Children Swallow Jewelry, Coins, Toys and Button Batteries, Leading to 99 ER Visits a Day

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Danielle Orsagh-Yentis, MD
Pediatric GI Motility Fellow
Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Columbus, Ohio

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Foreign body ingestions are quite common in young children. Much of the literature and advocacy to date has focused on the harms of button battery and magnet ingestions.

We found that foreign body ingestions in children younger than 6 years of age have been increasing over the past 2 decades. This overall increase is mirrored by the rise in coin, toy, and jewelry ingestions, as well as batteries, which, when swallowed, have the potential to cause considerable harm.  Continue reading

Is Immediate Cardioversion Necessary in New Onset Atrial Fibrillation?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Atrial Fibrillation  Wikipedia example

Atrial Fibrillation
Wikipedia example

Harry J.G.M Crijns, MD, PhD
University Hospital Maastricht
Maastricht, The Netherlands

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: An episode of the heart rhythm disorder ‘atrial fibrillation’ is a frequent reason for a visit to the Emergency Department. Patients commonly undergo a cardioversion to restore sinus rhythm – either electrical or pharmacological. However, it is known that episodes of atrial fibrillation frequently terminate spontaneously. Therefore, we conducted a multicenter randomized clinical trial in the Netherlands, researching whether a wait-and-see approach – consisting of heart rate slowing drugs and cardioversion only if the heart rhythm does not resolve spontaneously – was non-inferior to the current standard of care of immediate cardioversion.

The primary end point was the presence of sinus rhythm on the ECG at the 4 weeks visit, which was present in 91% in the wait-and-see approach and 94% in the standard of care, which was within the non-inferiority margin.

In the wait-and-see approach, 69% of patients returned to sinus rhythm spontaneously, i.e. without cardioversion. Complications were rare and comparable in both treatment arms, and the percentage of patients experiencing a recurrence of atrial fibrillation during the first 4 weeks after the index visit was comparable (30% vs 29% respectively). We concluded that in patients presenting to the emergency department with recent-onset, symptomatic atrial fibrillation, a wait-and-see approach was non-inferior to early cardioversion in achieving a return to sinus rhythm at 4 weeks.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Recent-onset symptomatic atrial fibrillation usually terminates spontaneously and therefore an acute cardioversion is not always necessary, as a wait-and-see approach is equally effective and safe. Quality of life is the same in both treatment options. Physicians should discuss with their patients which one of the two approaches – wait-and-see or immediate cardioversion – would be more suitable in their situation. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: Now that we have shown that early, i.e. immediate cardioversion may not be necessary, we are planning future studies on how to implement a delayed cardioversion into daily practice.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Funding for this trial was provided by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development, and Boehringer Ingelheim. 

Citation:

 

 Early or Delayed Cardioversion in Recent-Onset Atrial Fibrillation
Nikki A.H.A. Pluymaekers, M.D., Elton A.M.P. Dudink, M.D., Ph.D., Justin G.L.M. Luermans, M.D., Ph.D., Joan G. Meeder, M.D., Ph.D., Timo Lenderink, M.D., Ph.D.,
Jos Widdershoven, M.D., Ph.D., Jeroen J.J. Bucx, M.D., Ph.D.,
Michiel Rienstra, M.D., Ph.D., Otto Kamp, M.D., Ph.D.,

Jurren M. Van Opstal, M.D., Ph.D., Marco Alings, M.D., Ph.D.,
Anton Oomen, M.D., and Harry J.G.M. Crijns, M.D., Ph.D
et al., for the RACE 7 ACWAS Investigators*

March 18, 2019
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1900353

 

 

Apr 15, 2019 @ 8:56 pm

 

 

 

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Growth in Rural Emergency Department Visits Outpace Urban Increases

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Margaret B. Greenwood-Ericksen MD, MScDepartment of Emergency MedicineUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerque, NM 87109

Dr. Greenwood-Ericksen

Margaret B. Greenwood-Ericksen MD, MSc
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87109

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: I’m an emergency physician, so I see first-hand how emergency department use patterns provide a lens into the status of health care delivery in the communities they serve. Troubling declines in the health of rural Americans coupled with rising rural hospital closures – with little access to alternative sites of care like urgent care – all led me to hypothesize that rural populations may be engaging with the health care system differently than their urban counterparts.

