The latest medical research on Emergency Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about emergency medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Development of the use of primary health care emergency departments after interventions aimed at decreasing overcrowding: a longitudinal follow-up study.

Prehospital Emergency Care

This study, conducted in a Finnish city, examined whether decreasing emergency department (ED) services in an overcrowded primary care ED and corresponding direction to office-hours primary care would modify service usage for specific gender, age or diagnosis groups.

This was an observational retrospective study carried out by gradually decreasing ED services in primary care. The interventions aimed at decreasing use of EDs were a) application of ABCDE-triage combined with public guidance on the proper use of EDs, b) closure of a minor supplementary ED, and finally, c) application of "reverse triage" with enhanced direction of the public to office-hours services and away from the remaining ED The annual number of visits to office-hours primary care GPs in different gender, age and diagnosis groups (International Classification of Diseases (ICD - 10) were recorded during a 13-year follow-up period.

The total number of monthly visits to EDs decreased slowly over the whole study period. This decrease was similar in women and men. The decrease was stronger in the youngest age groups (0-19 years). GPs treated decreasing proportions of ICD-10 groups. Recorded infectious diseases (Groups A and J, and especially diagnoses related to infections of respiratory airways) tended to decrease. However, visits due to injuries and symptomatic diagnoses increased.

Decreasing services in a primary health care ED with the described interventions seemed to reduce the use of services by young people. The three interventions mentioned above had the effect of making the primary care ED under study appear to function more like a standard ED driven by specialized health care.

Pericapsular nerve group block for hip fracture is feasible, safe and effective in the emergency department: A prospective observational comparative cohort study.

EMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia

The pericapsular nerve group (PENG) block was first described for analgesia of hip fracture in 2018. We hypothesised that the PENG block is safe and effective for patients with hip fracture when provided by emergency physicians and trainees in the ED.

This was an observational study of routine care. Consecutive patients receiving regional anaesthesia for hip fracture at a single ED were prospectively enrolled. Pain scores were assessed prior to regional anaesthesia then at 15, 30 and 60 min after administration. Maximal reduction in pain scores within 60 min were assessed using the Visual Analogue Scale (at rest and on movement) or the Pain Assessment IN Advanced Dementia tool (at rest). Patients were followed for opioid use for 12 h after regional anaesthesia and adverse events over the duration of admission.

There were 67 eligible patients during the enrolment period, with 52 (78%) prospectively enrolled. Thirty-three received femoral blocks (19 fascia iliaca compartment blocks, 14 femoral nerve blocks) and 19 received a PENG block. Inexperienced providers were able to successfully perform the PENG block. There was no difference in maximum pain score reduction between the groups. There was no difference in adverse effects between groups. Opioid use was similar between the groups. More patients were opioid-free after a PENG block.

The present study demonstrated that the PENG block can be provided safely and effectively to patients with hip fracture in the ED. On the basis of this pilot study, a larger randomised controlled study should now be designed.

Multicenter survey clarifying phrases in emergency radiology reports.

Emergency Radiology

Interactions between radiologists and emergency physicians are often diminished as imaging volume increases and more radiologists read off site. We explore how several commonly used phrasings are perceived by radiologists and emergency physicians to decrease ambiguity in reporting.

An anonymous survey was distributed to attendings and residents at seven academic radiology and emergency departments across the USA via a digital platform as well as to an email group consisting of radiologists across the country with an interest in quality assurance. Physicians were asked to assign a percent score to probabilistic phrases such as, "suspicious of," or "concerned for." Additional questions including, "how often the report findings are reviewed," "what makes a good radiology report," and "when is it useful to use the phrase 'clinical correlation are recommended.'" Median scores and confidence intervals were compared using an independent Student's T-test.

Generally, there was agreement between radiologists and emergency room physicians in how they interpret probabilistic phrases except for the phrases, "compatible with," and "subcentimeter liver lesions too small to characterize." Radiologists consider a useful report to answer the clinical question, be concise, and well organized. Emergency physicians consider a useful report to be concise, definitive or include a differential diagnosis, answer the clinical question, and recommend a next step. Radiologists and emergency physicians did not agree on the usefulness of the phrase, "clinical correlation recommended," in which radiologists found the phrase more helpful under particular circumstances.

