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Trauma during pregnancy poses a challenge in assessment and management due to its unique anatomical and physiological changes. Trauma is the leading non-obstetrical cause of death. There is paucity of epidemiological data in this subgroup in India. An emergency department (ED)-based epidemiological study was conducted.
Female trauma victims of reproductive age with both positive and negative urinary pregnancy tests (UPTs) were selected retrospectively. Documentation was done by the nursing staff from the ED case records. Mode, mechanism, severity, site of injury, and ED disposal time were noted, compiled, and analyzed.
Of 64 patients, 32 patients were UPT-positive and 32 were UPT-negative. The mean age was 26 (range 18–36) years. A total of 75% of UPT-positive and 59.3% of UPT-negative cases had assault due to domestic violence. As per START triage protocol, 84.3% of UPT-positive and 59.3% patients in UPT negative were triaged as yellow. Blunt trauma to the abdomen was the most common mechanism and site of injury in all patients. FAST and ultrasonic evaluation of the fetus was performed for all UPT-positive patients. The average ED disposal time was 2 hours 62 minutes in UPT-positive and 1.9 hours in UPT-negative.
Limited data suggest domestic violence as leading cause of trauma in pregnancy. A large, epidemiological study is required to validate this.
The pyramid of pain management involves sequential drug escalation but its role is limited in an emergency department (ED). The efficacy of parental opioid analgesics versus non-opioid analgesic in acute pain management of trauma victims in the ED was evaluated to formulate protocol.
All alert patients with a baseline visual analogue scale score (≥ 7) was randomly assigned either parental non-opioid (Group A) or opioid analgesics (Group B). The emergency care providers noted the VAS in either group at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes, and at the time of discharge from the ED. If the patient's VAS score did not reduce by 50% at 30 minutes, repeat parental analgesics was given. The oral analgesics prescribed at the time of discharge were documented. Ethical clearance was taken. Data was compiled and analyzed.
Of 106 patients, 99 were analyzed. The mean age in Group A was 33.2 ± 13.2 years and 32.5 ± 18 years in Group B. The male:female ratio in Group A was 1.5:1 and 7:1 in Group B. The average baseline VAS score in Group A was 7.5, and that of Group B was 8.96. The average VAS at 15, 30, and 60 minutes and at discharge in Group A was 5.4, 5.34, 4.3, and 3.5 and it was 6.1, 6, 5.1, and 4.4. Repeat parental dose of analgesics were required in 95/99 (95%) patients in Group A and 5% that of Group B. The most common prescription at discharge from ED was non-opioid analgesics.
Acute pain relief was comparable in both groups. Non-opioid analgesics may be preferred over opioid in VAS score ± 7 in a busy emergency department for early disposition.
Manual documentation has an inherent problem of improper communication, manipulation, and validity. An electronic medical record (EMR) is a computerized medical record created in an organization that delivers care, such as a hospital. EMRs tend to be a part of a local, stand-alone, health information system that allows for storage and retrieval.
The objective of this study was to assess the perception of emergency care providers toward the implementation of an EMR System in the emergency department of a Level-1 Trauma Center.
A qualitative survey was conducted among consenting doctors and nurses in the emergency department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences February to October 2010. Data were collected from a sample of 22—eight doctors and 14 nurses. The collection tool was a structured, closed-ended questionnaire of 12 questions based on usability, applicability, and security, of EMR. A Likert scale (LS) was used (1 = worst, 4 = best). Surveys were done on Day 20, Day 45, and after nine months of implementation of. Responses of emergency care providers were compiled and analyzed using SPSS version 16.
Three surveys consisted of 22 participants in each survey. The survey domain of usability improved on Survey 3 (LS = 2.57), Survey 2 (LS = 2.46), Survey 1 (LS = 2.24). Application of EMR improved from Survey 1 to Survey 3. The data regarding perception of security concerns such as manipulation of data, transparency, and accountability were comparable among Survey 1, Survey 2, and Survey 3. Initial satisfaction was strongly associated with perception of usefulness of data mining for research purposes.
