Category: Critical Care
Keywords: OHCA, IHCA, targeted temperature management, therapeutic hypothermia, postcardiac arrest (PubMed Search)
Fever has long been understood to be associated with worse outcomes in patients post-cardiac arrest. Whether ascribing to the goal of 33-34°C, 36°C, or simply <38°C, close monitoring and management of core temperatures are a tenet of post-cardiac arrest care.
A recently published study compared the effectiveness of several methods in maintaining temperatures <38°C…
Maintenance of temp <38°C:
Mean change in temp from baseline:
Keywords: Elbow, dislocation, instability (PubMed Search)
The classic mechanism for nursemaids elbow is axial traction on a pronated forearm and extended elbow.
The force allows a portion of the annular ligament to slip over the radius.
Consider this diagnosis with other mechanisms of injury especially if the exam is not suggestive of fracture.
Suspect in a patient in minimal distress with arm held semi flexed and pronated.
A recent retrospective study looked at other mechanisms of injury.
69 subjects with a median age of 2.5 years
The most common mechanisms of injury were fall (57%), direct hit to the elbow (16%), and rolling over (7%).
Some studies note the left elbow is more commonly involved but this is likely due to most guardians being right-handed, thereby holding the child’s left hand
Li N, Khoo B, Brown L, Young T. Nonaxial Traction Mechanisms of Nursemaid's Elbow. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2021 Jun 1;37(6)
Keywords: drug reaction, toxicity, neurotoxicity, antibiotics (PubMed Search)
Bottom Line: Recognition of antibiotic associated neurotoxicity reduces unnecessary workup and serious adverse effects.
Follow me on Twitter @EM_NCC
Category: Critical Care
Keywords: Hypothermia, Cardiac Arrest, TTM (PubMed Search)
The debate around post-arrest management recently has revolved around whether therapeutic hypothermia should go cold, or LESS cold. But what if we went MORE cold? While recent TTM trials have compared temps such as 33 to 36 and 33 to 37.5 or less, a recent trial called CAPITAL CHILL looked at 34C vs 31C. There is a solid physiologic basis for cooling post-arrest patients, so do they do better if we lower their temp even further? Maybe we're not going cold enough with 33?
Bottom Line: No, 31C is not better than 34C for post-arrest patients. This study compared death and poor neurologic outcome at 180 days with 31 and 34C targets for post-arrest patients, and found no difference (in fact the 31C group did slightly, but not significantly, worse on the primary outcome, and worse on a few secondary outcomes).
While debate remains for 33 vs 36 vs afebrile, the literature does not currently support consideration of temps below 33.
Le May M, Osborne C, Russo J, So D, Chong AY, Dick A, Froeschl M, Glover C, Hibbert B, Marquis JF, De Roock S, Labinaz M, Bernick J, Marshall S, Maze R, Wells G. Effect of Moderate vs Mild Therapeutic Hypothermia on Mortality and Neurologic Outcomes in Comatose Survivors of Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: The CAPITAL CHILL Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2021 Oct 19;326(15):1494-1503. doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.15703. PMID: 34665203; PMCID: PMC8527358.
Category: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Keywords: Kcentra, AC Reversal, Anticoagulant (PubMed Search)
Kcentra (four-factor prothrombin complex concentrate, 4f-PCC) is approved for the reversal of warfarin using a weight-based dosing strategy based on INR. However, since the approval of Kcentra, data has shown a fixed-dose strategy and use for direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOAC) is appropriate. There are even recommendations to use a fixed-dose for DOACs in some situations. Utilizing a fixed-dose strategy can help with decreasing drug preparation/delivery times and costs.
Our institution now only uses a weight-based Kcentra dose of 50 units/kg for patients on DOACs with ICH or trauma-induced coagulopathy. All other patients receive a fixed-dose of Kcentra 1,500 units or 2,000 units based on anticoagulant and other criteria.
Below is a diagram summarizing our current dosing strategy for Kcentra at our institution.