The survey demonstrated a wide range of answers for probabilistic phrases for both radiologists and emergency physicians. While the medians and means of the two groups were often different by statistical significance, the actual percent difference was minor. These wide range of answers suggest that use of probabilistic phrases may sometimes lead to misinterpretation between radiologist and emergency room physician and should be avoided or defined if possible.

Inhibition of Nitrosative Stress Attenuates Myocardial Injury and Improves Outcomes After Cardiac Arrest and Resuscitation.

Shock

Nitrosative stress is widely involved in cell injury via inducing the nitration modification of a variety of proteins. This study aimed to investigate whether inhibition of nitrosative stress attenuated myocardial injury and improved outcomes in a rat model of cardiac arrest (CA) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to asphyxia-induced cardiac arrest and subsequently resuscitation. One minute after return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), rats were randomized and administered the nitrosative stress inhibitor, FeTMPyP (1 or 3 mg/kg), or normal saline as a placebo. 3-Nitrotyrosine (3-NT), mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), mortality, electrocardiogram (ECG), left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) and fractional shortening (FS), and levels of myocardial apoptosis were evaluated. The concentrations of lactate, creatine kinase MB isoenzyme (CK-MB), and angiotensin II (Ang II), were measured in blood samples.

3-NT level was significantly increased in the heart after ROSC. Administration of FeTMPyP (1 or 3 mg/kg) attenuated the increase of 3-NT in the myocardium. Inhibition of nitrosative stress improved survival and attenuated CA/CPR-induced reperfusion injury by maintaining the stability of MAP and HR, and reducing the accumulation of lactic acid. Post-cardiac arrest rats had higher serum CK-MB and Ang II than healthy rats, while EF and FS were lower in healthy rats. Inhibition of nitrosative stress not only alleviated ischemic heart injury but also reduced the occurrence of CA/CPR-induced of arrhythmias. Moreover, nitrosative stress mediated the upregulation of Cleaved caspase-3 and downregulation Bcl-2, which was abolished by FeTMPyP.

Inhibition of nitrosative stress is a novel molecular target to alleviate myocardial injury and improve outcomes in a rat model of CA/CPR.

Point of care ultrasound as initial diagnostic tool in acute dyspnea patients in the emergency department of a tertiary care center: diagnostic accuracy study.

International Journal of Emergency Medicine

Dyspnea is one of the common symptoms patients present to the emergency department (ED). The broad spectrum of differentials often requires laboratory and radiological testing in addition to clinical evaluation, causing unnecessary delay. Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) has shown promising results in accurately diagnosing patients with dyspnea, thus, becoming a popular tool in ED while saving time and maintaining safety standards. Our study aimed to determine the utilization of point of care ultrasound in patients with acute dyspnea as an initial diagnostic tool in our settings.

The study was conducted at the emergency department of a tertiary healthcare center in Northern India. Adult patients presenting with acute dyspnea were prospectively enrolled. They were clinically evaluated and necessarily investigated, and a provisional diagnosis was made. Another EP, trained in PoCUS, performed the scan, blinded to the laboratory investigations (not the clinical parameters), and made a PoCUS diagnosis. Our gold standard was the final composite diagnosis made by two Emergency Medicine consultants (who had access to all investigations). Accuracy and concordance of the ultrasound diagnosis to the final composite diagnosis were calculated. The time to formulate a PoCUS diagnosis and final composite diagnosis was compared.

Two hundred thirty-seven patients were enrolled. The PoCUS and final composite diagnosis showed good concordance (κ = 0.668). PoCUS showed a high sensitivity for acute pulmonary edema, pleural effusion, pneumothorax, pneumonia, pericardial effusion, and low sensitivity for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)/acute lung injury (ALI). High overall specificity was seen. A high positive predictive value for all except left ventricular dysfunction, pericardial effusion, non-cardiopulmonary causes of dyspnea, and a low negative predictive value was seen for pneumonia. The median time to make a PoCUS diagnosis was 16 (5-264) min compared to the 170 (8-1346) min taken for the final composite diagnosis. Thus, time was significantly lower for PoCUS diagnosis (p value <0.001).

