UMEM Educational Pearls - By Lindsay Ritter


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Historically, there has been debate on transporting outside hospital cardiac arrests, as well a trauma, with the question of whether to "scoop and run" or "stay and play". 

Could hasty transportation of cardiac arrest patients put a damper on resuscitation quality? 

A recent propensity-matched study in JAMA analyzed 192 EMS agencies across 10 N American sites.


-Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium Cardiac Epidemiologic Registry, which counted 43,969 consecutive cases of nontraumatic adult EMS-treated OHCA (median age 67, 37% of whom were women) in 2011-2015.

-25% of these patients were transported to the hospital

-Matched 1:1 with patients in refractory arrest who were resuscitated on scene 

-Primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge, secondary outcome survival to hospital discharge with a favorable neurological status 



-Duration of out-of-hospital resuscitation was only 6 minutes longer in the intra-arrest transport group (29.1 and 22.9 minutes; not a statistically significant difference)

-Survival to hospital discharge was 3.8% for patients who underwent intra-arrest transport and 12.6% for those who received on-scene resuscitation

-In the propensity-matched cohort, which included 27,705 patients, survival to hospital discharge occurred in 4.0% of patients who underwent intra-arrest transport vs 8.5% who received on-scene resuscitation (risk difference, 4.6% [95% CI, 4.0- 5.1])

-Favorable neurological outcome occurred in 2.9% of patients who underwent intra-arrest transport vs 7.1% who received on-scene resuscitation (risk difference, 4.2% [95% CI, 3.5%-4.9%])

-Intra-arrest transport during resuscitation was associated with worse odds of survival to hospital discharge compared to on-scene resuscitation (4% vs 8.5%, RR 0.48, CI 0.43-0.54)

-Findings persisted across subgroups of initial shockable rhythm vs. non-shockable rhythms (most common initial rhythm was aystole), as well as EMS witness arrests vs. unwitnessed arrests 



-This study does not support the routine transportation of patients in cardiac arrest during rescuscitation.

-The neurologically intact survival benefit associated with on-scene resuscitation is both impressive and intriguing.

-However, what implications could this have on ECPR? 



-Potential bias due to observational nature of study 

-Duration of resuscitations very similar, unknown exactly how long transport times were or if this was in urban or rural populations

-External validity not generalizable due to heterogeneity of patient populations and EMS systems

-Further randomized clinical trials are required

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Category: Critical Care

Title: HALT-IT Trial: TXA in GI bleeds

Keywords: gastrointestinal bleeding, TXA (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/30/2020 by Lindsay Ritter, MD (Emailed: 8/4/2020) (Updated: 8/4/2020)
Click here to contact Lindsay Ritter, MD


Prior to this study, a Cochrane review and meta-analysis of TXA for upper GI bleeds with 7 trials (1654 patients), showed a large reduction in mortality with TXA (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.42-0.98, p=0.01)


-Randomized, international, multicentre, placebo-controlled trial at 164 hospitals in 15 countries Juy 2013-2019

->16/18 years old with upper or lower GI bleeding

-1 g TXA IV over 10 minutes followed by maintenance dose 3 g TXA over 24 hours 



-Main outcome death due to bleeding within 5 days 

-4% (222/5994) died in TXA group vs 4% (226/5981) placebo risk ratio RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.82-1.18 

-Arterial thromboembolic events MI/CVA similar in both groups (0.7% vs 0.8%)

-Venous thromboembolic events PE/DVT higher in TXA group (0.8% vs 0.4%)



-Initially calculated all cause mortality until realization that over half deaths were due to non-bleeding causes, changed to death related to bleeding, allowing study appropriate power to detect difference 

-Majority of patients had UGIB/variceal bleeding due to liver disease, over 75% deaths in those with liver disease 

-Only 16% patients randomized in <3 hours, most >8 hours (CRASH-2 trial found benefit TXA in trauma patients only <3 hrs to administration) 



-TXA should not be used in the management of GI bleeds

-Increased venous thromboembolic events associated with TXA administration for GI bleeds

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Category: Airway Management


Posted: 1/19/2021 by Lindsay Ritter, MD (Emailed: 2/28/2021) (Updated: 2/28/2021)
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Ever wonder what to tell the families regarding prognosis of the sickest COVID-19 patients you intubate in the ED or ICU?

Introduction: Case fatality rates (CFR) for COVID-19 patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation have been widely variable. A study in the Blue Journal (AJRCCM) examined patients requiring intubation in a systemic review and meta-analysis. 

The case fatality risk of an infection is represented by the proportion of patients who die among all infected cases in a population over a period of time.

Methods: 69 studies axross 23 countries for a total of 57,420 patients with COVID-19 who required mechanical ventilation were included in analysis. 

Results: Overall case fatality rate was 45%, or about 1 death for every two intubated patients.. Among studies that included age stratification, pooled estimates of CFR were 47.9% in patients <40 (CI 46.4-49.4%) and 84.4% in patients >80 (CI 83.3-85.4%). Overall heterogeneity is high (I 2 .90%),

In early COVID epicenters, CFR was 70% among patients aged more than 60 years of age. CFR increased exponentially with increasing age.

Specifically in the US across 21 studies (3,811 intubated patients), CFR was 47% (95% CI, 36–57%). Studies from New York reported a CFR of 54% (95% CI, 36–72%) whereas other regions in the United States reported a CFR of 41% (95% CI, 30–53%).

Definitive hospital CFR (aka for those with hospital discharge outcomes, 13,120 patients) was 56% (CI 47-65%). 

Conclusion: Almost half of patients with COVID-19 receiving IMV died based on the reported CFR. The reported CFR was higher in older patients and in early pandemic epicenters, which may be influenced by limited ICU resources.

Limitations: Overall CFR of 45% still included patients in the hospital. Definitive hospital outcomes were only for 13,120 patients (36.6%). Significant variation in CFR exists between studies. 

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