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To assess potential transmission of antibiotic-resistant organisms (AROs) using surrogate markers and bacterial cultures.
A 1,260-bed tertiary-care academic medical center.
The study included 25 patients (17 of whom were on contact precautions for AROs) and 77 healthcare personnel (HCP).
Fluorescent powder (FP) and MS2 bacteriophage were applied in patient rooms. HCP visits to each room were observed for 2–4 hours; hand hygiene (HH) compliance was recorded. Surfaces inside and outside the room and HCP skin and clothing were assessed for fluorescence, and swabs were collected for MS2 detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and selective bacterial cultures.
Transfer of FP was observed for 20 rooms (80%) and 26 HCP (34%). Transfer of MS2 was detected for 10 rooms (40%) and 15 HCP (19%). Bacterial cultures were positive for 1 room and 8 HCP (10%). Interactions with patients on contact precautions resulted in fewer FP detections than interactions with patients not on precautions (P < .001); MS2 detections did not differ by patient isolation status. Fluorescent powder detections did not differ by HCP type, but MS2 was recovered more frequently from physicians than from nurses (P = .03). Overall, HH compliance was better among HCP caring for patients on contact precautions than among HCP caring for patients not on precautions (P = .003), among nurses than among other nonphysician HCP at room entry (P = .002), and among nurses than among physicians at room exit (P = .03). Moreover, HCP who performed HH prior to assessment had fewer fluorescence detections (P = .008).
Contact precautions were associated with greater HCP HH compliance and reduced detection of FP and MS2.
Introduction: There is currently no protocol for the initiation of extra corporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) in out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in Atlantic Canada. Advanced care paramedics (ACPs) perform advanced cardiac life support in the prehospital setting often completing the entire resuscitation on-scene. Implementation of ECPR will present a novel intervention that is only available at the receiving hospital, altering how ACPs manage selected patients. Our objective is to determine if an educational program can improve paramedic identification of ECPR candidates. Methods: An educational program was delivered to paramedics including a short seminar and pocket card coupled with simulations of OHCA cases. A before and after study design using a case-based survey was employed. Paramedics were scored on their ability to correctly identify OHCA patients who met the inclusion criteria for our ECPR protocol. Scores before and after the education delivery were compared using a two tailed t-test. A 6-month follow-up is planned to assess knowledge retention. Qualitative data was also collected from paramedics during simulation to help identify potential barriers to implementation of our protocol in the prehospital setting. Results: Nine advanced care paramedics participated in our educational program. Mean score pre-education was 9.7/16 (61.1%) compared to 14/16 (87.5%) after education delivery. The mean difference between groups was 4.22 (CI = 2.65-5.80, p = 0.0003). There was a significant improvement in the paramedics’ ability to correctly identify ECPR candidates after completing our educational program. Conclusion: Paramedic training through a didactic session coupled with a pocket card and simulation appears to be a feasible method of knowledge translation. 6-month retention data will help ensure knowledge retention is achieved. If successful, this pilot will be expanded to train all paramedics in our prehospital system as we seek to implement an ECPR protocol at our centre.
Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), also known as the brown marmorated stink bug, is an invasive agricultural and nuisance pest. Knowledge of the life history of insect pests is important for informing pest management activities. Some North American populations of H. halys have two generations per year, and it is suspected that H. halys may have a partial second generation in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada. We determined the number of H. halys generations in Ontario by examining the reproductive development of field-caught adult females. The pattern of reproductive development we observed supports the conclusion that H. halys complete one generation per year in the Niagara Region of Ontario. Reproductively active H. halys were captured as early as May and continued until early September, and the peak of reproductively active individuals occurred between 250 and 550 degree days calculated with a sine-wave function and a lower threshold set to 14.17 °C.