By combining the overall accuracy of PoCUS, the concordance with the final composite diagnosis, and the statistically significant reduction in time taken to formulate the diagnosis, PoCUS shows immense promise as an initial diagnostic tool that may expedite the decision-making in ED for patients' prompt management and disposition with reliable accuracy.

Effect of intermediate/high versus low dose heparin on the thromboembolic and hemorrhagic risk of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients in the emergency department.

Prehospital Emergency Care

The optimal prophylactic dose of heparin in patients with coronavirus-associated disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the emergency department (ED) is debated. This study aimed to analyze different thromboprophylaxis approaches in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients admitted to ED without initial venous thromboembolism.

Retrospectively, the effect of intermediate/high versus low dose heparin treatment was evaluated from December 2020 to July 2021 in a tertiary Academic Hospital in northeast Italy. The primary outcome comprised arterial or venous thromboembolism or all-cause death within 30 days. Secondary outcomes comprised each single primary outcome component or major hemorrhagic event. Cox regression was used to determine predictors of the primary outcome and propensity score weights to balance the effect of heparin treatment on all outcomes.

Data of 144 consecutive patients (age 70 ± 13, 33% females) were included in the study. High-dose prophylactic heparin was used in 69%, intermediate in 15%, and low in 17% of patients. The primary outcome occurred in 48 patients. Independent predictors of the primary outcome were COVID-19 severity (hazards ratio (HR) 1.96, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05-3.65, p = 0.035) and D-dimer levels (HR each log ng/dl 1.38, 95% CI 1.04-1.84, p = 0.026). Intermediate/high dose heparin did not affect the risk of the primary outcome compared with the low dose (weighted HR 1.39, 95% CI 0.75-2.56, p = 0.292). Intermediate/high heparin increased the risk of major hemorrhagic events (weighted HR 5.92, 95% CI 1.09-32, p = 0.039).

In unvaccinated COVID-19 patients admitted to ED, prophylaxis with heparin at the intermediate/high dose did not reduce primary outcome compared with the low dose but increased the risk of major hemorrhagic events.

Outcomes in patients not conveyed by emergency medical services (EMS): a one-year prospective study.

Trauma,Resuscitation,Emergency Medicine

The decision to not convey patients has become common in emergency medical services worldwide. A substantial proportion (12-51%) of the patients seen by emergency medical services are not conveyed by those services. The practice of non-conveyance is a result of the increasing and changing demands on the acute care system. Research focusing on the outcomes of the decision by emergency medical services to not convey patients is needed.

The aim was to describe outcomes (emergency department visits, admission to in-hospital intensive care units and mortality, all within seven days) and their association with the variables (sex, age, day of week, time of day, emergency signs and symptoms codes, triage level colour, and destination) for non-conveyed patients.

This was a prospective analytical study with consecutive inclusion of all patients not conveyed by emergency medical services. Patients were included between February 2016 and January 2017. The study was conducted in Region Örebro county, Sweden. The region consists of both rural and urban areas and has a population of approximately 295,000. The region had three ambulance departments that received approximately 30,000 assignments per year.

The result showed that no patient received intensive care, and 18 (0.7%) patients died within seven days after the non-conveyance decision. Older age was associated with a higher risk of hospitalisation and death within seven days after a non-conveyance decision.

Based on the results of this one-year follow-up study, few patients compared to previous studies were admitted to the hospital, received intensive care or died within seven days. This study contributes insights that can be used to improve non-conveyance guidelines and minimise the risk of patient harm.

Preclinical Pediatric Care by Emergency Physicians: A Comparison of Trauma and Nontrauma Patients in a Population-Based Study in Austria.

Pediatric Emergency Care

Fewer than 10% of emergency medical system (EMS) calls concern children and adolescents younger than 18 years. Studies have shown that the preclinical care of children differs from that of adults regarding assessment, interventions, and monitoring. The aims of this study were to describe the preclinical care and emergency transport of pediatric patients in Vorarlberg, Austria and to compare trauma and nontrauma cases.