DOAC=direct-acting oral anticoagulant (rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban)
Other points of interest at our institution:
Kcentra® [package insert]. CSL Behring, Marburg, Germany; 2013.
Tomaselli GF, et al. 2020 ACC Expert Consensus Decision Pathway on Management of Bleeding in Patients on Oral Anticoagulants: A Report of the American College of Cardiology Solution Set Oversight Committee. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Aug 4;76(5):594-622.
University of Maryland Medical Center. 2021. Pre- and Peri-Procedural Management of Anticoagulation, Management of Bleeding in the Setting of Anticoagulation, Intracranial Hemorrhage, and Dilutional Coagulopathies. Internal guideline.
Keywords: T1DM, DKA, pediatrics (PubMed Search)
Incidence of T1DM is 1.93/1000 of youth <20 years old in the United States, with a bimodal distribution of onset. Onset peaks from ages 4-6 and again at puberty.
Prior to the development of DKA, diabetes often has an insidious onset with symptoms of polydipsia, polyphagia and polyuria with weight loss in children. It can also be asymptomatic.
When DKA is present, symptoms will include neurological manifestations (confusion, lethargy), GI symptoms (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting), or respiratory abnormalities (Kussmaul respirations.) Polyuria and polydipsia are frequently present as well.
Diagnosis of DKA includes: serum glucose of >200 mg/dL, serum or urine ketones, and a pH <7.30 or bicarbonate <15 mEq/L.
DKA is classified as mild, moderate or severe:
Mild: pH 7.21-7.30, HCO3 11-15 mEq/L
Moderate: pH 7.11-7.20, HCO3 6-10 mEq/L
Severe: pH < 7.10, HCO3 <5 mEq/L
Initial treatment is 10 ml/kg of isotonic fluid bolus to a max of 500 ml, then reassess. Continue to replace fluids gradually to cover maintenance fluids as well as to treat dehydration. Do NOT bolus insulin. Rather, start a drip at 0.05-0.1 units/kg/hr. Continue insulin until acidosis has completely resolved. Once the serum glucose falls below 250 mg/dL, start dextrose to prevent hypoglycemia until the gap closes.
Cerebral edema can develop 4-12 hours after treatment has been initiated. Observe for change in mental status, posturing, decreased response to pain, cranial nerve palsy, bradycardia, or abnormal respiratory pattern. This is a clinical diagnosis! Although a head CT can be obtained, it is often negative and treatment with mannitol or hypertonic saline should be started as soon as there are clinical changes.
DKA has resolved when pH > 7.3 and HCO3 is >15.
Naga, O. (2020). Pediatric Board Sudy Guide: A Last Minute Review, 2nd Edition. Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
Dean, T. and Bell L. (2019). Nelson Pediatrics Board Review Certification and Recertification. Elsevier.
Keywords: pediatric fatality, poisoning, US (PubMed Search)
Substance use disorder contributes significantly to pediatric exposure/poisoning. There has been an increase in the opioid overdose deaths in the US, placing pediatric population to possible exposure. A retrospective study of fatal pediatric poisoning in the US was investigated using the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) from 2012-2017.
17 US states (AK, CO, GA, KT, MD, MA, NJ, NM, NC, OH, OK, OR, RI, SC, UT, VA, WI) reported to NVDRS from 2012-2017.
Age was limited to 0-9 years
1850 violent deaths were identified: n=122 (7%) were poisoning related
Most common exposure/etiology
Hunter AA et a. An examination of fatal child poisonings in the United States using the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), 2012–2017. Clin Toxicol. 2021
Category: Critical Care
Initial Mechanical Ventilation Settings for the Intubated Asthmatic
Long B, et al. Evaluation and management of the critically ill adult asthmatic in the emergency department setting. Am J Emerg Med. 2021;44:441-51.
Category: Critical Care
Keywords: Cardiogenic Shock, Milrinone, Dobutamine (PubMed Search)
Background: A cornerstone of therapy for cardiogenic shock is inotropic support with medications including dobutamine, epinephrine and milrinone. Few studies have examined these head-to-head and between dobutamine and milrinone (including only one RCT of 36 patients)
The investigators conducted a RCT of milrinone versus dobutamine for cardiogenic shock in a single quaternary care center cardiac ICU.
