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Introduction: The New Brunswick Trauma Registry is a database of injury admissions from eight hospitals throughout the province. Data tracks individuals in-hospital. By linking this information with vital statistics, we are able to observe outcomes post-discharge and can model health outcomes for participants. We want to know how outcomes for trauma patients compare with the general population post discharge. Methods: Using data from 2014-15, we followed over 2100 trauma registry observations for one year and tracked mortality rate per 1,000 people by age-group. We also compared the outcomes of this group to all Discharge Abstract Database (DAD) entries in the province (circa. 7500 total). We tracked mortality in-hospital, at six months, and one year after discharge. We truncated age into groups aged 40-64, 65-84, and 85 or older. Results: In-hospital mortality among those in the trauma registry is approximately 20 per 1,000 people for those age 40-64, 50 per 1,000 people for those aged 65-84, and 150 per 1,000 people aged 85 or older. For the oldest age group this is in line with the expected population mortality rate, for the younger two groups these estimates are approximately 2-4 times higher than expected mortality. The mortality at six-month follow-up for both of the younger groups remains higher than expected. At one-year follow-up, the mortality for the 65-84 age group returns to the expected population baseline, but is higher for those age 40-64. Causes of death for those who die in hospital are injury for nearly 50% of observations. After discharge, neoplasms and heart disease are the most common causes of death. Trends from the DAD are similar, with lower mortality overall. Of note, cardiac causes of death account for nearly as many deaths in the 6 months after the injury in the 40 -64 age group as the injury itself. Conclusion: Mortality rates remain high upon discharge for up to a year later for some age groups. Causes of death are not injury-related. Some evidence suggests that the injury could have been related to the eventual cause of death (e.g., dementia), but questions remain about the possibility for trauma-mitigating care increasing the risk of mortality from comorbidities. For example, cardiac death, which is largely preventable, is a significant cause of death in the 40-64 age group after discharge. Including an assessment of Framingham risk factors as part of the patients rehabilitation prescription may reduce mortality.
Introduction: Electronic medical records (EMR) have placed increasing demand on emergency physicians and may contribute to physician burnout and stress. The use of scribes to reduce workload and increase productivity in emergency departments (ED) has been reported. This objective of this study was to evaluate the educational and experiential value of scribing among medical and undergraduate students. We asked: “Will undergraduates be willing to scribe in exchange for clinical exposure and experience?”; and, “Should scribing be integrated into the medical school curriculum?” Methods: A mixed-methods model was employed. The study population included 5 undergraduate, and 5 medical students. Scribes received technical training on how to take physician notes. Undergraduate students were provided with optional resources to familiarize themselves with common medical terminology. Scribes were assigned to physicians based on availability. An exit interview and semi-structured interviews were conducted at the conclusion of the study. Interviews were transcribed and coded into thematic coding trees. A constructivist grounded theory approach was used to analyze the results. Themes were reviewed and verified by two members of the research team. Results: Undergraduate students preferred volunteering in the ED over other volunteer experiences (5/5); citing direct access to the medical field (5/5), demystification of the medical profession (4/5), resume building (5/5), and perceived value added to the health care team (5/5) as main motivators to continue scribing. Medical students felt scribing should be integrated into their curriculum (4/5) because it complemented their shadowing experience by providing unique value that shadowing did not. Based on survey results, five undergraduate students would be required to cover 40 volunteer hours per week. Conclusion: A student volunteer model of scribing is worthwhile to students and may be feasible; however, scribe availability, potentially high scribe turnover, and limited time to develop a rapport with their physician may impact any efficiency benefit scribes might provide. Importantly, scribing may be an invaluable experience for directing career goals and ensuring that students intrinsically interested in medicine pursue the profession. Medical students suggested that scribing could be added to the year one curriculum to help them develop a framework for how to take histories and manage patients.