Introduction: Patients with chronic diseases are known to benefit from exercise. Such patients often visit the emergency department (ED). There are few studies examining prescribing exercise in the ED. We wished to study if exercise prescription in the ED is feasible and effective. Methods: In this pilot prospective block randomized trial, patients in the control group received routine care, whereas the intervention group received a combined written and verbal prescription for moderate exercise (150 minutes/week). Both groups were followed up by phone at 2 months. The primary outcome was achieving 150 min of exercise per week. Secondary outcomes included change in exercise, and differences in reported median weekly exercise. Comparisons were made by Mann-Whitney and Fishers tests (GraphPad). Results: Follow-up was completed for 22 patients (11 Control; 11 Intervention). Baseline reported median (with IQR) weekly exercise was similar between groups; Control 0(0-0)min; Intervention 0(0-45)min. There was no difference between groups for the primary outcome of 150 min/week at 2 months (Control 3/11; Intervention 4/11, RR 1.33 (95%CI 0.38-4.6;p=1.0). There was a significant increase in median exercise from baseline in both groups, but no difference between the groups (Control 75(10-225)min; Intervention 120(52.5-150)min;NS). 3 control patients actually received exercise prescription as part of routine care. A post-hoc comparison of patients receiving intervention vs. no intervention, revealed an increase in patients meeting the primary target of 150min/week (No intervention 0/8; Intervention 7/14, RR 2.0 (95%CI 1.2-3.4);p=0.023). Conclusion: Recruitment was feasible, however our study was underpowered to quantify an estimated effect size. As a significant proportion of the control group received the intervention (as part of standard care), any potential measurable effect was diluted. The improvement seen in patients receiving intervention and the increase in reported exercise in both groups (possible Hawthorne effect) suggests that exercise prescription for ED patients may be beneficial.
Introduction: Electrocardiographic (ECG) rhythms are used during resuscitation (ACLS) to guide resuscitation, and often to determine futility. Survival rates to hospital discharge have been reported to be higher for patients with PEA than asystole in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. This study examines how well the initial ECG cardiac rhythm represents actual cardiac activity as determined by point of care ultrasound (PoCUS). Methods: A database review was completed for patients arriving to a tertiary ED in asystole or PEA arrest, from 2010 to 2014. Patients under 19y or with a previous DNR were excluded. Patients were grouped into those with cardiac activity (PEA) and asystole on ECG; as well as whether cardiac activity was seen on PoCUS during the arrest. Data was analyzed for visualized cardiac activity on PoCUS. Results: 186 patients met the study criteria. Those with asystole on ECG were more likely to have no cardiac activity than those with PEA (Odds 7.21 for initial PoCUS; 5.45 for any PoCUS). The sensitivity of ECG rhythm was 80.49% and 82.12%, specificity was 77.91% and 54.28%, positive predictive value was 94.28% and 88.57%, and negative predictive value was 30.43% and 41.30% for cardiac activity on initial PoCUS and on any PoCUS respectively. The positive and negative likelihood ratios for ECG were 3.47 and 0.25 for activity on initial PoCUS. The positive and negative likelihood ratios for activity on any PoCUS were 1.78 and 0.33. Conclusion: Our results suggest that although most patients with asystole on ECG demonstrate no cardiac activity, a small number actually had activity on PoCUS. This supports the use of PoCUS during cardiac arrest, in addition to ECG, to identify patients with ongoing mechanical cardiac activity.