Satisfaction with an EMR system at its implementation generally persisted through the first year of use. Implementation plans must include positive reinforcement regarding EMR among emergency care providers.
Emergency physicians often encounter patients who require procedural sedation and analgesia (PSA) for the treatment of acute traumatic injuries like fracture reduction, joint dislocation reduction, wound care, and pain relief. Its complications include airway or circulatory compromise. Ultrasound (US) guided peripheral nerve block is a safe alternative that utilizes minimal amounts of local anesthetic and does not require hemodynamic monitoring or prolonged post-procedure observation.
The objective of this study is to determine the feasibility and safety of ultrasonography-guided nerve blocks, performed by emergency physicians.
A prospective study involving 28 patients > 12 years of age presenting to an emergency department (ED) were recruited after informed consent. Ultrasonography-guided nerve blocks were performed by emergency physicians who underwent a minimal training of 10 supervised nerve blocks. Brachial plexus, forearm, and lower-limb nerve blocks were performed as deemed necessary. Verbal analogue scale (VAS) was used to quantify pain, before and five minutes after the procedure. The outcomes for feasibility and safety were the percentage of cases in which no further anesthesia was required, the median reduction in VAS score, median time to completion of procedure and the complication rate noted during the procedure.
All procedures were completed without additional anesthesia. The different nerve blocks performed were brachial plexus (20 cases, 71.4%), forearm (3 cases, 10.7%), femoral (2 cases, 7.1%), combined femoral and sciatic (2 cases, 7.1%) and tibial (1 case, 3.6%). Median reduction in VAS score was 7.0 points (interquartile range 6.0, 8.0; p < 0.001). The median time to completion of nerve blocks was 5 minutes per patient (interquartile range 2 minutes 25 seconds, 10 minutes 0 seconds). There were no immediate complications noted after the procedure.
Emergency physicians with minimal training can perform ultrasonography-guided nerve blocks safely, quickly and without the need for additional anesthesia in the ED.
Immediate resuscitation and early disposition to definitive care improves outcomes. Homeless patients are neglected in emergency department (ED). The duration of ED stay and profile of injury of homeless patients at a Level-1 Trauma center were measured.
The study was performed from October 2008 to September 2009. Homeless patients were defined as patients who had no attendant and did not have any shelter. Duration of ED stay was noted from the ED arrival time to entry time at the definitive care (intensive care unit/ward). Clinical and demographic details were recorded. Subjects who had: (1) an attendant; (2) were discharged from the ED; or (3) expired in the ED were excluded.
Forty-one homeless patients were admitted. The mode of injury was road traffic crash in 73.2%; assault in 7.3%; fall from height in 7.3%; and in 12.2%, the mode of injury unknown. The average Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 6.76, with a maximum of 34 and minimum of 1. A total of 24 subjects (59%) had a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of ≤ 8 (severe head injury), 10 patients (24%) had GCS score 9–12 (moderate head injury), and seven subjects (17%) had GCS score 13–15 (minor head injury). Breath alcohol test was positive in 13%. The average duration of ED stay was 35 (3–173) hours in the homeless group and 12 (0.5–18) hours for patients with an attendant. Twenty-one subjects were admitted to neurosurgery (51.2%) with an average ED stay of 22.4 hours, five to surgery (12.20%) with average ED stay of 56.6 hours, and 15 to orthopedics (36.6%) with average ED stay of 45.3 hours.
The emergency department stay of homeless patients was 35 hours. Orthopedic trauma subjects had a prolonged disposal time. This addresses serious patient safety concerns and immediate remedial measures.
Radiography is the standard observation tool for examining orthopedic injuries. Bedside Ultrasound (BUS) may be a faster, non-invasive alternative to effectively identify bone fractures in the emergency department (ED) setting. The study compares the diagnostic utilities of BUS and radiography for identifying long bone fractures.