Introduction: Buprenorphine/naloxone (buprenorphine) has proven to be a life-saving intervention amidst the ongoing opioid epidemic in Canada. Research has shown benefits to initiating buprenorphine from the emergency department (ED) including improved treatment retention, systemic health care savings and fewer drug-related visits to the ED. Despite this, there has been little to no uptake of this evidence-based practice in our department. This qualitative study aimed to determine the local barriers and potential solutions to initiating buprenorphine in the ED and gain an understanding of physician attitudes and behaviours regarding harm reduction care and opioid use disorder management. Methods: ED physicians at a midsize Atlantic hospital were recruited by convenience sampling to participate in semi-structured privately conducted interviews. Audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and de-identified transcripts were uploaded to NVivo 12 plus for concept driven and inductive coding and a hierarchy of open, axial and selective coding was employed. Transcripts were independently reviewed by a local qualitative research expert and themes were compared for similarity to limit bias. Interview saturation was reached after 7 interviews. Results: Emergent themes included a narrow scope of harm reduction care that primarily focused on abstinence-based therapies and a multitude of biases including feelings of deception, fear of diversion, feeling buprenorphine induction was too time consuming for the ED and differentiating patients with opioid use disorder from ‘medically ill’ patients. Several barriers and proposed solutions to initiating buprenorphine from the ED were elicited including lack of training and need for formal education, poor familiarity with buprenorphine, the need for an algorithm and community bridge program and formal supports such as an addictions consult team for the ED. Conclusion: This study elicited several opportunities for improved care for patients with addictions presenting to our ED. Future education will focus on harm reduction care, specifically strategies for managing patients desiring to continue to use substances. Education will focus on addressing the multitude of biases elicited and dispelling common myths. A locally informed buprenorphine pathway will be developed. In future, this study may be used to advocate for improved formal supports for our department including an addictions consult team.
Introduction: Vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy is a common emergency department (ED) presentation, with many of these episodes resulting in poor obstetrical outcome. These outcomes have been extensively studied, but there have been few evaluations of what variables are associated predictors. This study aimed to identify predictors of less than optimal obstetrical outcomes for women who present to the ED with early pregnancy bleeding. Methods: A regional centre health records review included pregnant females who presented to the ED with vaginal bleeding at <20 weeks gestation. This study investigated differences in presenting features between groups with subsequent optimal outcomes (OO; defined as a full-term live birth >37 weeks) and less than optimal outcomes (LOO; defined as a miscarriage, stillbirth or pre-term live birth). Predictor variables included: maternal age, gestational age at presentation, number of return ED visits, socioeconomic status (SES), gravida-para-abortus status, Rh status, Hgb level and presence of cramping. Rates and results of point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) and ultrasound (US) by radiology were also considered. Results: Records for 422 patients from Jan 2017 to Nov 2018 were screened and 180 patients were included. Overall, 58.3% of study participants had a LOO. The only strong predictor of outcome was seeing an Intra-Uterine Pregnancy (IUP) with Fetal Heart Beat (FHB) on US; OO rate 74.3% (95% CI 59.8-88.7; p < 0.01). Cramping (with bleeding) trended towards a higher rate of LOO (62.7%, 95% CI 54.2-71.1; p = 0.07). SES was not a reliable predictor of LOO, with similar clinical outcome rates above and below the poverty line (57.5% [95% CI 46.7-68.3] vs 59% [95% CI 49.3-68.6] LOO). For anemic patients, the non-live birth rate was 100%, but the number with this variable was small (n = 5). Return visits (58.3%, 95% CI 42.2-74.4), previous abortion (58.8%, 95% CI 49.7-67.8), no living children (60.2%, 95% CI 50.7-69.6) and past pregnancy (55.9%, 95% CI 46.6-65.1) were not associated with higher rates of LOO. Conclusion: Identification of a live IUP, anemia, and cramping have potential as predictors of obstetrical outcome in early pregnancy bleeding. This information may provide better guidance for clinical practice and investigations in the emergency department and the predictive value of these variables support more appropriate counseling to this patient population.