Introduction: Situational Awareness is the ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about the patient condition, stability, the operational environment and an appropriate clinical course. The Situational Awareness Global Assessment Tool (SAGAT) is a validated tool for measuring situational awareness. The SAGAT tool was measured during a series of standardized high fidelity advanced airway management simulations in multidisciplinary teams in New Brunswick Emergency Departments delivered by two simulation programs Methods: Thirty eight simulated emergency airway cases were performed in situ in Emergency Departments and in learning centers in Southern New Brunswick from September 2015 to October 2017. Eight standardized cases were used whose educational objectives were to develop the optimization of critically ill patients prior to induction, to deliver patient-centered anesthesia and to choose an appropriate airway strategy. Learner profiles collected. Cases were divided into two groups; those that contained critical errors and those that did not based on video assessment. Critical errors were defined as failure of 1) Oxygenation 2) Shock correction 3) Induction dose estimation 4) Choice of airway management paradigm. The SAGAT has a maximum score of 13 and was assessed by research nurses after each case for all participants. SAGAT scores were non-normally distributed, so results were expressed as medians with interquartile ranges. Mann Whitney U tests were used to calculate statistical significance. Results: Results. Of the 38 cases, 14 contained one more critical errors. The median SAGAT score in the group that contained critical errors was 8 +/− 2 (IQR). The median SAGAT Score in the group that contained no critical errors was 11 +/− 2 (IQR). The median scores we significantly different with a p-value of 0.02. Conclusion: In this study in simulated emergency cases, higher SAGAT scores were associated with teams leaders that did not commit safety critical errors. This work is the initial analysis to develop standards for Simulated team performance in Emergency Department teams.
Introduction: The decision as to whether to end resuscitation for pre-hospital cardiac arrest (CA) patients in the field or in the emergency department (ED) is commonly made based upon standard criteria. We studied the reliability of several easily determined criteria as predictors of resuscitation outcomes in a population of adults in CA transported to the ED. Methods: A retrospective database and chart analysis was completed for patients arriving to a tertiary ED in cardiac arrest, between 2010 and 2014. Patients were excluded if aged under 19. Multiple data were abstracted from charts using a standardized form. Regression analysis was used to compare criteria that predicted return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and survival to hospital admission (SHA). Results: 264 patients met the study inclusion criteria. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of ROSC and SHA. The criteria that emerged as significant predictors for ROSC included; longer ED resuscitation time (Odds ratio 1.11 (1.06- 1.18)), witnessed arrest (Odds ratio 9.43 (2.58- 53.0)) and having an initial cardiac rhythm of Pulseless Electrical Activity (Odds Ratio 3.23 (1.07-9.811)) over Asystole. Receiving point of care ultrasound (PoCUS; Odds ratio 0.22 (0.07-0.69)); and having an initial cardiac rhythm of Pulseless Electrical Activity (Odds Ratio 4.10 (1.43-11.88)) were the significant predictors for SHA. Longer times for ED resuscitation was close to reaching significance for predicting SHA Conclusion: Our results suggest that both fixed and adaptable factors, including increasing resuscitation time, and PoCUS use in the ED were important independent predictors of successful resuscitation. Several commonly used criteria were unreliable predictors.
Introduction: Traditionally, out of hospital cardiac arrests (CA) have poor outcomes. Incorporation of extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) is being used increasingly to supplement ACLS to provide better outcomes for patients. Current literature suggests potentially improved outcomes, including neurological function. We assessed the feasibility of introduction of ECPR to a regional hospital using a 4-phase study. We report phase-1, an estimation of the number of potential candidates for ECPR in our setting. Methods: Following development and agreement on local criteria for selection of patients for ECPR using a modified Delphi Technique, inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied retrospectively, to a database comprising 4 years of emergency department (ED) cardiac arrests (n=395). This provided estimates of the number of patients who would have qualified for EMS transport for ECPR and initiation of ECPR in the ED. Results: Application of criteria would result in 20.0% (95% CI 16.2-24.3%) of CA being transported to the ED for ECPR (mean 18.5 patients per year). In the ED 4.6% (95% CI 2.83-7.26%) would be eligible to receive ECPR (4.3 patients per year). Incorporating downtime criteria, 3.0% (95% CI 1.6-5.3%) qualify. After considering local in-house cardiac catheterization hours 9.4% (95% CI 6.8-12.9%) and 5.4% (95% CI 3.5-8.2%), without and with EMS rhythm assumptions respectively, would be eligible for transport. For placement on pump, 3.0% (95% CI 1.6-5.3%) and 2.4% (95% CI 1.2-4.6%), without and with use of total downtime respectively, were eligible. Conclusion: If historical patterns of CA were to continue, we believe that an ECPR program may be feasible in our regional hospital setting, with a small number of selected cardiac arrest patients meeting eligibility for transportation and initiation of ECPR. These numbers suggest that an ECPR program would not be resource intensive, yet would be sufficiently busy to maintain adequate team competency.
