Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis?! You Betcha.

Facial angioedema from allergen exposure. Photo from Wikipedia.

Think you know everything about anaphylaxis? Every see a case of Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis (EIA)? The EM:RAP October podcast called; Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis by Jess Mason MD and Gita Pensa MD will give you hives…or at least goosebumps.

Points to ponder: Is there a relationship to food? Can EIA be fatal? What are the clues to diagnosis? All these answers and more await you in this October EM:RAP podcast.

Who Knew? Professor Charles Richet was a French physiologist who coined the term aphylaxis in 1902. This was later changed to anaphylaxis and his pioneering work in Immunology earned him a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1913.

 

Crash Rapid Sequence Intubation (RSI): Clear the Runway for the Crashing Airway Patient

Twenty years ago I was a volunteer at a small rural hospital. A trauma patient was on the way in and I asked the nurse to prime two IV bags, open the BVM and ETT. She declined and said their policy was not to open supplies until at bedside. I get it…supplies are a resource not to be wasted…but having a dedicated airway kit prepped and ready at the bedside is crucial to RSI success.

The crash airway mnemonic SOAP ME runs down the list of everything you need for a successful Rapid Sequence Intubation (RSI) in the crashing airway patient. EM:RAP’s September podcast of Critical Care Mailbag: The Crash Checklist by Anand Swaminathan MD and Scott Weingart MD should be on everyone listening list.

Review what the mnemonic SOAP ME checklist stands for; how to temporize the crashing airway; how to treat the obstructed airway; and most importantly…tips on how to be ready for any airway headed for a crash and burn.

Heres a quick reference for SOAP ME. What’s in your kit? Leave a comment and start the dialogue.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Who Knew? William Macewan (1848-1924), a Glasgow surgeon, invented a type of endotracheal tube pictured. He was the first person to use an endotracheal tube to give a patient anaesthetic, in 1878. A tube was placed in the larynx to give the patient a dose of chloroform. These examples are made from steel and brass. They range in length from 210 mm to 80 mm for patients of all sizes.

 

Bone Up on Your Rongeur Skills

EMRAP‘s YouTube channel has a plethora of tutorial videos and today’s recommendation will take less than 3 minutes to view. Take a quick review of how to rongeur a fingertip bone to facilitate skin closure. Added bonus…how to make a finger tourniquet from a glove. View here.

Who Knew? Think of a rongeur as a heavy duty forceps used to remove bone. The word is derived from the French noun meaning “rodent” or the adjective meaning “gnawing”.

Potassium: An Element to Love

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Ever chase a patients potassium? Of course, you have…we all have nibbled our fingernails over the ever-changing potassium. So when do you worry? Here are a few questions to contemplate: true or false?

Hypokalemia is associated with hypomagnesemia.

Encourage repletion with potassium-rich foods rather than pills.

The total body deficit is always more than you think.

If the potassium is less than 3.0 meq/L and the QTc is approaching 500 msec, the patient should be admitted for repletion.

Tune into the August EMRAP podcast called: Electrolyte Emergencies – Part 1: All Things Potassium by Rob Orman MD and Corey Slovis MD for the answers.

Who Knew? Potassium was the first metal that was isolated by electrolysis by Sir Humphry Davy in 1807.

PreHospital Air Medical Plasma Trial (PAMPer)

Fresh frozen plasma (Wikimedia)

Fluid resuscitation, including type and amount, has been scrutinized for prehospital care of trauma patients. This recent multi-center study demonstrated remarkable results. The abstract is reproduced from the NEJM website:

The New England Journal of Medicine

Abstract

BACKGROUND

After a person has been injured, prehospital administration of plasma in addition to the initiation of standard resuscitation procedures in the prehospital environment may reduce the risk of downstream complications from hemorrhage and shock. Data from large clinical trials are lacking to show either the efficacy or the risks associated with plasma transfusion in the prehospital setting.

METHODS

To determine the efficacy and safety of prehospital administration of thawed plasma in injured patients who are at risk for hemorrhagic shock, we conducted a pragmatic, multicenter, cluster-randomized, phase 3 superiority trial that compared the administration of thawed plasma with standard-care resuscitation during air medical transport. The primary outcome was mortality at 30 days.

RESULTS

A total of 501 patients were evaluated: 230 patients received plasma (plasma group) and 271 received standard-care resuscitation (standard-care group). Mortality at 30 days was significantly lower in the plasma group than in the standard-care group (23.2% vs. 33.0%; difference, −9.8 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, −18.6 to −1.0%; P=0.03). A similar treatment effect was observed across nine prespecified subgroups (heterogeneity chi-square test, 12.21; P=0.79). Kaplan–Meier curves showed an early separation of the two treatment groups that began 3 hours after randomization and persisted until 30 days after randomization (log-rank chi-square test, 5.70; P=0.02). The median prothrombin-time ratio was lower in the plasma group than in the standard-care group (1.2 [interquartile range, 1.1 to 1.4] vs. 1.3 [interquartile range, 1.1 to 1.6], P<0.001) after the patients’ arrival at the trauma center. No significant differences between the two groups were noted with respect to multiorgan failure, acute lung injury–acute respiratory distress syndrome, nosocomial infections, or allergic or transfusion-related reactions.

