated outstanding achievements during their residency training in New Brunswick. More specifically this award recognizes achievements in research, professionalism, compassion and caring.

Dr. Dunfield is a third year resident in our local Integrated Family Medicine Emergency Medicine program. He previously served as the program’s chief resident and has already been recognized during residency for his award winning research. 

We are proud of Dr. Dunfield and can’t wait to see what he achieves next!

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Dr. Tushar Pishe – Physician Leader

Dr. Tushar Pishe – Physician Leader

On behalf of the Department of Emergency Medicine, we would like to extend our congratulations to Dr. Pishe on his success in being awarded the CCPE (Canadian Certified Physician Executive) credential through the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders.

Dr. Pishe has been an Emergency Physician at the SJRH since completing his Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine residencies from Dalhousie University in 2002. He has held various positions including Medical Education Coordinator and Director of Emergency Ultrasound. His main areas of interest are EMS, Point of Care Ultrasound, Trauma Care and he has assumed the role of Provincial Medical Director for Emergency Health Services NB in June 2014.

Dr. Pishe has been associated with the ambulance system for more than 15 years in various roles, including as the local Medical Director for several ambulance services prior to Ambulance New Brunswick and, since 2008, as a member of the Provincial EMS Medical Advisory Committee. He has also contributed greatly to New Brunswick’s EMS System in his roles as Medical Oversight Physician, and the lead for the Air Ambulance Program, as well as acting as a Trauma Control Physician within the NB Trauma Program.

The Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) credential recognizes and advances physician leadership and excellence through a national, peer-generated, standards-based assessment process. It is based on the tenets of the LEADS in a Caring Environment Capabilities Framework.

Those who earn the credential have demonstrated that they have the leadership capabilities, knowledge and skills needed to succeed ― and to direct, influence and orchestrate change in Canada’s complex health care system.


Congratulations Tushar!

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CanPoCUS May 2022

CanPoCUS May 2022

New to Point of Care Ultrasound (PoCUS)? Been scanning for a while but wanted some formal, hands on training? Join us for the CanPoCUS Core Course in Saint John, NB this upcoming May 2022. 

This introductory PoCUS course has been designed for doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants who work in acute care e.g Emergency MedicineFamily MedicineInternal MedicineCritical CareSurgery.

It provides the core knowledge and hands-on training required to confidently add PoCUS to your practice.

Our course fills up quickly – what are you waiting for? Register today 


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Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals – Saint John Regional Hospital

Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals – Saint John Regional Hospital

Incorporating novel research into everyday clinical practice to improve patient care within NB – that’s the goal of Dr. Kavish Chandra, Director of Research in Emergency Medicine in Saint John, NB. The Emergency Department at Saint John Regional Hospital has been a leader in research – from medical student projects to nationally recognized trials –  research is an integral part of the department and the hospital.


Interested in what projects are ongoing that are changing how we practice medicine? Check out our Research Projects.

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Congratulations Dr. Melanie Johnston – Resident Research Award Winner

Congratulations to our own Dr. Melanie Johnston, a second year resident in the FMEM Program here in Saint John. Dr. Johnston was the recipient of The Dr. Douglas E. Sinclair Award in Emergency Medicine Research for her research project entitled “- Impact of shift Trial on Overnight Patient Flow at the Saint John Regional Emergency Department.” This award is presented by the Dalhousie Department of Emergency Medicine to the most significant research project presentation at the annual Emergency Medicine Research Day.

It is judged on the following criteria: background and research methodology, overall presentation, critical appraisal and appropriateness to emergency medicine and clinical practice.

Congratulations Dr. Johnston!

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Dr. David Lewis – Professor of Emergency Medicine

Dr. David Lewis – Professor


A huge congratulations goes out to Dr. David Lewis on his recent promotion to the rank of Professor of Emergency Medicine within Dalhousie University!

This is no small feat – candidates are examined by both internal and external reviewers in the areas of academics, teaching, collegiality and personal integrity. Those reaching the title of Professor must have demonstrated significant career development and contribution to the university in their chosen field.