Introduction: Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR), a method of cardiopulmonary bypass, is increasingly being used to supplement traditional CPR to improve outcomes for cardiac arrest (CA). CA and particularly out of hospital CA (OHCA) have poor outcomes. Prior to development of a 3 phase ECPR program in a Canadian regional hospital, we wished to identify and optimize a practical selection process (inclusion and exclusion criteria) for patients who may benefit from ECPR. Methods: Using a locally modified Delphi technique, we followed a literature review to construct a proposed set of evidence based criteria with a questionnaire, where inclusion and exclusion criteria were scored by a selected group of 13 experts. Following 3 rounds, and additional review by an international expert in the field of ECPR, consensus was achieved for patient selection criterion. Results: First round responses achieved 87.5% agreement for selection of exclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria had agreement 62.5%. Responses to the second round for selection of inclusion criteria were unanimous at 100% with the exception of age parameters (<65 years vs. <70 years). The third and final set of criteria achieved 100% consensus though subsequent expert review refined a single exclusion criteria (asystole). Agreed inclusion criteria were: witnessed CA, age <70, refractory arrest, no flow time <10min, total downtime <60min, and a cardiac or select non-cardiac etiology (PE, drug OD, poisoning, hypothermia). Exclusion criteria were : unwitnessed arrest, asystole, certain etiologies (uncontrolled bleeding, irreversible brain damage, trauma), and comorbidities (severe disability limiting ADLs, standing DNR, palliation). Simplified criteria for EMS transport included witnessed OHCA, age, and no flow time. Conclusion: Selection criteria of candidates for ECPR are important components for any program. Expert consensus review of current evidence is an effective method for development of ECPR selection criteria.
Introduction: Situational awareness (SA) is the team understanding patient stability, presenting illness and future clinical course. Losing SA has been shown to increase safety-critical events in multiple industries. SA can be measured by the previously validated Situational Awareness Global Assessment Tool (SAGAT). Checklists are used in many safety-critical industries to reduce errors of omission and commission. An RSI checklist was developed from case review and published evidence.The New Brunswick Trauma Program supports an inter-professional simulation-based medical education program Methods: Simulations were facilitated in three hospitals in New Brunswick from April 2017 to October 2017. Learner profiles were collected. The SAGAT tool was completed by a research nurse at the end of each scenario. SAGAT scores were non-normally distributed, so results were expressed as medians and interquartile ranges. Mann Whitney U tests were used to calculate statistical significance. To understand the effect of the of an RSI checklist a comparison was made between SAGAT scores at baseline in scenario 1, and the same first scenario completed after a washout period. A Poisson regression analysis will be used to account for the effect of confounding variables in further analyses. Results: The group was composed of Registered Nurses (8), Physicians (7), and Respiratory Therapists (2). Situational awareness increased significantly with the use of an RSI checklist after 1 day of 4 simulations. The washout period ranged between 5 weeks and 8 weeks. The baseline situational awareness of the whole group during scenario 1 was 9 +/− 0.5 (median, IQR), and with the RSI checklist was 12 +/−1 (median, IQR). The difference was highly statistically significant, p=< 0.001. This level of situational awareness using checklist is comparable to the SAGAT scores after 10 scenarios. Conclusion: In this provisional analysis, the use of an RSI checklist was associated with an increase in measured situational awareness. Higher levels of situational awareness are associated with greater patient safety. A Poisson regression model will be used to understand the confounding effects of user expertise and the likely interaction with simulation exposure.
