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Numerous barriers to maintaining infection control practices through the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) exist in the emergency department (ED). This study examined the knowledge, self-reported behaviours, and barriers to compliance with infection control practices and the use of PPE in Canadian pediatric EDs.
A self-administered survey instrument consisting of 21 questions was developed and piloted for this study. The survey was mailed to all individuals listed in the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada database of physicians practicing pediatric emergency medicine in Canada.
A total of 186 physicians were surveyed, and 123 (66%) participated. Twenty-two percent of participants reported that they had never received PPE training and 32% had not been trained in the previous 2 years. Fifty-three percent reported being very or somewhat comfortable with their knowledge of transmission-based isolation practices. Participants were correct on a mean of 4.9 of 11 knowledge-based questions (SD 1.7). For scenarios assessing self-reported use of PPE, participants selected answers that reflected PPE use in accordance with national infection control standards in a mean of 1.0 of 6 scenarios (SD 1.0). Participants reported that they would be more likely to use PPE if patients were clearly identified prior to physician assessment, equipment was accessible, and PPE use was made a priority in their ED.
Knowledge and self-reported adherence to recommended infection control practices among Canadian pediatric emergency physicians is suboptimal. Early identification of patients requiring PPE, convenient access to PPE, and improved education regarding isolation and PPE practices may improve adherence.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a benchmark door-to-electrocardiogram (ECG) time of 10 minutes for acute myocardial infarction patients, but this is based on expert opinion (level of evidence C). We sought to establish an evidence-based benchmark door-to-ECG time.
This retrospective cohort study used a population-based sample of patients who suffered an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in Ontario between 1999 and 2001. Using cubic smoothing splines, we described (1) the relationship between door-to-ECG time and ECG-to-needle time and (2) the proportion of STEMI patients who met the benchmark door-to-needle time of 30 minutes based on their door-to-ECG time. We hypothesized nonlinear relationships and sought to identify an inflection point in the latter curve that would define the most efficient (benefit the greatest number of patients) door-to-ECG time.
In 2,961 STEMI patients, the median door-to-ECG and ECG-to-needle times were 8.0 and 27.0 minutes, respectively. There was a linear increase in ECG-to-needle time as the door-to-ECG time increased, up to approximately 30 minutes, after which the ECG-to-needle time remained constant at 53 minutes. The inflection point in the probability of achieving the benchmark door-to-needle time occurred at 4 minutes, after which it decreased linearly, with every minute of door-to-ECG time decreasing the average probability of achievement by 2.2%.
Hospitals that are not meeting benchmark reperfusion times may improve performance by decreasing door-to-ECG times, even if they are meeting the current AHA benchmark door-to-ECG time. The highest probability of meeting the reperfusion target time for fibrinolytic administration is associated with a door-to-ECG time of 4 minutes or less.
To describe the frequency and proportion of successful resuscitation interventions in a pediatric emergency department (PED).
Methods and Material:
This was a retrospective chart review of children at the BC Children's Hospital (BCCH) PED who were admitted to the BCCH pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) in 2004 and 2005. Demographic data, diagnosis, and resuscitation interventions in the PED and within the first 24 hours of PICU admission were recorded. The training of the operator and the number of attempts needed were also recorded.
There were 75,133 PED visits; 304 of 329 (92.4%) who met inclusion criteria were reviewed. Diagnoses included respiratory distress (n = 115, 35%), trauma (n = 50, 15%), sepsis (n = 36, 11%), seizures (n = 37, 11%), and cardiac disease (n = 22, 7%). Ninety-nine patients required intubation. Intubations in the PED were performed by residents (20%), pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) fellows (15%), PEM attending staff (29%), and PICU fellows (12%); 81% of these were successful on the first attempt. In the PED, seven central lines were placed, seven intraosseous needles were inserted, 15 patients required inotropes, and 9 patients required chest compressions.
Critical illness in our emergency department is a rare event; hence, opportunities to resuscitate, secure airways, and place central venous catheters are limited. Additional training, close working relationships between the PED and the PICU teams, and resuscitation protocols for early PICU involvement may be needed.
Butyrophenones have been reported to provide effective migraine relief in the emergency department (ED). We conducted a systematic review of the evidence for their use in the ED.
We searched the Cochrane, Medline, Embase, and CINAHL databases.
Included studies were randomized trials of a parenteral butyrophenone (droperidol, haloperidol) versus placebo or a comparator in migraine or benign headache with results available in English. Study quality was determined using the Jadad score. Six articles were included.