Introduction: Distal radial fractures (DRF) remain the most commonly encountered fracture in the Emergency Department (ED). The initial management of displaced DRFs by Emergency Physicians (EP) poses considerable resource allocation. We wished to determine the adequacy of reduction, both initially and at follow up. This data updates previously presented high level findings. Methods: We performed a mixed-methods study including patients who underwent procedural sedation and manipulation by an EP for a DRF. Radiological images performed at initial assessment, post-reduction, and clinic follow up were reviewed by a panel of orthopedic surgeons and radiologists blinded to outcomes, and assessed for evidence of displacement. Demographic data were pooled from patient records and included in statistical analysis. Results: Seventy patients were included and had follow-up completed. Initial reduction was deemed to be adequate in 37 patients (53%; 95% CI 41.32 to 64.10%). At clinic follow-up assessment, 26 reductions remained adequate; a slippage rate of 30% (95% CI of 17.37 to 45.90). Overall 7 patients (10%; 95% CI 4.65 to 19.51%) required revision of the initial reduction in the operating room. Agreement on adequacy of reduction on post-reduction radiographs between radiologists and orthopedic surgeons was 38.6% (95% CI -38.3 to -7.4, Kappa -0.229). The statistical strength of this agreement is worse than what would be expected by chance alone. There was no association found between age, sex, or of time of initial presentation and final outcomes. Conclusion: Although blinded review by specialists determined only half of initial EP DRF reductions to be radiographically adequate, only 10 percent actually required further intervention. Agreement between specialists on adequacy was poor. The majority of DRFs reduced by EPs do not require further surgical intervention.
Introduction: Determining fluid status prior to resuscitation provides a more accurate guide for appropriate fluid administration in the setting of undifferentiated hypotension. Emergency Department (ED) point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) has been proposed as a potential non-invasive, rapid, repeatable investigation to ascertain inferior vena cava (IVC) characteristics. Our goal was to determine the feasibility of using PoCUS to measure IVC size and collapsibility. Methods: This was a planned secondary analysis of data from a prospective multicentre international study investigating PoCUS in ED patients with undifferentiated hypotension. We prospectively collected data on IVC size and collapsibility using a standard data collection form in 6 centres. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with a clinically useful (determinate) scan defined as a clearly visible intrahepatic IVC, measurable for size and collapse. Descriptive statistics are provided. Results: A total of 138 scans were attempted on 138 patients; 45.7% were women and the median age was 58 years old. Overall, one hundred twenty-nine scans (93.5%; 95% CI 87.9 to 96.7%) were determinate. 131 (94.9%; 89.7 to 97.7%) were determinate for IVC size, and 131 (94.9%; 89.7 to 97.7%) were determinate for collapsibility. Conclusion: In this analysis of 138 ED patients with undifferentiated hypotension, the vast majority of PoCUS scans to investigate IVC characteristics were determinate. Future work should include analysis of the value of IVC size and collapsibility in determining fluid status in this group.
Introduction: Crowding is associated with poor patient outcomes in emergency departments (ED). Measures of crowding are often complex and resource-intensive to score and use in real-time. We evaluated single easily obtained variables to establish the presence of crowding compared to more complex crowding scores. Methods: Serial observations of patient flow were recorded in a tertiary Canadian ED. Single variables were evaluated including total number of patients in the ED (census), in beds, in the waiting room, in the treatment area waiting to be assessed, and total inpatient admissions. These were compared with Crowding scores (NEDOCS, EDWIN, ICMED, three regional hospital modifications of NEDOCS) as predictors of crowding. Predictive validity was compared to the reference standard of physician perception of crowding, using receiver operator curve analysis. Results: 144 of 169 potential events were recorded over 2 weeks. Crowding was present in 63.9% of the events. ED census (total number of patients in the ED) was strongly correlated with crowding (AUC = 0.82 with 95% CI = 0.76 - 0.89) and its performance was similar to that of NEDOCS (AUC = 0.80 with 95% CI = 0.76 - 0.90) and a more complex local modification of NEDOCS, the S-SAT (AUC = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.74 - 0.89). Conclusion: The single indicator, ED census was as predictive for the presence of crowding as more complex crowding scores. A two-stage approach to crowding intervention is proposed that first identifies crowding with a real-time ED census statistic followed by investigation of precipitating and modifiable factors. Real time signalling may permit more standardized and effective approaches to manage ED flow.