To characterize trends in outpatient antibiotic prescriptions in the United States
Retrospective ecological and temporal trend study evaluating outpatient antibiotic prescriptions from 2013 to 2015
National administrative claims data from a pharmacy benefits manager PARTICIPANTS. Prescription pharmacy beneficiaries from Express Scripts Holding Company
Annual and seasonal percent change in antibiotic prescriptions
Approximately 98 million outpatient antibiotic prescriptions were filled by 39 million insurance beneficiaries during the 3-year study period. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics were azithromycin, amoxicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, ciprofloxacin, and cephalexin. No significant changes in individual or overall annual antibiotic prescribing rates were found during the study period. Significant seasonal variation was observed, with antibiotics being 42% more likely to be prescribed during February than September (peak-to-trough ratio [PTTR], 1.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.39–1.61). Similar seasonal trends were found for azithromycin (PTTR, 2.46; 95% CI, 2.44–3.47), amoxicillin (PTTR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.42–1.89), and amoxicillin/clavulanate (PTTR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.68–2.29).
This study demonstrates that annual national outpatient antibiotic prescribing practices remained unchanged during our study period. Furthermore, seasonal peaks in antibiotics generally used to treat viral upper respiratory tract infections remained unchanged during cold and influenza season. These results suggest that inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics remains widespread, despite the concurrent release of several guideline-based best practices intended to reduce inappropriate antibiotic consumption; however, further research linking national outpatient antibiotic prescriptions to associated medical conditions is needed to confirm these findings.
Saturn's moon Enceladus has vents emerging from a sub-surface ocean, offering unique probes into the liquid environment. These vents drain into the larger neutral torus in orbit around Saturn. We present a methanol (CH3OH) detection observed with IRAM 30-m from 2008 along the line-of-sight through Saturn's E-ring. Additionally, we also present supporting observations from the Herschel public archive of water (ortho-H2O; 1669.9 GHz) from 2012 at a similar elongation and line-of-sight. The CH3OH 5(1,1)-4(1,1) transition was detected at 5.9σ confidence. The line has 0.43 km s−1 width and is offset by +8.1 km s−1 in the moon's reference frame. Radiative transfer models allow for gas cloud dimensions from 1750 km up to the telescope beam diameter ~73 000 km. Taking into account the CH3OH lifetime against solar photodissociation and the redshifted line velocity, there are two possible explanations for the CH3OH emission: methanol is primarily a secondary product of chemical interactions within the neutral torus that: (1) spreads outward throughout the E-ring or (2) originates from a compact, confined gas cloud lagging Enceladus by several km s−1. We find either scenario to be consistent with significant redshifted H2O emission (4σ) measured from the Herschel public archive. The measured CH3OH:H2O abundance (>0.5%) significantly exceeds the observed abundance in the direct vicinity of the vents (~0.01%), suggesting CH3OH is likely chemically processed within the gas cloud with methane (CH4) as its parent species.
To evaluate healthcare worker (HCW) risk of self-contamination when donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) using fluorescence and MS2 bacteriophage.
Prospective pilot study.
A total of 36 HCWs were included in this study: 18 donned/doffed contact precaution (CP) PPE and 18 donned/doffed Ebola virus disease (EVD) PPE.
HCWs donned PPE according to standard protocols. Fluorescent liquid and MS2 bacteriophage were applied to HCWs. HCWs then doffed their PPE. After doffing, HCWs were scanned for fluorescence and swabbed for MS2. MS2 detection was performed using reverse transcriptase PCR. The donning and doffing processes were videotaped, and protocol deviations were recorded.
Overall, 27% of EVD PPE HCWs and 50% of CP PPE HCWs made ≥1 protocol deviation while donning, and 100% of EVD PPE HCWs and 67% of CP PPE HCWs made ≥1 protocol deviation while doffing (P=.02). The median number of doffing protocol deviations among EVD PPE HCWs was 4, versus 1 among CP PPE HCWs. Also, 15 EVD PPE protocol deviations were committed by doffing assistants and/or trained observers. Fluorescence was detected on 8 EVD PPE HCWs (44%) and 5 CP PPE HCWs (28%), most commonly on hands. MS2 was recovered from 2 EVD PPE HCWs (11%) and 3 CP PPE HCWs (17%).