It comes as no surprise that Dr. Lewis was successful – he is a foundational member of our local department and a forward-thinking leader, he is actively involved in supervision and review of national research in emergency medicine, he is revolutionizing how medical students learn ultrasound – and he does all this while maintaining a love for the field and a positive energy.

Congratulations Dr. Lewis!

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Congratulations to Dr. Rob Dunfield – CAEP Resident Research Award Winner!

CAEP 2021 Resident Research Award Winner – Dr. Rob Dunfield

A big congratulations goes out to our very own resident researcher, Dr. Rob Dunfield! Dr. Dunfield is a second year resident in the FMEM Program here in Saint John. He is one of seven residents recognized nationally for their excellent research abstract submissions to the annual CAEP conference. Dr. Dunfield’s research project is a secondary study from the SHOC-ED group and is entitled:  “Does IVC Ultrasound independently predict fluid status in spontaneously breathing, undifferentiated hypotensive patients? SHOC-IVC”.

Congratulations again, Dr. Dunfield!

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CAEP Emergency Physician of the Year – Dr. David Lewis

A huge congratulations goes out to our very own Dr. David Lewis who is one of the recipients of 2020’s CAEP Emergency Physician of the Year – Urban! This is an annual award recognizing excellence in the specialty of emergency medicine and is awarded to a physician who has made outstanding contributions to the field in a number of areas including patient care, community service, healthcare administration and CAEP activities.

Dr. Lewis is an integral part of our emergency department as Assistant Clinical Departmental Head, Ultrasound Program Director, Informatics Lead and as a senior clinician. He has been actively involved with CAEP as a member of the planning committee, ultrasound committee and as Scientific Co-chair. Dr. Lewis continues to contribute to research as an editor with CJEM and as an active contributor to local projects. Last year he co-founded the PoCUS Fellowship program with the intentions of promoting the capabilities of PoCUS, and training fellows who will then carry on this knowledge in administering their own programs. Clinically, he is a seasoned member of the department with a wealth of experience and one committed to excellent patient care.

It comes as no surprise that Dr. Lewis has been awarded this honour – congratulations and SJRHEM is so happy to call you our own!

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In case you missed it – Spring 2020

Some non-COVID emergency updates selected from UptoDate and local research


Paul Atkinson, May 2020


You can go low(er): MAP target for older adults with septic shock

Previous studies in older adults with septic shock suggest that a mean arterial pressure (MAP) lower than the traditional target of ≥65 mmHg may have a mortality benefit. In an unblinded, randomized trial of 2600 older patients with vasodilatory shock (septic shock in 80 percent), 90-day mortality was 41 percent for individuals who received vasopressors at a MAP target of 60 to 65 mmHg (“permissive hypotension,” mean achieved MAP 67 mmHg) compared with 44 percent for patients who received usual care (mean achieved MAP 73 mmHg), although this difference was not significant. Adjusted analysis suggested a significant mortality benefit for the lower MAP target. Adverse outcomes, including acute kidney injury and supraventricular arrhythmias, were similar in both groups. These findings support the safety of a lower MAP target in older patients with septic shock but are inconclusive regarding a mortality benefit. We continue to support a target MAP within a range of 60 to 70 mmHg that is individualized for such patients.

Lamontagne F, Richards-Belle A, Thomas K, et al. Effect of Reduced Exposure to Vasopressors on 90-Day Mortality in Older Critically Ill Patients With Vasodilatory Hypotension: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 2020.


Shock first – then epi: Updated guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation

An update of the guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) recently published by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation and American Heart Association includes no major changes in treatment recommendations for adults . The committee writes that either bag mask ventilation or an advanced airway strategy may be used during CPR for adult cardiac arrest, but that a supraglottic airway is preferred in circumstances when clinicians choose an advanced strategy but successful tracheal intubation may be difficult. For nonshockable rhythms, the committee recommends that epinephrine be given as soon as feasible during CPR, while for shockable rhythms epinephrine is given after initial defibrillation attempts are found to be unsuccessful. Recommendations against the use of vasopressin remain in place

Soar J, Maconochie I, Wyckoff MH, et al. 2019 International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science With Treatment Recommendations: Summary From the Basic Life Support; Advanced Life Support; Pediatric Life Support; Neonatal Life Support; Education, Implementation, and Teams; and First Aid Task Forces. Circulation 2019; 140:e826.


