Dynamic hyperinflation (autoPEEP, air trapping, etc.) is a process leading to an increase in end-expiratory lung volumes and increased airway pressures. This process may occur secondary to obstructive lung pathology and/or an increase in minute-ventilation without sufficient time for expiration. The pathologic effects of dynamic hyperinflation include an increased work-of-breathing, barotrauma, pneumothorax, and an increase in intrathoracic pressure leading to a decrease in cardiac output and possible hemodynamic collapse. Rapid identification of this process is crucial for reversing it.
In the setting of a severe asthma exacerbation that is refractory to medical mangagment and noninvasive ventilation, mechanical ventilation can be life-saving. However, the ventilator can quickly kill your patient if careful thought is not taken to address the unique respiratory needs and pulmonary physiology inherent to severe asthma.
When treating acute, wide-complex tachycardia deemed to be stable, monomorphic ventricular tachycardia, two agents remain prevalent among emergency medicine physicians: amiodarone and procainamide. This post examines some of the evidence behind these agents in achieving successful conversion of stable, monomoprhic VT.
The rare diagnosis of thyroid storm can be difficult to distinguish between thyrotoxicosis. Use the Burch-Wartofsky scoring system to help identify patients with thyroid storm! A score >45 is highly suggestive of thyroid storm.