Inclusion: Patients over 18 with cardiogenic shock (largely clinical determination)
Exclusion: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, pregnancy, prior initiation of dobutamine or milrinone, or physician discretion.
Methods: 1:1 randomization stratified by affected ventricle (LV vs RV). Primary outcome was a composite of in-hospital death, resuscitated cardiac arrest, cardiac transplant, mechanical circulator support, nonfatal MI, TIA, stroke, or renal replacement therapy. Powered to detect a 20% improvement in this measure in the milrinone group (192 pts).
Results: 192 patients enrolled (96 in each arm). Average age was 70, 36% female, 90% LV dysfunction, 67% ischemic disease, 33% non-ischemic, average LVEF 25%, 68% on vasopressors. ICU admission to randomization was 23+/-92.6h for dobutamine and 17.6+/-50.6h for milrinone arms. 80% were SCAI class C shock.
Primary outcome for milrinone 49% versus dobutamine 54%, HR 0.9(0.69-1.19), p=0.47, death was the primary driver of the composite (37% vs 43%). Arrythmia requiring intervention was not different between groups (50% vs 46%). No difference in a host of other endpoints including AKI (92% vs 90%), RRT (22% vs 17%), HR, lactate, MAP, UOP, and creatinine.
Discussion: No significant differences observed in outcomes for patients with cardiogenic shock randomized to milrinone versus dobutamine. The trial addressed an important clinical question for management of cardiogenic shock and relied largely on clinical diagnosis for inclusion and likely reflected a somewhat broad range of patients. The trial was too small given observed treatment effects and few patients with RV failure. Notably, similar rates of adverse events observed in each group.
Many limitations for practice including a single specialized ICU setting, limited information on events leading to ICU admission including invasive or medical interventions during the index visit and no long term follow-up. Time to randomization, exclusion of cardiac arrest, and lack of reporting pre-ICU setting (ED, floor, cath lab) also significantly limits utility in an emergency setting.
Bottom Line: 192 patient single-center cardiac ICU-based trial shows no difference in composite or secondary endpoints between milrinone and dobutamine for cardiogenic shock, adds to a body of very limited RCTs comparing inotropes in cardiogenic shock but provides no practice changing evidence.
Mathew R, et al. Milrinone as Compared with Dobutamine in the Treatment of Cardiogenic Shock. N Engl J Med. 2021 Aug 5.
Keywords: ventriculoperitoneal shunt, neurosurgery (PubMed Search)
Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts are common. Unfortunately shunt complications are also common!
There are 3 major categories of shunt complications:
Shunt series are helpful, but are NOT 100% sensitive. If you have a clinical concern for a shunt complication, make sure to involve neurosurgery.
For more reading:
Keywords: Concussion, sex differences, head injury (PubMed Search)
The total number of concussions tripled among female athletes aged 14 to 18 years during a 20-year period from 2000 to 2019.
Query of National Injury Surveillance System
Female athletes with sports-related concussions or closed head injuries who presented to the ED
In 14- to 18-year-old females the number of concussions increased from 9,000 in 2000 to 32,000 in 2019.
65% of all concussions among female athletes occurred in soccer, basketball, cheerleading, softball, and volleyball.
Association between an increase of 308.7 annual concussions per 10,000 annual female participants.
In a study of more than 80,000 teenage players across US high schools, female athletes are 1.9 times more likely to develop a sports-related concussion than are their male counterparts in comparable sports.
In boys, the most common way of becoming concussed was through direct contact with another player (50%)
In girls, the most common way of becoming concussed was after colliding with another object (ball/goalpost).
This mechanism may partly explain another finding: Boys were also more likely to be removed from play immediately after a suspected head injury than were girls
Category: Critical Care
Keywords: decompensated heart failure, hypertonic saline, furosemide (PubMed Search)
Settings & Designs: a meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials among patients with fluid overload.