Take a hike: Exercise Prescription in the Emergency Department can Lead to Behavioral Change in Patients


The provision of exercise prescriptions to ED patients was shown to be feasible in a New Brunswick study. The reported improvement seen in patients receiving the intervention and the increase in reported exercise in both groups suggests that exercise prescription for ED patients may be beneficial.


Milne F, Leech-Porter K, Atkinson P, et al. (February 21, 2020) Combatting Sedentary Lifestyles: Can Exercise Prescription in the Emergency Department Lead to Behavioral Change in Patients? . Cureus 12(2): e7071. doi:10.7759/cureus.7071


Cooling is hot again? Temperature management following cardiac arrest from nonshockable rhythm

Targeted temperature management (TTM) has been found to improve outcomes following cardiac arrest, but few studies have examined its effectiveness in the subpopulation of patients with a nonshockable rhythm. In an international, multicenter, randomized trial of nearly 600 patients treated in an intensive care unit following resuscitation from cardiac arrest with nonshockable rhythm, those managed with therapeutic hypothermia (goal temperature 33°C) had a better neurologic outcome at 90 days compared with those managed with TTM (goal temperature 37°C) . There were no differences in mortality or adverse outcomes between groups. Temperature management is an important intervention for all adults recovering from cardiac arrest.

Lascarrou JB, Merdji H, Le Gouge A, et al. Targeted Temperature Management for Cardiac Arrest with Nonshockable Rhythm. N Engl J Med 2019; 381:2327.


Risky business: Adjusted D-dimer for patients at low risk for pulmonary embolism

In a prospective study of over 1300 patients with suspected pulmonary embolus (PE), no individuals developed symptomatic venous thromboembolism when a protocol that used D-dimer adjusted for clinical probability by Wells score was used (D-dimer <1000 ng/mL for low probability and <500 ng/mL for moderate probability) . The need for computed tomographic pulmonary angiographic imaging was reduced by an estimated 17 percent had the traditional D-dimer cut off of <500 ng/mL been used. Results from this study may not be generalizable to patients with moderate pretest probability, inpatients, or populations with low prevalence of PE. Although high-sensitivity D-dimer testing is preferred, protocols that use D-dimer levels adjusted for pretest probability may be an alternative to unadjusted D-dimer in patients with a low pretest probability for PE.

Kearon C, de Wit K, Parpia S, et al. Diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolism with d-Dimer Adjusted to Clinical Probability. N Engl J Med 2019; 381:2125.


Choice remains: Antiseizure drugs for convulsive status epilepticus

There have been few high-quality data to guide the choice among antiseizure drugs that can be given intravenously for the initial treatment of convulsive status epilepticus after administering a benzodiazepine. The randomized, blinded ESETT trial enrolled nearly 400 children and adults with convulsive status epilepticus refractory to benzodiazepine treatment and showed that fosphenytoin, valproate, and levetiracetam had similar efficacy. Each drug resulted in seizure cessation and an improved level of consciousness within 60 minutes in approximately 50 percent of patients. These findings support our recommendation to give a benzodiazepine as the first agent, followed by either fosphenytoin, valproate, or levetiracetam as the second agent, for the initial treatment of generalized convulsive status epilepticus.

Kapur J, Elm J, Chamberlain JM, et al. Randomized Trial of Three Anticonvulsant Medications for Status Epilepticus. N Engl J Med 2019; 381:2103.


Are they safe? Intimate Partner Violence Documentation and Awareness in an Urban Emergency Department


A New Brunswick study on intimate partner violence suggests that current intimate partner violence documentation tools are not being properly utilized. Low rates of intimate partner violence documentation in high-risk patients and a lack of education among the ED staff indicate that there is a need to improve current practices. In order to improve the identification of this important problem, appropriate training and education about intimate partner violence/domestic violence are required as this will definitely instill awareness among the ED staff about available community resources for victims.


