Journal Open Access Emergency Medicine-
Open Access Emergency Medicine, Volume 11, pp 51-56; doi:10.2147/OAEM.S178384
Abstract:This is a review of pre-hospital care of road traffic accident (RTA) victims in the Niger Delta covering the highway linking Benin to Warri in Delta State, Nigeria, from January to December (2017). The non-availability of these services in the South South Nigeria prompted this initiative. Ambulance services with technicians and doctors attended the patients when accidents occurred. This was done in collaboration with the Nigeria Red Cross, Police, Army, and Road safety patrol teams. The information from the patrol team through dedicated lines initiated the emergency response. Response time was an average of 10–30 minutes. A major benefit of this initiative is early commencement of resuscitation and prevention of secondary injuries. A total of 70 RTA victims were salvaged from the accident scene by the Red Cross Society in 2017. A total of 29 RTA patients were salvaged through this initiative in 2017, in Delta State, Nigeria. The main challenges of this effort were delayed communication, insufficient ambulance manpower, and limited funding. Government involvement in public enlightenment, training paramedics, and provision of ambulance services to reduce deaths on our highways is needed.
Open Access Emergency Medicine, Volume 11, pp 43-49; doi:10.2147/OAEM.S187686
Abstract:This study investigated whether living in immigrant dense urban districts (IDUDs) and low-income areas in the city of Malmö predicted 5-year mortality among patients admitted to the emergency department (ED) because of acute respiratory distress. We randomly selected 184 patients with acute respiratory distress during 2007, visiting the ED at Skåne University Hospital, Malmö. In 2007, Malmö had 36% first- and second-generation immigrants. The main exposure was defined as being resident in any of the five IDUDs of Malmö compared to being resident in the five districts of Malmö with the highest proportion of Sweden-born inhabitants (SDUDs). We recorded vital parameters; medical triage priority according to Adaptive Process Triage (ADAPT), ICD-10 diagnoses, and the mean annual income for the patient’s urban district. We examined 5-year mortality risk using Cox proportional hazards model. After adjustment for age and gender, patients from IDUDs (n=100, 54%) had an HR (95% CI) of 1.65 (1.087–2.494; P=0.019) regarding mortality at 5-year follow-up. Patients in the lowest vs highest income quartile had an HR of 2.00 (1.06–3.79; P=0.032) regarding mortality at 5-year follow-up. Age, male gender, presence of cardiopulmonary disease, and ADAPT priority also independently predicted the 5-year mortality. The excess risk of 5-year mortality associated with living in IDUDs remained significant after adjustment for age, gender, ADAPT priority, presence of cardiopulmonary disease, and income with an HR of 1.79 (1.15–2.78; P=0.010). Living in an IDUD is a strong independent risk factor for 5-year mortality in patients with acute respiratory distress. The cause is unknown. Our study suggests a need for better structured follow-up of cardiopulmonary disease in such patients.
Open Access Emergency Medicine; doi:10.2147/oaem
Open Access Emergency Medicine, Volume 11, pp 39-42; doi:10.2147/oaem.s149296
Abstract:Traumatic atlanto-axial rotatory subluxation (AARS) in an adult is a rare condition, which if left untreated can be fatal. In addition to this, many symptoms experienced such as neck pain and stiffness are non-specific which often leads to misdiagnosis, thus delaying definitive treatment. AARS can be divided into traumatic and non-traumatic causes with the latter generally encompassing congenital cervical spine abnormalities. We present a case of a 66-year-old female with traumatic rotatory AARS, which was initially misdiagnosed in the emergency department. This patient was subsequently recalled to the hospital when the misdiagnosis was spotted the following day from imaging results. The patient was initially managed conservatively as an inpatient using head halter cervical traction which proved to give good clinical reduction allowing discharge with Miami J upon ambulation. Upon follow up the patient was experiencing continuous pain but remained neurovascularly intact. She thus opted for definitive management with C1–C2 stabilization with an open reduction and internal fixation. This case demonstrates the importance of having a high index of suspicion to diagnose AARS in cervical spine trauma presenting to the emergency department, until exclusion can be made using imaging and clinical examination.
Open Access Emergency Medicine, Volume 11, pp 29-38; doi:10.2147/oaem.s166087
Abstract:Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) has recently gained popularity as a minimally invasive alternative to open aortic cross-clamping in the management of patients with non-compressible hemorrhage arising below the diaphragm. The purpose of this review is to provide a description of the technical aspects of REBOA use along with an overview of the current animal and clinical data regarding its use.
Open Access Emergency Medicine, Volume 11, pp 15-28; doi:10.2147/oaem.s176843
Abstract:Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating disease characterized by fatigue, postexertional malaise, cognitive dysfunction, sleep disturbances, and widespread pain. A pilot, online survey was used to determine the common presentations of CFS patients in the emergency department (ED) and attitudes about their encounters. The anonymous survey was created to score the severity of core CFS symptoms, reasons for going to the ED, and Likert scales to grade attitudes and impressions of care. Open text fields were qualitatively categorized to determine common themes about encounters. Fifty-nine percent of respondents with physician-diagnosed CFS (total n=282) had gone to an ED. One-third of ED presentations were consistent with orthostatic intolerance; 42% of participants were dismissed as having psychosomatic complaints. ED staff were not knowledgeable about CFS. Encounters were unfavorable (3.6 on 10-point scale). The remaining 41% of subjects did not go to ED, stating nothing could be done or they would not be taken seriously. CFS subjects can be identified by a CFS questionnaire and the prolonged presence (>6 months) of unremitting fatigue, cognitive, sleep, and postexertional malaise problems. This is the first investigation of the presentation of CFS in the ED and indicates the importance of orthostatic intolerance as the most frequent acute cause for a visit. The self-report CFS questionnaire may be useful as a screening instrument in the ED. Education of ED staff about modern concepts of CFS is necessary to improve patient and staff satisfaction. Guidance is provided for the diagnosis and treatment of CFS in these challenging encounters.