Understanding the health care use of individuals in rural areas may yield insights into addressing rural health disparities. Further, this information may help healthcare systems and policymakers to make data-driven decisions informing new models of healthcare delivery for rural communities.

Continue reading

Combat Deaths Decreased as Military Improved Trauma Care in Afghanistan and Iraq

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jeffrey Howard, PhDAssistant ProfessorDepartment of Kinesiology, Health and NutritionUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan Antonio, TX 78249

Dr. Howard

Jeffrey Howard, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition
University of Texas at San Antonio
San Antonio, TX 78249

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response:  There is a saying that “the only winner in war is medicine”, which is the first sentence in the article.  The point of that quote is that many medical advances over the last 500 years or more have been learned or propagated as a result of war.

With that as the backdrop, the purpose of our study was to provide a more comprehensive assessment of the trauma system than previous work.  We accomplished this by compiling the most complete data to-date on the conflicts, using data from both Afghanistan and Iraq, and analyzing multiple interventions/policy changes simultaneously rather than in isolation.  Previous work had focused primarily on single interventions and within more narrow timeframes.  We wanted to expand the scope to include multiple interventions and encompass the entirety of the conflicts through the end of 2017.  Continue reading

Hospital-Based Violence Prevention Programs Need to Engage More ER Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Edouard Coupet Jr, MD, MS Assistant Professor Department of Emergency Medicine Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Coupet

Edouard Coupet Jr, MD, MS
Assistant Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine
Yale School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: For many individuals with nonfatal firearm injuries, their only point of contact with the healthcare system may be the emergency department. Both hospital-based violence intervention programs and counseling and safe firearm storage have shown promise in reducing the burden of firearm injury.

In this study, one third of individuals with firearm injuries presented to non-trauma centers. Only 1 out of 5 firearm injuries were assault injuries that led to admission to trauma centers, the population most likely to receive interventions to reduce re-injury. 

Continue reading

Use of IV Fluids by EMTs Reduced Morality in Septic Patients With Low Blood Pressure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"intravenous" by thorney torkelson is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0"> CC BY-NC-ND 2.0</a>Daniel J. Lane PhD
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Rescu, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael’s Hospital
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Early resuscitation and early antibiotics have become the mainstay treatment for patients with sepsis. The time to initiation of these treatments is thought to be an important factor in patients surviving their disease; however, the independent benefits or harms of intravenous fluid resuscitation, in particular a more aggressive versus more conservative approach to this therapy, remains difficult to evaluate given the concurrent use of these therapies in hospital.

To gain a better understanding of this treatment independent of antibiotic use, we assessed intravenous fluid resuscitation by paramedics on the in-hospital mortality of patients with sepsis. By accounting for the interaction between initial systolic blood pressure and the treatment, we found that earlier resuscitation by paramedics was associated with decreased mortality in patients with low initial blood pressures but not associated with mortality for patients with normal or higher initial blood pressures. 

Continue reading

Electronic Decision Support Facilitates Home Discharge of Some PE Patients From ER

Dr-David R Vinson

Dr. Vinson

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
David R. Vinson, MD
Department of Emergency Medicine
Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center Sacramento, CA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: At least one-third of emergency department (ED) patients with acute blood clots in the lung, or pulmonary embolism (PE), are eligible for expedited discharged to home, either directly from the ED or after a short (<24 hour) period of observation. Yet in in most hospitals in the U.S. and around the world nearly all ED patients with acute PE are hospitalized. These unnecessary hospitalizations are a poor use of health care resources, tie up inpatient beds, and expose patients to the cost, inconvenience, and risk of inpatient care. The better-performing medical centers have two characteristics in common: they help their physicians identify which PE patients are candidates for outpatient care and they facilitate timely post-discharge follow-up. At Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC), we have had the follow-up system in place for some time, but didn’t have a way to help our physicians sort out which patients with acute PE would benefit from home management.

To correct this, we designed a secure, web-based clinical decision support system that was integrated with the electronic health record. When activated, it presented to the emergency physician the validated PE Severity Index, which uses patient demographics, vital signs, examination findings, and past medical history to classify patients into different risk strata, correlated with eligibility for home care. To make use of the PE Severity Index easier and more streamlined for the physician, the tool drew in information from the patient’s comprehensive medical records to accurately auto-populate the PE Severity Index. The tool then calculated for the physician the patient’s risk score and estimated 30-day mortality, and also offered a site-of-care recommendation, for example, “outpatient management is often possible.” The tool also reminded the physician of relative contraindications to outpatient management. At the time, only 10 EDs in KPNC had an on-site physician researcher, who for this study served as physician educator, study promotor, and enrollment auditor to provide physician-specific feedback. These 10 EDs functioned as the intervention sites, while the other 11 EDs within KPNC served as concurrent controls. Our primary outcome was the percentage of eligible ED patients with acute PE who had an expedited discharge to home, as defined above.