Vonkeman J, Atkinson P, Fraser J, et al. (December 28, 2019) Intimate Partner Violence Documentation and Awareness in an Urban Emergency Department. Cureus 11(12): e6493. doi:10.7759/cureus.6493


Bigger is still badder: Surgery versus conservative treatment for cerebellar hemorrhage

Current guidelines recommend surgical evacuation for cerebellar hemorrhages >3 cm in diameter. Although there are no randomized trials to guide treatment, this practice is supported by a recent meta-analysis of individual patient data from four observational studies matching 152 patients who had surgical hematoma evacuation with 152 patients who had conservative treatment . In the adjusted analysis, surgical hematoma evacuation was associated with improved survival at three months (78 versus 61 percent) yet similar rates of a favorable functional outcome. However, in the subgroup with a hematoma volume ≥15 cm3 (a comparable size to >3 cm diameter), a favorable functional outcome was more likely with hematoma evacuation. Limitations of the study include retrospective design, lack of randomization, and small sample size for subgroup analyses.

Kuramatsu JB, Biffi A, Gerner ST, et al. Association of Surgical Hematoma Evacuation vs Conservative Treatment With Functional Outcome in Patients With Cerebellar Intracerebral Hemorrhage. JAMA 2019; 322:1392.


No kidding: CSF analysis in well-appearing young febrile infants with UTIs

The need to perform a lumbar puncture to obtain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for analysis in otherwise low-risk, well-appearing febrile infants with urinary tract infections (UTIs) has been questioned. In a systematic review and meta-analysis of nearly 3900 infants 29 to 90 days of age (20 observational studies), the pooled prevalence of bacterial meningitis in those infants with UTIs was 0.25 percent. Sterile CSF pleocytosis was variably reported (in up to 29 percent of patients with UTIs), leading to unnecessary additional antibiotic coverage for suspected meningitis pending culture results. These findings support avoiding lumbar puncture in otherwise low-risk, well-appearing febrile young infants 29 to 90 days of age with UTIs.

Nugent J, Childers M, Singh-Miller N, et al. Risk of Meningitis in Infants Aged 29 to 90 Days with Urinary Tract Infection: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Pediatr 2019; 212:102.


Mini-ECMO: 2019 AHA update on pediatric advanced life support

The 2019 American Heart Association focused update on pediatric advanced life support provides evidence review and treatment recommendations for the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) with CPR (ECPR) and targeted temperature management after resuscitation. According to the update, use of ECPR in settings with existing ECMO protocols, expertise, and equipment may be beneficial for selected patients for whom conventional CPR is ineffective after in-hospital cardiac arrest. In addition, for infants and children who remain comatose after resuscitation from in- or out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, it is reasonable to provide five days of normothermia (temperature 36 to 37.5°C), or to provide two days of therapeutic hypothermia (targeted temperature range 32 to 34°C) followed by three days of continuous normothermia.

Duff JP, Topjian AA, Berg MD, et al. 2019 American Heart Association Focused Update on Pediatric Advanced Life Support: An Update to the American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Pediatrics 2020; 145.


Wait a minute (or 10): Opioid analgesia and adverse events during procedural sedation in children

In children undergoing moderate to severely painful procedures, intravenous opioids (eg, fentanyl or morphine) are frequently used for pain control prior to sedation. In a prospective, multicenter observational study of almost 6,300 children undergoing sedation for painful procedures (primarily fracture reductions) in the emergency department, opioid administration prior to the procedure versus no opioid analgesia was associated with an increased risk of oxygen desaturation (9 versus 4 percent), vomiting (7 versus 5 percent), and need for positive pressure ventilation (1.5 versus 0.9 percent). These risks were greatest when opioid analgesia was administered closer to the time of sedation. These findings confirm the increased risk for adverse events during procedural sedation for children who also receive intravenous opioids for pain control; clinicians should anticipate and be prepared to handle these adverse events and, when possible, avoid opioid administration just prior to sedation.

Bhatt M, Cheng W, Roback MG, et al. Impact of Timing of Preprocedural Opioids on Adverse Events in Procedural Sedation. Acad Emerg Med 2020; 27:217.


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