Protocol deviations were common during both EVD and CP PPE doffing, and some deviations during EVD PPE doffing were committed by the HCW doffing assistant and/or the trained observer. Self-contamination was common. PPE donning/doffing are complex and deserve additional study.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (US) is a key adjunct in the management of trauma patients, in the form of the extended focused assessment with sonography in trauma (E-FAST) scan. This study assessed the impact of adding an edus2 ultrasound simulator on the diagnostic capabilities of resident and attending physicians participating in simulated trauma scenarios. Methods: 12 residents and 20 attending physicians participated in 114 trauma simulations utilizing a Laerdal 3G mannequin. Participants generated a ranked differential diagnosis list after a standard assessment, and again after completing a simulated US scan for each scenario. We compared reports to determine if US improved diagnostic performance over a physical exam alone. Standard statistical tests (χ2 and Student t tests) were performed. The research team was independent of the edus2 designers. Results: Primary diagnosis improved significantly from 53 (46%) to 97 (85%) correct diagnoses with the addition of simulated US (χ2=37.7, 1df; p=<0.0001). Of the 61 scenarios where an incorrect top ranked diagnosis was given, 51 (84%) improved following US. Participants were assigned a score from 1 to 5 based on where the correct diagnosis was ranked, with a 5 indicating a correct primary diagnosis. Median scores significantly increased from 3.8 (IQR 3, 4.9) to 5 (IQR 4.7, 5; W=219, p<0.0001).Participants were significantly more confident in their diagnoses after using the US simulator, as shown by the increase in their mean confidence in the correct diagnosis from 53.1% (SD 22.8) to 83.5% (SD 19.1; t=9.0; p<0.0001)Additionally, participants significantly narrowed their differential diagnosis lists from an initial medium count of 3.5 (IQR 2.9, 4.4) possible diagnoses to 2.4 (IQR 1.9, 3; W=-378, p<0.0001) following US. The performance of residents was compared to that of attending physicians for each of the above analyses. No differences in performance were detected. Conclusion: This study showed that the addition of ultrasound to simulated trauma scenarios improved the diagnostic capabilities of resident and attending physicians. Specifically, participants improved in diagnostic accuracy, diagnostic confidence, and diagnostic precision. Additionally, we have shown that the edus2 simulator can be integrated into high fidelity simulation in a way that improves diagnostic performance.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) has become an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension in the emergency department (ED). Current established protocols (e.g. RUSH and ACES) were developed by expert user opinion, rather than objective, prospective data. Recently the SHoC Protocol was published, recommending 3 core scans; cardiac, lung, and IVC; plus other scans when indicated clinically. We report the abnormal ultrasound findings from our international multicenter randomized controlled trial, to assess if the recommended 3 core SHoC protocol scans were chosen appropriately for this population. Methods: Recruitment occurred at seven centres in North America (4) and South Africa (3). Screening at triage identified patients (SBP<100 or shock index>1) who were randomized to PoCUS or control (standard care with no PoCUS) groups. All scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians within one hour of arrival in the ED. Demographics, clinical details and study findings were collected prospectively. A threshold incidence for positive findings of 10% was established as significant for the purposes of assessing the appropriateness of the core recommendations. Results: 138 patients had a PoCUS screen completed. All patients had cardiac, lung, IVC, aorta, abdominal, and pelvic scans. Reported abnormal findings included hyperdynamic LV function (59; 43%); small collapsing IVC (46; 33%); pericardial effusion (24; 17%); pleural fluid (19; 14%); hypodynamic LV function (15; 11%); large poorly collapsing IVC (13; 9%); peritoneal fluid (13; 9%); and aortic aneurysm (5; 4%). Conclusion: The 3 core SHoC Protocol recommendations included appropriate scans to detect all pathologies recorded at a rate of greater than 10 percent. The 3 most frequent findings were cardiac and IVC abnormalities, followed by lung. It is noted that peritoneal fluid was seen at a rate of 9%. Aortic aneurysms were rare. This data from the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard care for undifferentiated hypotensive ED patients, supports the use of the prioritized SHoC protocol, though a larger study is required to confirm these findings.