During the 16-month study period (8-month pre-intervention and 8-months post-intervention), we cared for 1,703 eligible ED patients with acute PE. Adjusted home discharge increased at intervention sites from 17% to 28%, a greater than 60% relative increase. There were no changes in home discharge observed at the control sites (about 15% throughout the 16-month study). The increase in home discharge was not associated with an increase in short-term return visits or major complications.  Continue reading

Who is Really Sick? Eyeball Assessment vs Formal Triage

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Anne Kristine Servais Iversen, Anne Kristine Servais Iversen Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Rigshospitalet Copenhagen, Denmark 

Dr. Servais Iversen

Dr Anne Kristine Servais Iversen,
Anne Kristine Servais Iversen
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Rigshospitalet
Copenhagen, Denmark 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Systematic triage has been implemented worldwide with different triage scales in use all over the world. Prior to the introduction of formalised triage, patients were prioritised based on clinical assumption.

After the introduction of formalised triage only a few studies have assessed agreement between formal and informal triage. Additionally, the majority of formalised triage scales are supported by limited and often insufficient evidence. This is troublesome since formalised triage forces clinicians to follow an algorithm rather than use their experience and clinical judgement. During my own residency at a Danish Emergency ward I was often contacted by the nurse performing formalised triage telling me that a patient she was assessing scored to be very acute (high triage level), but that she didn’t believe that to be the case. In order for her to prioritise the patient to a lower (less acute) triage level the patient had to be assessed by a doctor.

Very often my colleagues and I would agree with the nurse in that the scoring was to high, and we therefore had to overrule the formalised triage decision. In cases like these you ask yourself whether or not we are using the most effective and best form of triage for initial patient sorting.

Our study found that agreement between formalised triage and a quick clinical assessment in the form of Eyeball triage is poor. It also suggest that eyeball triage better predicts those at highest risk of death within 48-hours and 30 days after assessment.

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AI: Deep Learning Algorithms Can Detect Critical Head CT Findings

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Qure-ai.jpgSasank Chilamkurthy

AI Scientist,
Qure.ai

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Head CT scan is one of the most commonly used imaging protocols besides chest x-ray. They are used for patients with symptoms suggesting stroke, rise in intracranial pressure or head trauma. These manifest in findings like intracranial haemorrhage, midline shift or fracture.

Scans with these critical findings need to be read immediately. But radiologists evaluate the scans on first-come-first-serve basis or based on stat/routine markers set by clinicians. If the scans with critical findings are somehow pushed to the top of radiologists’ work list, it could substantially decrease time to diagnosis and therefore decrease mortality and morbidity associated with stroke/head trauma.

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“Head CT Choice” Educates Parents of Children with Mild Head Injury

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Erik P. Hess MD MSc Professor and Vice Chair for Research Department of Emergency Medicine UAB Medicine | The University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham Alabama 35249

Dr. Hess

Erik P. Hess MD MSc
Professor and Vice Chair for Research
Department of Emergency Medicine
UAB Medicine
he University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham Alabama 35249

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: 450,000 children present to U.S emergency departments each year for evaluation of head trauma.  Physicians obtain head computed tomography (CT) scans in 37%-50% of these patients, with less than 10% showing evidence of traumatic brain injury and only 0.2% that require neurosurgical treatment.

In order to avoid unnecessary CT scans and to limit radiation exposure, the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) developed clinical prediction rules that consist of 6 readily available factors that can be assessed from the history and physical examination.  If none of these risk factors are present, a CT scan is not indicated.

If either of 2 high risk factors such as signs of a skull fracture are present, CT scanning is indicated.

If 1 or 2 non-high risk factors are present, then either CT scanning or observation are recommended, depending on considerations such as parental preference, clinician experience and/or symptom progression.