Open Access Emergency Medicine, Volume 11, pp 9-13; doi:10.2147/oaem.s180398
Abstract:Routine serial hematocrit measurements are a component of the trauma evaluation for patients without serious injury identified on initial evaluation. We sought to determine whether serial hematocrit testing was useful in predicting the probable injuries in blunt abdominal trauma. We performed a prospective study of trauma patients admitted in our observation unit over a 12-month period. Patients routinely underwent serial hematocrit testing in 6-hour intervals (two hematocrit levels). We compared trauma patients with a hematocrit drop of 5 and 10 points or more to those without a significant hematocrit drop. Five hundred forty-two isolated blunt abdominal trauma patients were admitted to observation unit, and 468 patients (86.35%) had serial hematocrit during their 6-hour stay. Of these patients, 36.11% had a hematocrit drop of 5 or more and 12.61% a drop of 10 or more. Of patients with the hematocrit drop >10, 50.8% have had diagnostic manifestations of intra-abdominal injury in both ultrasonographic and computed tomography scanning (P5 and positive imaging. Although serial hematocrit testing may be useful in specific situations, routine use of serial hematocrit testing in trauma patients at a level I trauma center’s observation unit did not significantly aid in the prediction of occult injuries.
Open Access Emergency Medicine, Volume 11, pp 1-8; doi:10.2147/oaem.s183248
Abstract:Many cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) attempts are unsuccessful and must be terminated. On the contrary, premature termination results in a self-fulfilling prophecy. This study aimed to investigate 1) physicians’ self-assessed competence in terminating CPR, 2) physicians’ and nurses’ knowledge of the European Resuscitation Council guidelines on termination, and 3) single factors leading to termination. Questionnaires were distributed at advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) courses at a university hospital in Denmark. Participants included ACLS health care providers, ie, physicians and nurses from cardiac arrest teams, intensive care and anesthetic units or medical wards with a duty to provide ACLS. Physicians were divided into junior physicians (house officers) and experienced physicians (specialist registrars and consultants). Overall, 308 participants responded (104 physicians and 204 nurses, response rate: 98%). Among physicians, 37 (36%) did not feel competent to decide when to terminate CPR (junior physicians: n=16, 64%, compared with experienced physicians: n=21, 28%, P=0.002). Two (2%) physicians and one (0.5%) nurse were able to state the contents of termination guidelines. Several factors were reported to impact termination, including absence of a pupillary light reflex (physicians: 17%, nurses: 22%) and cardiac standstill on echocardiography (physicians: 18%, nurses: 20%). Moreover, nine (9%) physicians and 35 (17%) nurses would terminate prolonged CPR despite a shockable rhythm present. One-third of all physicians did not feel competent to decide when to terminate CPR. Physicians’ and nurses’ knowledge of termination guidelines was poor, and both professions reported unvalidated or controversial factors as a single reason for terminating CPR.
Open Access Emergency Medicine, Volume 10, pp 193-200; doi:10.2147/oaem.s178134
Abstract:COPD is the third leading cause of death, with acute exacerbations accounting for 1.5 million emergency department (ED) visits annually. Guidelines include recommendations for antibiotic therapy, though evidence for benefit is limited, and little is known about ED prescribing patterns. Our objectives were to determine the rate with which ED patients with acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) are treated with antibiotics, compare the proportions of antibiotic classes prescribed, describe trends of antibiotic treatment, and identify predictors of antibiotic therapy. This was an analysis of the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) for the years 2009–2014. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the rate of antibiotic therapy and the relative proportions of each antibiotic class prescribed for AECOPD. Logistic regression was used to measure the trend in treatment rate over time and identify the variables associated with antibiotic use. There were an estimated 4.5 million ED visits for AECOPD. Antibiotic treatment occurred at a rate of 39%. Among those treated, macrolides (41%) and quinolones (35%) were prescribed most frequently. Logistic regression did not reveal a trend in antibiotic treatment over time and identified emergent/immediate triage level (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.09–4.10) and elevated temperature (OR 7.92, 95% CI 2.28–27.50) as being independently associated with antibiotic therapy. Less than half of the ED visits for AECOPD resulted in antibiotic therapy, with no upward trend over time. Fever and triage level were predictive of antibiotic therapy, with macrolides and quinolones constituting the agents most commonly prescribed.
Open Access Emergency Medicine, Volume 10, pp 183-191; doi:10.2147/oaem.s177349
Abstract:Sepsis and septic shock constitute a complex disease condition that requires the engagement of several medical specialties. A great number of patients with this disease are constantly admitted to the emergency department, which warrants the need for emergency physicians to lead in the recognition and early management of septic patients. Timely and appropriate interventions may help reduce mortality in a disease with an unacceptably high mortality rate. Poor control of cellular hypoperfusion is one of the most influential mechanisms contributing to the high mortality rate in these patients. This article aims to make an evidence-based approach and an algorithm for the active identification of hypoperfusion in patients with suspicion of severe infection, based on both clinical variables (capillary refill, mottling index, left ventricular function by ultrasound, temperature gradient, etc.) and laboratory-measured variables (lactate, central venous oxygen saturation [ScvO2], and venous-to-arterial carbon dioxide tension difference [P (v−a) CO2]). Such variables are feasible to use in the emergency department and would help to explain the cause behind the inadequate oxygen use by cells, thereby guiding treatment at the macrovascular, microvascular, or cellular level.