Introduction: Point-of-care-ultrasound is an established tool in the early diagnosis of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), with a reported pooled sensitivity of 97.5% and pooled specificity 98.9%. Despite these impressive numbers, body habitus and bowel gas often render emergency department (ED) PoCUS for AAA inconclusive. We devised a manual aid “the modified peace sign technique” to improve visualization of the aorta, consisting of placing the divided fingers of the free hand of the sonographer around the probe to increase gas dispersion and improve the view of the obscured aorta. We tested the technique on volunteers during a training course when the initial scan was indeterminate due to inability to view the aorta from sub-xiphoid to bifurcation. Methods: In our pilot study, 7 physicians were asked to make a best attempt to perform an aortic scan. If they were unable to visualize the aorta, they were asked to use the modified peace sign technique. Participants recorded the number of times which they used the technique and the frequency that the technique allowed for a complete aortic scan, previously unobtainable. All scans were supervised by certified PoCUS physicians. Results: The technique was used a total of 25 times. Following failure to complete an aortic scan using their best attempt, participants were subsequently able to obtain a complete aortic scan 70% (95% CI 48 to 83%) of the time using the modified peace sign technique. Conclusion: In our pilot study, the modified peace sign technique had an estimated effect size of 70% improvement for visualization of the aorta in volunteers. Further studies are required to validate the technique in clinical practice.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) is an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension in the emergency department (ED). While PoCUS protocols have been shown to improve early diagnostic accuracy, there is little published evidence for any mortality benefit. We report the findings from our international multicenter randomized controlled trial, assessing the impact of a PoCUS protocol on survival and key clinical outcomes. Methods: Recruitment occurred at 7 centres in North America (4) and South Africa (3). Scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians. Screening at triage identified patients (SBP<100 or shock index>1), randomized to PoCUS or control (standard care and no PoCUS) groups. Demographics, clinical details and study findings were collected prospectively. Initial and secondary diagnoses were recorded at 0 and 60 minutes, with ultrasound performed in the PoCUS group prior to secondary assessment. The primary outcome measure was 30-day/discharge mortality. Secondary outcome measures included diagnostic accuracy, changes in vital signs, acid-base status, and length of stay. Categorical data was analyzed using Fishers test, and continuous data by Student T test and multi-level log-regression testing. (GraphPad/SPSS) Final chart review was blinded to initial impressions and PoCUS findings. Results: 258 patients were enrolled with follow-up fully completed. Baseline comparisons confirmed effective randomization. There was no difference between groups for the primary outcome of mortality; PoCUS 32/129 (24.8%; 95% CI 14.3-35.3%) vs. Control 32/129 (24.8%; 95% CI 14.3-35.3%); RR 1.00 (95% CI 0.869 to 1.15; p=1.00). There were no differences in the secondary outcomes; ICU and total length of stay. Our sample size has a power of 0.80 (α:0.05) for a moderate effect size. Other secondary outcomes are reported separately. Conclusion: This is the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard care for undifferentiated hypotensive ED patients. We did not find any mortality or length of stay benefits with the use of a PoCUS protocol, though a larger study is required to confirm these findings. While PoCUS may have diagnostic benefits, these may not translate into a survival benefit effect.