In this study we designed a parent decision aid, “Head CT Choice” to educate the parent about the difference between a concussion – which does not show up on a CT scan – and a more serious brain injury causing bleeding in or around the brain.  The decision aid also shows parents their child’s risk for a serious brain injury – less than 1% risk in the majority of patients in our trial – what to observe their child at home for should they opt not to obtain a CT scan, and the advantages and disadvantages of CT scanning versus home observation.

In our trial, we did not observe a difference in the rate of head CT scans obtained in the ED but did find that parents who were engaged in shared decision-making using Head CT Choice were more knowledgeable about their child’s risk for serious brain injury, has less difficulty making the decision because they were clearer about the advantages and disadvantages of the diagnostic options, and were more involved in decision-making by their physician.  Parents also less frequently sought additional testing for their child within 1 week of the emergency department visit.

Continue reading

Some Pulmonary Embolism Patients Can Be Treated at Home

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Joseph Bledsoe MD, FACEP Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine Stanford Medicine Director of Research Department of Emergency Medicine Intermountain Medical Center Murray, UT 84157

Dr. Bledsoe

Joseph Bledsoe MD, FACEP
Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Stanford Medicine
Director of Research
Department of Emergency Medicine
Intermountain Medical Center
Murray, UT 84157

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Patients with blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism) (PE) are routinely admitted to the hospital for blood thinning medications in the United States. However, evidence from other countries has shown that with appropriate risk stratification patients may be safe for outpatient treatment for their PE.

Our study is the largest prospective management study in the US to evaluate home treatment of patients with acute pulmonary embolism. We enrolled 200 patients and after risk stratification with the PE severity index score, leg ultrasounds and echocardiograms performed in the emergency department, patients were treated with blood thinning medications at home with routine outpatient follow up.

During the 90 day follow up period we found only one patient suffered a bleeding event after a traumatic injury, without any cases of recurrent symptomatic blood clots or death.  Continue reading

What Kinds of Errors Are Made in Emergency Rooms? Who is Most Vulnerable?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Benjamin H. Schnapp, MD BerBee Walsh Department of Emergency Medicine Assistant Professor (CHS) Assistant Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director University of Wisconsin

Dr. Schnapp

Benjamin H. Schnapp, MD
BerBee Walsh Department of Emergency Medicine
Assistant Professor (CHS)
Assistant Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director
University of Wisconsin

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Medical errors harm thousands of patients per year.  There’s already a lot we know about systems errors – the ways that care delivery can go wrong.  We know less about cognitive errors, or the ways in which doctors think that can lead to bad outcomes.  An Emergency Department can feel particularly vulnerable to this type of errors – it’s a chaotic environment with patients in various states of illness, many unaccompanied, without records, or too ill to communicate well.

An Emergency Department with trainee physicians can feel even more chaotic – even though they are supervised by staff physicians, resident physicians in their first few months to years of training have not yet accumulated the same level of knowledge and experience as longer-tenured doctors.  Errors that get made on the hospital floor are errors of information processing – physicians have the right information, they just don’t always do the right thing with it.  We wanted to know what kinds of errors get made in an Emergency Department with trainees.  Are the errors related to the chaos and an inability to obtain reliable information from patients?  Are they related to the trainees not having enough knowledge and experience?  Or are they like the errors that get made on an inpatient floor?

Our study found that the most frequent type of errors were errors of information processing – just like on the hospital floors.  The most common types of errors we saw were physicians settling on a diagnosis prematurely and weighing the importance of findings incorrectly. Patients with abdominal problems had the highest number of errors in our study.  Patients with certain risk factors, such as psychiatric disease or substance abuse, seemed to be particularly prone to errors.

Continue reading

Ketamine vs Opioids for Acute Pain in the Emergency Department

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Evan Schwarz, MD FACEP, FACMT Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine Medical Toxicology Fellowship Director Section Chief Medical Toxicology Advisory Dean in the Office of Student Affairs Division of Emergency Medicine Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Schwarz

Evan Schwarz, MD FACEP, FACMT
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine
Medical Toxicology Fellowship Director
Section Chief Medical Toxicology
Advisory Dean in the Office of Student Affairs
Division of Emergency Medicine
Washington University School of Medicine 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Ketamine is being increasingly used in the emergency department (ED) for a variety of conditions, including as an analgesic. While its usage continues to increase, there are limited studies evaluating ketamine as an analgesic in the emergency department.