Primary outcomes were subjective or objective headache relief (> 50% improvement in visual analogue scale scores). Secondary outcomes included side effects. We reported pooled odds ratios (ORs) with their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for subjective or objective headache relief for butyrophenones versus placebo or comparator agents.
Three studies reported subjective headache relief with a butyrophenone versus placebo or meperidine in migraine. Two studies reported objective headache relief with droperidol versus prochlorperazine, whereas one study compared droperidol versus olanzapine in benign headache. The pooled OR for subjective headache relief was 8.08 (95% CI 1.54–42.30) for a butyrophenone versus placebo, whereas it was 1.50
(95% CI 0.33–6.77) for droperidol versus meperidine in migraine. The pooled OR for objective headache relief was 2.96 (95% CI 1.36–6.43) for droperidol versus prochlorperazine in benign headache. Rates of side effects were 10 to 45%; akathesia and sedation were the most common.
Butyrophenones are effective for the relief of migraine or benign headache. However, adverse effects make it difficult to recommend butyrophenones above agents with similar effectiveness and fewer problems.
CJEM Journal Club
Knowledge to Practice • Des connaissances à la pratique
To meet a critical and growing need for emergency physicians and emergency medicine resources worldwide, physicians must be trained to deliver time-sensitive interventions and lifesaving emergency care. Currently, there is no globally recognized, standard curriculum that defines the basic minimum standards for specialist trainees in emergency medicine. To address this deficit, the International Federation for Emergency Medicine (IFEM) convened a committee of international physicians, health professionals, and other experts in emergency medicine and international emergency medicine development to outline a curriculum for training of specialists in emergency medicine. This curriculum document represents the consensus of recommendations by this committee. The curriculum is designed to provide a framework for educational programs in emergency medicine. The focus is on the basic minimum emergency medicine educational content that any emergency medicine physician specialist should be prepared to deliver on completion of a training program. It is designed not to be prescriptive but to assist educators and emergency medicine leadership to advance physician education in basic emergency medicine no matter the training venue. The content of this curriculum is relevant not just for communities with mature emergency medicine systems but in particular for developing nations or for nations seeking to expand emergency medicine within the current educational structure. We anticipate that there will be wide variability in how this curriculum is implemented and taught. This variability will reflect the existing educational milieu, the resources available, and the goals of the institutions' educational leadership with regard to the training of emergency medicine specialists.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) with subsequent pulmonary embolus (PE) is frequently fatal if untreated. Athletes may be susceptible to DVT following minor blunt trauma to the popliteal fossa. We report an adult male hockey player with no “classic” risk factors for DVT who presented with a DVT and bilateral PE following minor popliteal blunt trauma. This case report illustrates the utility of likelihood ratios when interpreting the results of diagnostic tests such as Doppler ultrasonography.
Penetrating neck injuries (PNIs) are infrequent but can result in significant morbidity and mortality. Although surgical management of unstable patients with penetrating neck trauma is the standard of care, management of stable patients remains controversial owing to the possibility of occult injuries. Recent studies suggest that physical examination and ancillary imaging may be sufficiently accurate to diagnose or rule out surgically significant injuries in PNI. We report a patient with a laryngeal perforation who was managed conservatively in a rural hospital without complications and review the literature pertinent to cases of this nature.
Chronic and recurrent abdominal pains are common complaints in children and adolescents, but the evaluation in the emergency department (ED) can be challenging. We present a rare yet serious case of a 17-year-old white female who presented to the ED with a 2-day history of diffuse abdominal pain, nausea, and intractable vomiting. Abdominal examination and imaging, including computed tomography (CT), were negative during an episode 6 weeks previously. This was her fifth similar episode in a 2-month period, and she had been seen at three different hospitals and admitted on each occasion. Three days prior to presentation to our ED, she was seen at a gastroenterology clinic and diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and an ovarian cyst. Symptomatic therapy during the current presentation, with intravenous fluids, antiemetics, and parenteral narcotics, failed to alleviate her abdominal pain and vomiting. Emergent CT evaluation revealed a high-grade colonic obstruction with focal circumferential narrowing in the transverse colon and a lower gastrointestinal follow-through radiograph with Gastrografin enema showed a classic “apple-core” lesion. Colonic adenocarcinoma with positive regional lymph nodes was found during emergent exploratory laparotomy. Pediatric patients with recurrent, episodic abdominal pain should undergo systematic evaluation and symptomatic treatment. A previous negative workup should not dissuade emergency physicians from proceeding with a systematic and thorough evaluation of the pediatric patient presenting with abdominal pain and vomiting.