Patients: This meta-analysis included 2987 patients with acute decompensated heart failure.
Intervention: intravenous hypertonic saline + intravenous furosemide.
Comparison: intravenous furosemide
Outcome: all-cause mortality, hospital length of stay
· Hypertonic saline + furosemide treatment was associated with lower relative risk of mortality (RR 0.55, 95% CI 0.33-0.76%, P< 0.05, I-square = 12%).
· Hypertonic saline + furosemide treatment was also associated with 3.8 shorter hospital length of stay (mean difference = -3.38 days, 95% CI -4.1 to -2.4, P< 0.05, I-square = 93%).
· Sodium creatine also decreased about 0.46 mg/dl (mean difference, -0.46, 95% CI -051, -0.41, P<0.05, I-square 89%) for patients received both hypertonic saline and furosemide.
· Most studies only included patients with advanced heart failure (NYHA class IV, EF < 35%)
· For these patients with advanced heart failure, most studies infused 150 ml of 1.5%-3% saline. However, all studies used very high doses of furosemide (500mg -1000mg BID).
In patients with acute decompensated heart failure, a combination of hypertonic saline and intravenous furosemide was associated with improved outcomes, compared with a single therapy of furosemide.
Liu, Chang PhD, MD; Peng, Zhiyong PhD, MD; Gao, Xiaolan MD; Gajic, Ognjen MD; Dong, Yue MD; Prokop, Larry J. MLS; Murad, M. Hassan MD; Kashani, Kianoush B. MD, MSc, FASN, FCCP; Domecq, Juan Pablo MD. Simultaneous Use of Hypertonic Saline and IV Furosemide for Fluid Overload: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Critical Care Medicine: November 2021 - Volume 49 - Issue 11 - p e1163-e1175 doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000005174.
Keywords: seizure, status epilepticus, midazolam (PubMed Search)
This was a retrospective, noninferiority analysis looking at patients 14 years old and younger treated for nontraumatic seizures by EMS with a midazolam dose of 0.1 mg/kg (regardless of route). There were just over 2000 patients with a median age of 6 years included in the study. Midazolam redosing occurred in 25% of patients who received intranasal midazolam versus only 14% who received midazolam via intramuscular, intravenous, or intraosseous routes.
Bottom line: In the prehospital setting, intranasal midazolam at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg was associated with an increased need to redose compared to other routes. This dose may be subtherapeutic for intranasal administration.
Keywords: burr hole, trephination, subdural hematoma, epidural hematoma, herniation (PubMed Search)
Your patient presents with a large traumatic subdural hematoma with midline shift and clinical evidence of herniation. Your nearest neurosurgeon is several hours away, what do you do?
Initial resuscitation should follow ATLS. Treatment of intracranial hypertension and herniation includes elevating the head of bed, administering osmotic therapies, optimizing analgesia/sedation, and hyperventilation. If all measures have been exhausted and there is a delay to definitive neurosurgical intervention, an emergency department burr hole may be considered.
Follow us on Twitter @christinap0well @EM_NCC
Keywords: Concussion, active recovery, exercise (PubMed Search)
The Role of Active Rehabilitation in Concussion Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Concussions make up 70% to 90% of all traumatic brain injuries
During the recovery process, prolonged rest has been shown to slow recovery and precipitate secondary symptoms of fatigue, reactive depression, anxiety and physical deconditioning.
As a result, a gradual increase in low-level activities has been encouraged after 24-48 h of rest.
23 articles for a total of 2547 concussed individuals, 49% female, both kids and adults. Included both sport related and non-sport related concussion.
None of the studies reported any adverse events in symptomatic participants after subthreshold exacerbation aerobic exercise.
Duration ranged from 15-20 minutes per session or until symptom exacerbation.
Subthreshold activity generally targeted 80% of max heart rate achieved during a graded symptom threshold test.
Every study showed improved concussion symptom scores with a physical activity intervention.