Most of the studies evaluating ketamine utilized it as an adjunct to an opioid, however, multiple recommendations on blogs and other websites recommend ketamine as a single agent. The purpose of the meta-analysis was to compare the analgesic effect of ketamine compared to an opioid in adult patients presenting with acute pain to the ED.

In this study, we found that ketamine was non-inferior to opioids. We also found that the number of severe adverse events to be similar between both groups.

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How Quickly and Accurately Can Ischemic Stroke Be Diagnosed and Treated with tPA?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Perttu J. Lindsberg, MD, PhD Professor of Neurology Clinical Neurosciences and Molecular Neurology Research Programs Unit, Biomedicum Helsinki University of Helsinki Helsinki, Finland

Dr. Lindsberg

Perttu JLindsberg, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology
Clinical Neurosciences and Molecular Neurology
Research Programs Unit, Biomedicum Helsinki
University of Helsinki Helsinki, Finland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The past 20 years in shaping the Helsinki model in stroke thrombolysis have proven that we can be very fast in examining the patient, completing the imaging and starting thrombolytic therapy. This is a university hospital center that receives roughly three stroke suspects per day for evaluation of recanalization therapies. Already seven years ago we were able to push the median ’door-to-needle’ time permanently below 20 minutes. What we had not been monitoring was how well we had kept up the accuracy of our emergengy department (ED) diagnostic process. Prehospital emergency medical services (EMS) have been trained to focus on suspecting thrombolysis-eligible stroke and we usually get also pre-notifications of arriving stroke code patients during transportation, but the diagnosis on admission is an independent clinical judgment as the CT findings are largely nondiagnostic for acute changes.

The admission evaluation of suspected acute stroke is therefore a decisive neurologic checkpoint, building the success of acute treatments such as recanalization therapy, but is complicated by differential diagnosis between true manifestations of stroke and numerous mimicking conditions. Although we have invested a lot on training and standardized ED procedures, time pressure and therapy-geared expectations may blur the diagnostic process.

With this background, we embarked on an in-depth-analysis of the admission and final diagnoses of stroke code patients, as well as misdiagnoses, immediate treatment decisions and their consequences.

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Over 2 Millions Pediatric ER Visits For Bike Accidents Annually

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Bikes” by Britta Frahm is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Lara McKenzie, PhD
Principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Polic
Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Bicycling is a great way for families to get outside and be active together, but certain precautions need to be taken to keep everyone safer. This study looked at bicycle-related injuries among children age 5-17 years treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States from 2006 through 2015 and found that, despite a decrease in the rate of injuries over the 10-year study period, there were still more than 2.2 million injuries. This averages 608 cases per day or 25 every hour.

The majority of injuries involved children 10 to 14 years of age (46%) and boys (72%). The most commonly injured body region was the upper extremities (36%), followed by the lower extremities (25%), face (15%), and head and neck (15%). The most common types of injury were bruises and scrapes (29%) and cuts (23%). Overall, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) represented 11% of total injuries and were most common among patients 10-14 years of age (44%). About 4% of patients were hospitalized.

Injuries most frequently occurred in the street (48%) or at home (37%). Helmet use at the time of injury was associated with a lower likelihood of head and neck injuries and hospitalizations, but there was no significant change in the rate of injury among helmet users over the study period. Motor vehicle involvement increased the odds of bicycle-related TBIs and injury-related hospitalizations.  Continue reading

Stress Echocardiography vs Coronary CT To Evaluate Chest Pain in ER

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jeffrey M. Levsky, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Radiology Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (Cardiology) Albert Einstein College of Medicine Montefiore Medical Center 

Dr. Levsky

Jeffrey M. Levsky, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Radiology
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (Cardiology)
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Montefiore Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Millions of Americans are evaluated each year for acute chest pain in the Emergency Department.  There are multiple modalities that can be used to triage these patients and there have only been a few studies comparing different imaging methods.

We chose to study Stress Echocardiography and Coronary CT Angiography, two exams that have not been compared directly in this population.  We found that Stress Echocardiography was able to discharge a higher proportion of patients in a shorter amount of time as compared to Coronary CTA.  Continue reading

Treatment Initiation for Opioid Use Disorder in Emergency Departments

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Herbie Duber, MD, MPH, FACEP Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine Adjunct Associate Professor Department of Global Health Adjunct Associate Professor, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation University of Washington

Dr. Duber

Herbie Duber, MD, MPH, FACEP
Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine
Adjunct Associate Professor Department of Global Health
Adjunct Associate Professor
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
University of Washington

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Opioid use disorder (OUD) and opioid overdose deaths are a rapidly increasing public health crisis.  In this paper, we review and synthesize current evidence on the identification, management and transition of patients from the emergency department (ED) to the outpatient setting and present several key recommendations.