CONCLUSIONS

In injured patients at risk for hemorrhagic shock, the prehospital administration of thawed plasma was safe and resulted in lower 30-day mortality and a lower median prothrombin-time ratio than standard-care resuscitation. (Funded by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command; PAMPer ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01818427.)

Who Knew?

Two vampires walked into a bar.

The bartender said, “what will it be?”

The first vampire said, “I’ll have a blood.”

The second vampire said, “I’ll have a plasma.”

“Right”, the bartender replied, “one blood and one blood lite.”

 

 

Guatemala Gets a Slice of CMES-Pi

Dr. Manoj Thomas visited Timmy Global Healths partner Asociacion Pop Wuj Clinic in Xela, Guatemala this past March. Asociacion Pop Wuj is a collectively owned, non-profit, Spanish language school that promotes community development through a variety of programs including a daycare center, construction of safe stoves, reforestation and ecological education, a student scholarship program, and a comprehensive health and nutrition program.

Working with Dr. Carmen and Dr. Herman he set up a CMES-Pi at the Xela clinic. The regular access to up-to-date continuing medical education content for the staff is welcomed as travel to conferences is difficult and costly for the organization.

We welcome Asociacion Pop Wuj and there impressive work in the community.

The Pop Wuj team with Dr. Manoj Thomas (on right).

The Pop Wuj team tries out the CMES-Pi connectivity.

Emergency Severity Index: The Ups and Downs of Triage

Who’s next? (Wikimedia Commons)

Jessica Mason MD and Wendy Chan MD discuss the history and present methods of triage in the May EM:RAP podcast of Annals of Emergency Medicine: Emergency Severity Index.

How do you risk stratify in your emergency department? Do you use a three-step system of emergent, urgent or non-urgent? Or the five-step triage protocol with ESI 1 indicating a critical patient to an ESI 5 indicating nothing serious? Neither provide an ideal system, but what about front-end physician triage, split flow and vertical flow? Update your triage knowledge by listening to the podcast…it might make your day flow smoother.

Larreys Flying Ambulance (National Library of Medicine)

Who Knew? Baron Dominique Jean Larrey is credited with inventing triage during the Napoleonic Wars but did you know he invented the first ambulance? The horse-drawn “flying ambulances” could maneuver quickly across a battlefield delivering injured men to field hospitals.

The Long & Short of Neck Injuries

Giraffe (WikiCommons photo)

Blunt neck trauma can be an airway nightmare. Listen to the podcast or catch the bullet points about workup and treatment from the May 2018 EMRAP article by Mel Herbert MD and Billy Mallon MD called Blunt Neck Trauma.

Who Knew? A giraffe’s neck is too short to reach the ground. It spreads its front legs or kneels to reach the ground for a drink of water.

 

Don’t Let Pediatric Tachycardia Get Your Heart Racing

Early ECG machine. Photo from Wikipedia.

According to Medscape, an online medical information site: “a heart rate of more than 160 beats per minute in infants and a respiratory rate of more than 60 per minute are associated with an increased mortality risk and often signal the development of septic shock.”

The May EM:RAP Pediatric Pearls podcast by Dr. Ilene Claudius, Dr. Sol Behar, Dr. James Salway and Dr. Liza Kearl offers prudent advice on differentiating respiratory from cardiac sources of pediatric tachycardia. Or pull up the PDF and have a fast read of the bullet points to keep your rate in check and your knowledge bounding.

Who Knew? Willem Einthoven, working in Leiden, the Netherlands, used the string galvanometer (the first practical electrocardiograph) he invented in 1901 which was more sensitive than previous 1870s inventions. He assigned the letters P, Q, R, S, and T to the waveform deflections. (Wikipedia)

Myocardial Infarction: Staying Alive

WikiMedia Commons photograph.

If you look at the statistics in the USA most myocardial infarction patients survive with a 3-6% mortality rate, but the ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) and cardiogenic shock patients have an uphill battle no matter where they present. Dr. Greg Adaka offers 5 bullet points, less than a minute to read, on the February EMRAP pdf called: Cardiogenic Shock in Acute MI. Thumb drives up…take less than a minute to refresh your hearty knowledge base.

Who Knew: Myocardial Infarction, according to the WHO, is second only to lower respiratory infections as the leading cause of death in lower income countries. Worldwide, more than 3 million people have STEMIs and 4 million have NSTEMIs a year. Courtesy: Wikipedia.

“Stayin’ Alive” is a disco song written and performed by the Bee Gees in 1977…anyone still have their mirror ball?

 

 

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