Prospective observation study with convenience sampling was conducted in ED in patients > 5 years, with post-traumatic upper and lower limb injuries requiring standard radiological examination after informed consent. The BUS examinations were performed by a emergency physician (EP) who had a brief training session to detect fractures. For every subject, radiographs were taken and reviewed for the presence of fracture by blinded orthopedic specialist. Statistical analysis was done by SPSS.
A total of 133 patients were enrolled in the study. Only 42 had fracture, out of which 36 were picked up by BUS. The overall sensitivity of the BUS in detecting fracture was 85.7% with a confidence interval (CI) of 0.70–0.94 and specificity of 100% with a CI = 0.95–1.00. The positive predictive value (PPV) of USG was 100% with a CI = 0.86–1.00 and negative predictive value (NPV) of 93.8% with a CI = 0.86–0.97. There were six additional fractures which were recognized on x-ray and were not picked up by ultrasound.
BUS can be utilized by EP after brief training to accurately identify long-bone fractures. It may gain a more prominent role in pregnant and pediatric population as well as in mass-casualty scenarios.
Ultrasonography of optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) may be useful in detecting raised intracranial pressure (ICP) in head injury (HI). There is limited data from India.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the utility of measuring ONSD for diagnosis of raised intracranial pressure in HI victims in the emergency department.
Fifty-two HI patients presenting between February to August 2009 were included, A CT head scan was performed and simultaneous ocular ultrasound was done by an emergency physician who had underwent goal-directed training in ophthalmic sonography by a linear probe of 10 MHz. An ONSD greater than > 5 mm for patients > 15 years of age, 4.5 mm for 1–15 years of age, and 4 mm for infants were considered abnormal. The two modalities of diagnosis were compared.
The median age was 30 years (Range = 0.25–72 years). A total of 90.4% were male and 9.6% were female. A total of 71.2% had severe HI, 19.2% had moderate HI, and 9.6% had mild HI. A raised ICP based on CT findings was present in 42 (80.8%) patients. Mean optic nerve diameter in patients with raised ICP was 5.11 + 1.56 mm compared to 5.04 + 1.6 mm in patients with no features of raised ICP. Sensitivity and specificity of ONSD as a screening test for detection of raised intracranial pressure were 57.1% and 40%, respectively with a positive predictive value and negative predictive value of 80% and 18.1%, respectively.
The evaluation of the ONSD diameter is a simple and non-invasive potential tool in initial assessment of raised intracranial pressure.
The objective of this study was to determine the accuracy of emergency physicians in detecting free fluid in the abdomen when compared to radiologists during w primary survey of trauma victims by focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) scan in the emergency department.
This prospective study was performed during a primary survey of the resuscitation of non-consecutive patients in the resuscitation bay. The study subjects included emergency physicians (EP) [one emergency medicine (EM) consultant, two EM residents, one orthopedic resident, and one surgical resident] who underwent training at a three-day workshop on emergency sonography and performed 10 supervised positive and negative scans for free fluid. The FAST scans were performed by the EPs and then by the radiology resident (RR). Both were blinded to each other's sonography findings. Computed tomography (CT) scan and laparatomy findings were used as gold standard. Results were compared between both groups. Intra-observer variability among EPs and level of agreement between EPs and RRs were assessed.
One hundred fifty scans performed by EPs and RRs were analyzed. The mean age of the patients was 28 [1–70] years. Out of 24 true positive patients, 18 underwent CT scan, and exploratory laparatomy was done in six patients. Intra-observer performance variation ranged from 87–97%. The sensitivity of FAST performed by EP and RR was 100%. The specificity of FAST by EPs was 95.4% vs. 98.4% by RRs. The level of agreement was 100%.
This study proves that FAST scan performed by EPs who are trained in short course of ultrasonography can be reliable and accurate when compared to a qualified radiologist.
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