For patients identified to haveOpioid use disorder, we recommend ED-initiated mediation-assisted therapy (MAT) with buprenorphine, an opioid agonist.  Current evidence suggests that it safe and effective, leading to improved patient outcomes.  At the same time, a coordinated care plan should be put into motion which combines MAT with a rapid transition to outpatient care, preferably within 72 hours of ED evaluation.  Where possible, a warm handoff is preferred, as it has been shown in other settings to improve follow-up.  Outpatient care should combine MAT, psychological interventions and social support/case management in order to maximize impact Continue reading

airRx App Improves Physicians’ Ability To Manage In-Flight Emergencies

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Raymond E. Bertino, MD
airRx lead developer and
Clinical Professor of Radiology and Surgery at UICOMP

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the airRX app and study?

Response: With increasing air travel, in-flight medical emergencies have increased and physicians on commercial airline flights are routinely asked to volunteer assistance. A study presented this week at the annual meeting of The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) examined physician performance during practice simulations of in-flight medical emergencies with use of a smartphone app, airRx.

In the unique study, cases based on commonly occurring in-flight medical emergencies were portrayed in a mockup of the airline cabin setting. Actors portrayed patients, family members, seat neighbors and flight attendants. Resident physicians in non-emergency specialties were asked to assist as if they were volunteering in actual medical emergencies.

The study utilized airRx, the mobile app developed to help physicians and other medical personnel volunteering during in-flight medical events. The airRx app enables healthcare professionals to access 23 scenarios of the most common medical emergencies, with concise treatment algorithms and reference information to help evaluate and treat the patient.  Continue reading

Women and Uninsured More Likely to Suffer from Migraines

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Paul B. Rizzoli, M.D., FAAN, FAHS Department of Neurology Brigham and Women’s Hospital Clinical and Fellowship Director, John R Graham Headache Center Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Assistant Professor of Neurology Harvard Medical School

Dr. Rizzoli

Paul B. Rizzoli, M.D., FAAN, FAHS
Department of Neurology
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Clinical and Fellowship Director, John R Graham Headache Center
Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Migraine and other recurrent headache disorders disproportionately affect otherwise healthy, middle-aged people, particularly women, and are a leading cause of suffering and disability.

Accurate epidemiologic information is vital for providers, researchers and policy makers. In this paper we surveyed the most recent data from population-based studies in the United States to assess the burden and impact of these conditions. Our search included such sources as the National Health Interview Study (NHIS), the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) and the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS).

We found that the prevalence and burden of self-reported migraine and other severe headache has remained stable but high in the past 19 years, affecting roughly 1 out of every 6 Americans (15.3%) and 1 in 5 women (20.7%) over a 3-month period.

Among other findings was that headache is proportionately more burdensome those in middle age (elderly also), those who are unemployed and those who are disabled or who have low family income. Headache represents roughly 3% of all annual emergency department visits.  Continue reading

One Blood Type Is a Risk For Bleeding Out After Trauma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Wataru Takayama
Tokyo Medical and Dental University
Department of Emergency and Disaster Medicine
Tokyo, Japan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: ABO blood type is a potential risk of various diseases and various conditions. Furthermore, ABO blood type has a profound influence on hemostasis. Hemorrhage is the leading cause of death in patients with trauma, we assessed the association between the difference in blood types and the outcomes of death.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Blood type O was the independent risk factor for all-cause in-hospital mortality and death due to exsanguination, TBI, and other causes after adjusting for potential confounders. This is the first study to report the association between ABO blood types and mortality in patients with severe trauma.

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Most Opioid Overdose Patients Can Be Discharged After Brief ER Visit

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Frank Scheuermeyer MD MHSc Clinical Associate Professor Department of Emergency Medicine St Paul’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia

Dr. Scheuermeyer

Frank Scheuermeyer MD MHSc
Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine
St Paul’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Mortality from the opioid epidemic is dramatically increasing and a main culprit appears to be illicit fentanyl. Current research states that patients with presumed fentanyl overdoses are at high risk of deterioration and death, and require prolonged emergency department stays or hospital admission to ensure a safe outcome.