This is a population-based study, analyzing medical records of EMS calls to children and adolescents. We received all patient records of EMS calls to children and adolescents younger than 18 years (n = 4390 in total) from the 2 local EMS providers, the Red Cross Vorarlberg and the Austrian Mountain Rescue Service (Christophorus 8 and Gallus 1) covering a study period of 7 years, from 2013 to 2019. The record data were extracted by automation with an in-house program and subsequently anonymized. Statistical analyses were performed with SPSS Statistics.

During the study period, 7.9% of all EMS calls concerned children and adolescents younger than 18 years. For our study, 3761 records were analyzed and 1270 trauma cases (33.8%) were identified. The most common injuries were injuries of the extremities and traumatic brain injury. The frequency of National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics Scores of 4 or higher was 17.7%, similar for all age groups and for trauma as well as nontrauma patients. Mean Glasgow Coma Scale scores were higher in the trauma group than in the nontrauma group (14.2 vs 11.2). In 62.9% of all patients, 1 or more vital parameters were documented. A majority of these values was in the pathologic range for the respective age group. The rate of pulsoxymetry monitoring during transport was low (42.1% in trauma and 30.3% in nontrauma patients) and decreased significantly with patient age. Moreover, while the placing of intravenous lines and monitoring during transport were significantly more frequent in trauma patients, the administration of medication or oxygen was significantly more frequent in nontrauma patients.

The pediatric population lacks assessments and monitoring in preclinical care, especially the youngest children and nontrauma patients, although emergency severity scores are similar.

Prehospital Epinephrine Use in Pediatric Anaphylaxis by Emergency Medical Services.

Pediatric Emergency Care

Anaphylaxis requires prompt assessment and management with epinephrine to reduce its morbidity and mortality. This study examined the prehospital management of pediatric anaphylactic reactions in Northeast Ohio.

This is a retrospective chart review using emergency medical service (EMS) run charts of patients 18 years and younger from February 2015 to April 2019. Patient charts with the diagnosis of "anaphylaxis" or "allergic reaction" were reviewed and confirmed that symptoms met anaphylaxis criteria. Information regarding epinephrine administration before EMS arrival and medications given by EMS providers was collected. Analysis was performed using descriptive statistics.

From 646 allergic/anaphylactic reaction EMS run charts, 150 (23%) met the guideline criteria for anaphylaxis. The median patient age was 12 years. Only 57% (86/150) of these patients received intramuscular epinephrine, and the majority received it before EMS arrival. Epinephrine was administered by EMS to 32% (30/94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 22.7% to 42.3%) of patients who had not already received epinephrine. The odds of receiving prehospital epinephrine were significantly lower for patients 5 years and younger (risk difference [RD], -0.23; 95% CI, -0.43 to -0.04), those with no history of allergic reaction (RD, -0.20; 95% CI, -0.38 to -0.03), those who presented with lethargy (RD, -0.43; 95% CI, -0.79 to -0.06), and those whose trigger was a medication or environmental allergen (RD, -0.47; 95% CI, -0.72 to -0.23 for each).

Emergency medical service providers in this region demonstrated similar use of epinephrine as reported elsewhere. However, 43% (64/150) of pediatric patients meeting anaphylaxis criteria did not receive prehospital epinephrine, and 10% (15/150) received no treatment whatsoever. Efforts to improve EMS provider recognition and prompt epinephrine administration in pediatric cases of anaphylaxis seem necessary.

Identifying Barriers to Trainees Addressing Corporal Punishment and Effective Discipline Using Simulation and Semistructured Debriefing.

Pediatric Emergency Care

The objective of the current study was to examine (1) physician trainee interventions when confronted with a situation in which corporal punishment (CP) occurs in a simulated medical setting and (2) their knowledge, comfort, and experiences shared during a semistructured debriefing.

Themes were developed from simulation sessions from 2018 to 2019, where a convenience sample of training physicians was invited to participate. The simulation involved a medical visit where a caregiver becomes increasingly aggravated, eventually striking her child on the back of the head. There were a total of 7 simulations with one trainee participating while others observed. All trainees subsequently participated in a debriefing and educational session.