Most common treatment duration was 6 weeks (Range 1-12 wk)
Best outcomes if initiated with 2-3 weeks after injury but intervention beneficial in chronic phases of recovery as well.
The intervention of physical activity decreases post concussion symptom scores and the overall effect across studies was large and positive.
Optimal intensity, duration and time to initiation of exercise intervention needs further investigation.
Exercise effect is likely multifactorial including:
One of the best effects I have seen in treating these patients is that active exercise allows a proactive approach to patient recovery. Patients become less focused on every minor symptom or irregularity.
Carter KM, et al. The Role of Active Rehabilitation in Concussion Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2021 Sep 1;53(9):1835-1845.
Keywords: febrile infant, neonatal fever (PubMed Search)
What they are: Clinical practice guidelines put together by an AAP subcommittee over a span of several years based on changing bacteriology and incidence of illness, advances in testing, and evidence that has accumulated
Includes: Healthy infants 8 to 60 days of life with an episode of temperature greater than or equal to 38.0 C who at now at home after being born at home or after discharge from the newborn nursery, born between 37 and 42 weeks, without focal infection on exam (cellulitis, vesicles, etc)
For the well appearing 8-21 day old:
For well appearing 22- 28 day olds:
For well appearing 29-60 day olds:
Pantell, R., Roberts, K., et al. Evaluation and Managment of Well-Appearing Febrile Infants 8 to 60 Days Old. Pediatrics. Aug 2021, 148(2) e2021052228
Category: Critical Care
Vent management strategies
Laher AE, Buchanan SK. Mechanically Ventilating the Severe Asthmatic. Journal of Intensive Care Medicine. 2018;33(9):491-501.
Keywords: heat stroke, marathon (PubMed Search)
Exertional Heat Stroke at the Boston Marathon
Study goal: To assess for possible associations between exertional heat stroke (EHS) and sex, age, prior performance and environmental conditions
Data sourced from 2015-2019 Boston Marathon races.
Why Boston: The Boston marathon is one of the only marathons that require qualifying times for entry for a majority of runners which yields a high proportion of faster than average runners. The race is frequently characterized by extreme weather conditions, including warm and humid days.
Results: 136,161 race starters. Incidence of EHS was 3.7 cases per 10,000 starters.
Note: Twin Cities Marathon found 3 cases per 10,000 runners.
Mean age of runners was 43.3. Female 45%, male 55%.
Significant associations between sex and age, sex and start wave and age group and start wave.
Sex not associated with increased EHS incidence.
Age < 30 and assignment to the first 2 waves (faster runners) was significantly associated with increased EHS.
All cases of EHS occurred with average wet bulb globe temperatures (WBGT) were 17° – 20° C.
Linear correlation between EHS and incidence in addition to increases in WBGT from start to peak.
72.5% of cases were race finishers. Non finishers presented after mile 18.
Almost 30% developed post treatment hypothermia.
Almost 2/3rds were discharged directly, the remainder required hospital transport.
Authors estimate needing at least 4 ice water immersion tubs per 10,000 runners with potential of needing 8-10 if race day is humid.
Conclusions: Overall, EHS represented a small percentage of medical encounters but required significant resources.
Younger and faster runners are at high risk of EHS.
Greater increases in heat stress from start to peak worsens risk.
Definitions: WGBT - The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) is a measure of the heat stress in direct sunlight, which takes into account: ambient temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover (solar radiation). This differs from the heat index, which takes into consideration temperature and humidity and is calculated for shady areas.
Breslow RG, Collins JE, Troyanos C, Cohen MC, D'Hemecourt P, Dyer KS, Baggish A. Exertional Heat Stroke at the Boston Marathon: Demographics and the Environment. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2021 Sep 1;53(9):1818-1825.
Keywords: roller coasters, summer, death (PubMed Search)
Category: Critical Care
Management of Intermediate-High Risk PE Patients
Weinstein T, et al. Advanced management of intermediate-high risk pulmonary embolism. Crit Care. 2021; 25:311.