Our inner-city hospital adopted a protocol initially developed for patients with heroin overdose, modified it to account for the greater potency of fentanyl, and studied 1009 consecutive patients who arrived with an overdose.

Continue reading

Urgent/Emergent TAVR Feasible But Mortality Higher Than When Performed Electively

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dawn Abbott, MD, FACC, FSCAI Associate Chief, Faculty Development and Academic Advancement Director, Interventional Cardiology and Structural Fellowship Programs Associate Professor of Medicine Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown Providence, RI 02903

Dr. Abbott

Dawn Abbott, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Associate Chief, Faculty Development and Academic Advancement
Director, Interventional Cardiology and Structural Fellowship Programs
Associate Professor of Medicine
Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown
Providence, RI 02903 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Approximately 35,000 transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures are now performed annually in the United States (US). TAVR is usually performed as an elective procedure in hemodynamically stable patients. Approximately 1 in 5 hospitalizations for severe aortic stenosis (AS) are emergent with acute decompensation. Balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV) is a therapeutic option in patients with acute decompensated AS; however, long-term survival after BAV remains poor with a high incidence of valvular re-stenosis. Data on the outcomes of urgent/emergent TAVR as a rescue therapy in patients with acute decompensated severe AS are extremely limited.

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Heart Attacks Rarely Misdiagnosed in Emergency Rooms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Daniel A. Waxman, MD, PhD Department of Emergency Medicine David Geffen School of Medicine University of California, Los Angeles RAND Corporation Santa Monica, CaliforniaDaniel A. Waxman, MD, PhD
Department of Emergency Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine
University of California, Los Angeles
RAND Corporation Santa Monica, California 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: When people talk about medical error, they are usually referring to treatment error—giving the wrong medication, operating on the wrong side of the body, etc.  But many believe that diagnostic error—the failure to diagnose a condition when a patient seeks care—is at least as widespread and consequential a problem.  However, diagnostic errors are intrinsically difficult to measure, since one can rarely prove that a condition was present at the time it was not diagnosed.

In this study, we introduce a novel method for measuring how often patients who come to the emergency room with symptoms of an imminent cardiovascular emergency such as acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) are discharged home without a diagnosis.

We find that among Medicare patients whose ER visits were attributable to symptoms of an imminent infarction, only about 2.3% were discharged home, and that the figure was under 5% for each of the other four conditions we studied.    However, we also found that these relatively low rates did not improve between 2007 and 2014.

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Distance to Trauma Center & Prehospital Care Influence Outcomes from Injuries

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Molly Jarman PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Brigham and Womens Hospital 

Dr. Jarman

Dr. Molly Jarman PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at
Brigham and Womens Hospital 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Injuries are a leading cause of death and disability in the US, and there are well documented disparities in injury incidence and outcomes. Certain populations (i.e. rural, low income, people of color) experience more injury than others, and are more likely to die following and injury.

Past studies focused on individual health and socioeconomic characteristics as the primary driving force behind these disparities, along with variation in the time required to transport an injured patient to the hospital. We wondered if geographic features of an injury incident location contributed to variation in injury mortality that was not explained by differences in individual patient characteristics.

In other words, we know that who you are contributes to injury mortality, and we wanted to know if it also matters where you are when an injury occurs.

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Study Finds Patients Equally Likely To Fill Paper vs Electronic Prescriptions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Shannon Toohey, MD, MAEd Associate Residency Director, Emergency Medicine Assistant Clinical Professor, Emergency Medicine University of California, Irvine Editor-in-Chief Journal of Education and Teaching in Emergency Medicine

Dr. Toohey

Shannon Toohey, MD, MAEd
Associate Residency Director, Emergency Medicine
Assistant Clinical Professor, Emergency Medicine
University of California, Irvine
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Education and Teaching in Emergency Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Electronic prescriptions (e-prescriptions) are now the predominant form of prescription used in the US. Concern has been raised that this form of prescription may be more difficult for emergency department (ED) patients to utilize than traditional printed prescriptions, given the unplanned nature of most ED visits at all times of day.

While there are disincentives for physicians who choose not to use them, many emergency physicians are still concerned that it could decrease compliance in their patients.
This study evaluated prescription compliance in insured patients at a single center. In our studied population, we found that patients were as equally likely to fill paper and e-Prescriptions.

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