Introduction: The positive health outcomes of exercise have been well-studied, and exercise prescription has been shown to reduce morbidity in several chronic health conditions. However, patient attitudes around the prescription of exercise in the emergency department (ED) have not been explored. The aim of our pilot study is to explore patients’ willingness and perceptions of exercise being discussed and prescribed in the ED. Methods: This study is a survey of patients who had been previously selected for exercise prescription in a pilot study conducted at a tertiary care ED. This intervention group were given a standardized provincial written prescription to perform moderate exercise for 150 minutes per week. Participants answered a discharge questionnaire and were followed up by a telephone interview 2 months later. A structured interview of opinions around exercise prescription was conducted. Questions included a combination of non-closed style interview questions and Likert scale. Patients rated prescription detail, helpfulness and likelihood on a Likert scale from 1-5 (1 being strongly disagree and 5 being strongly agree). Median values (+/-IQRs) are presented, along with dominant themes. Results: 17 people consented to exercise prescription and follow up surveys. 2 were excluded due to hospital admission. 15 participants were enrolled and completed the discharge survey. Two-month follow up survey response rate was 80%. Patients rated the detail given in their prescription as 5 (+/-1). Helpfulness of prescription was rated as 4 (+/-2). Likelihood to continue exercising based on the prescription was rated as 4 (+/-2). 11/12 participants felt that exercise should be discussed in the Emergency Department either routinely or on a case-by-case basis.1 participant felt it should not be discussed at all. Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that most patients are open to exercise being discussed during their Emergency Department visit, and that the prescription format was well-received by study participants.
Introduction: Point of Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) protocols are commonly used to guide resuscitation for emergency department (ED) patients with undifferentiated non-traumatic hypotension. While PoCUS has been shown to improve early diagnosis, there is a minimal evidence for any outcome benefit. We completed an international multicenter randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess the impact of a PoCUS protocol on key resuscitation markers in this group. We report diagnostic impact and mortality elsewhere. Methods: The SHoC-ED1 study compared the addition of PoCUS to standard care within the first hour in the treatment of adult patients presenting with undifferentiated hypotension (SBP<100 mmHg or a Shock Index >1.0) with a control group that did not receive PoCUS. Scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians. 4 North American, and 3 South African sites participated in the study. Resuscitation outcomes analyzed included volume of fluid administered in the ED, changes in shock index (SI), modified early warning score (MEWS), venous acid-base balance, and lactate, at one and four hours. Comparisons utilized a T-test as well as stratified binomial log-regression to assess for any significant improvement in resuscitation amount the outcomes. Our sample size was powered at 0.80 (α:0.05) for a moderate effect size. Results: 258 patients were enrolled with follow-up fully completed. Baseline comparisons confirmed effective randomization. There was no significant difference in mean total volume of fluid received between the control (1658 ml; 95%CI 1365-1950) and PoCUS groups (1609 ml; 1385-1832; p=0.79). Significant improvements were seen in SI, MEWS, lactate and bicarbonate with resuscitation in both the PoCUS and control groups, however there was no difference between groups. Conclusion: SHOC-ED1 is the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard of care in hypotensive ED patients. No significant difference in fluid used, or markers of resuscitation was found when comparing the use of a PoCUS protocol to that of standard of care in the resuscitation of patients with undifferentiated hypotension.
Introduction/Innovation Concept: University Departments of Emergency Medicine are responsible for the supervision of research and other scholarly projects for fellows, residents and students, though often lack resources to provide adequate input and oversight. Many departments cover large geographical areas and several programs. We piloted new research committee structures and processes to improve oversight and output of research projects. Methods: We created an interactive group supervision tool based around formation of a collaborative research committee, with rotating chairs from each program, to provide supervision and face to face interaction, and direction for research learners. Included were all Dalhousie University adult and pediatric emergency medicine residency and fellowship programs, as well as trauma and EMS programs across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. In addition to providing expertise in clinical trial coordination, database management, research administration, grant applications and Research Ethics Board submissions, we have completed a 2-year pilot of our interactive group supervision tool for research projects. Curriculum, Tool, or Material: The interactive tool consists of a structured PICOD form; allocation of topic and research mentors; standardized yearly milestones from project development through presentation and publication; and regular video-conferenced and in-person interactive group sessions involving several project leads, as well as program research directors, researchers, and co-ordinators. To date, all participating program learners have engaged with the tool, with positive feedback from learners, supervisors and program directors. Conclusion: We report our development of a regional collaborative interactive group supervision tool, that maximizes expert resources in the provision of research and scholarly project supervision.