A total of 37 physician trainees participated. Themes of not having the wording to address CP, not knowing the distinction between CP and physical abuse, previous negative experiences discussing discipline with families, and fear of offending families negatively impacted trainees' ability to intervene during the simulation. Trainees were interested in future education including simulated medical encounters to improve their responses to CP in the future.

Trainees felt uncomfortable with intervening when CP was observed and did not know how to provide appropriate guidance to families on discipline. Moreover, performance during the simulation and discussions during the debriefings revealed knowledge gaps regarding the difference between CP and physical abuse, how to word recommendations about CP to caregivers, and what resources should be provided. These data suggest the need for education on CP and discipline to be integrated into pediatric training.

Prevalence and Causes of Subconjunctival Hemorrhage in Children.

Pediatric Emergency Care

Subconjunctival hemorrhage (SCH) is a reported sign of occult abusive injury, but there are limited published data about SCH during childhood. We sought to determine the prevalence and causes of SCH in children.

This is a retrospective cross-sectional study of children seen by pediatric ophthalmologists in an outpatient setting over 4 years. Primary outcomes were prevalence and causes of SCH, based on history, physical ocular and nonocular findings, and laboratory and imaging studies. Subconjunctival hemorrhage prevalence was determined including and excluding eye surgery to reduce bias in the prevalence estimate.

We studied 33,990 children, who underwent 86,277 examinations (median age, 5 years; range, 2 days to 18 years; 9282 younger than 2 years, 13,447 age 2-7 years, 11,261 age 8-18 years). There were 949 cases of SCH (1.1%; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-1.2). When surgery was excluded, there were 313 cases (prevalence, 0.4%; 95% confidence interval, 0.3-0.4), of which 261 (83%) were due to trauma; 40 (13%) ocular surface inflammation, including infectious conjunctivitis; 7 (2%) orbital or conjunctival lesion; 3 (1%) vessel rupture from choking or cough; and 2 (1%) coagulopathy related. Across all ages, including less than 2 years, trauma and inflammation together accounted for 94% to 97% of all cases of SCH.

Subconjunctival hemorrhage is uncommon in children. The great majority of cases are due to trauma. All children with SCH, including infants and young children, should be closely examined to identify other ocular or nonocular signs of trauma.

Physician-Specific Utilization of an Electronic Best Practice Alert for Pediatric Sepsis in the Emergency Department.

Pediatric Emergency Care

Early recognition of sepsis remains a critical goal in the pediatric emergency department (ED). Although this has led to the development of best practice alerts (BPAs) to facilitate screening and bundled care, research on how individual physicians interact with sepsis alerts and protocols is limited. This study aims to identify common reasons for acceptance and rejection of a sepsis BPA by pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) physicians and understand how the BPA affects physician management of patients with suspected sepsis.

This is a qualitative study of PEM physicians in a quaternary-care children's hospital. Data were collected through semistructured interviews and analyzed through an iterative coding process until thematic saturation was achieved. Member checking was completed to ensure trustworthiness. Thematic analysis of PEM physicians' rejection reasons in the electronic health record was used to categorize their responses and calculate each theme's frequency.

Twenty-two physicians participated in this study. Seven physicians (32%) relied solely on patient characteristics when deciding to accept the BPA, whereas the remaining physicians considered nonpatient factors specific to the ED environment, individualized practice patterns, and BPA design. Eleven principal reasons for BPA rejection were derived from 1406 electronic health record responses, with clinical appearance not consistent with shock being the most common. Physicians identified the BPA's configuration and incomplete understanding of the BPA as the biggest barriers to utilization and provided strategies to improve the BPA screening process and streamline sepsis care. Physicians emphasized the need for further BPA education for physicians and triage staff and improved transparency of the alert.

Physicians consider patient and nonpatient factors when responding to the BPA. Improved BPA functionality combined with measures to enhance screening, optimize sepsis management, and educate ED providers on the BPA may increase satisfaction with the alert and promote more effective utilization when it fires.