Last Thursday was the yearly Cooper EM residency retreat at the shore in Avalon, NJ. In addition to some spectacular teaching tips on summer emergencies, we had some great small group discussion and role-playing regarding one of the toughest (and least discussed) aspects of our jobs: difficult discussions with consultants, admitting physicians, and patients. Read on for some great interpersonal communications tips (and some pics of the Cooper EM residents hard at work).
Richard Byrne, MD
Intubation has traditionally been performed with patients in the full supine position. Recent data suggests that elevation of the head of the bed may be more effective during preoxygenation before intubation. Check out this summary of a paper from Anesthesia that put this idea to the test!
Anatomic landmarks followed by a "blind" stick is currently the standard practice for performing bedside lumbar punctures, but with increasing use and ease of ultrasound, could we one day see lumbar punctures follow in the footsteps of central line placement?
With summer in full swing now, swimming emergencies are bound to increase. A recent surge in media coverage may have raised many questions about the phenomenon known as “dry drowning." Variations in nomenclature regarding drowning can lead to confusion and imprecise terminology. Check out this post for a quick review:
Looking for a high yield summary of post-cardiac arrest pearls? Look no further than this incredibly well acted video by the Cooper EM faculty recently presented by Dr. Brian Roberts, our very own NIH grant holding cardiac arrest researcher, at this year's NJ ACEP meeting in May
You evaluate a patient complaining of acute onset of dyspnea with hypotension and hypoxia. You immediately consider the diagnosis of acute massive pulmonary embolism, but despite your best efforts can't get good cardiac windows on bedside ultrasound. Should you administer thrombolytics? Heparin? Send the shocky patient for a CT? Today Dr. Simpkins goes through the steps to perform 2-point compression ultrasound of the lower extremity to evaluate for DVT, an easy and rapid bedside test that may allow for indrect but more rapid diagnosis of acute, massive pulmonary embolism.
It’s the end of a long night shift and you are about to see your next patient triaged as “known history of gastroparesis, presenting with intractable nausea and vomiting.” You know you are in for a rough battle ahead without any good pharmacological choices for treatment. Enter HALOPERIDOL.
Can cheap, safe infusions of vitamins really succeed where so many hundreds of novel therapies have failed? The recent article in Chest by Dr. Paul Merik has taken the critical care world by storm, with reported mortality rates of 8.5% in patients treated with a simple vitamin C/thiamine cocktail (with none of the deaths directly attributable to sepsis). The skepticism and push-back have been nearly unprecedented, especially on #FOAMed. Whether you're a skeptic or an early adopter, you need to understand the basis for the debate by checking out this high-yield summary.