Introduction: Patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with hypotension have a high mortality rate and require careful yet rapid resuscitation. The use of cardiac point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) in the ED has progressed beyond the basic indications of detecting pericardial fluid and activity in cardiac arrest. We examine if finding left ventricular dysfunction (LVD) on emergency physician performed PoCUS reliably predicts the presence of cardiogenic shock in hypotensive ED patients. Methods: We prospectively collected PoCUS findings performed in 135 ED patients with undifferentiated hypotension as part of an international study. Patients with clearly identified etiologies for hypotension were excluded, along with other specific presumptive diagnoses. LVD was defined as identification of a generally hypodynamic LV in the setting of shock. PoCUS findings were collected using a standardized protocol and data collection form. All scans were performed by PoCUS-trained emergency physicians. Final shock type was defined as cardiogenic or non-cardiogenic by independent specialist blinded chart review. Results: All 135 patients had complete follow up. Median age was 56 years, 53% of patients were male. Disease prevalence for cardiogenic shock was 12% and the mortality rate was 24%. The presence of LVD on PoCUS had a sensitivity of 62.50% (95%CI 35.43% to 84.80%), specificity of 94.12% (88.26% to 97.60%), positive-LR 10.62 (4.71 to 23.95), negative-LR 0.40 (0.21 to 0.75) and accuracy of 90.37% (84.10% to 94.77%) for detecting cardiogenic shock. Conclusion: Detecting left ventricular dysfunction on PoCUS in the ED may be useful in confirming the underlying shock type as cardiogenic in otherwise undifferentiated hypotensive patients.
We consider the life cycle of an axisymmetric laminar thermal starting from the initial condition of a Gaussian buoyant blob. We find that, as time progresses, the thermal transitions through a number of distinct stages, undergoing several morphological changes before ending up as a vortex ring. Whilst each stage is interesting in its own right, one objective of this study is to set out a consistent mathematical framework under which the entire life cycle can be studied. This allows examination of the transition between the different stages, as well as shedding light on some unsolved questions from previous works. We find that the early stages of formation are key in determining the properties of the final buoyant vortex ring and that, since they occur on a time scale where viscosity has little effect, the final properties of the ring display an independence above a critical Reynolds number. We also find that rings consistently contain the same proportion of the initial heat and have a consistent vorticity flux. By considering the effect of Prandtl number, we show that thermal diffusion can have a significant impact on development, smoothing out the temperature field and inhibiting the generation of vorticity. Finally, by considering the wake left behind as well as the vortex ring that is generated, we observe that the wake can itself roll up to form a second mushroom cap and subsequently a secondary vortex ring that follows the first.
Introduction: Bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy is a common presentation to the Emergency Department (ED) with half going on to miscarry. Currently there is no local consensus on key quality markers of care for such cases. Point of Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) is increasingly utilized in the ED to detect life threating pathology such as an ectopic pregnancy or fetal viability. PoCUS leads to improved patient satisfaction, quicker diagnosis and treatment. The purpose for this study was to examine the rates of formal ultrasound and PoCUS when compared to reported and recommended rates, and also to understand the use of other diagnostic tests. Methods: A retrospective cohort study of pregnant females presenting to the ED with first trimester bleeding over one year (June 2016 – June2017) was completed. A sample size of 108 patients was required to detect a moderate departure from baseline reported rates (67.8 – 77.6%). The primary outcome was the PoCUS rate in the ED. The main secondary outcome was the formal ultrasound rate. The literature recommends PoCUS in all early pregnancy bleeding in the ED, with a target of 100% of patients receiving PoCUS. Additional data recorded included the live birth rate, pelvic and speculum examination rate and lab tests. There is no clearly defined ideal practice for the additional data so these rates will be recorded without comparison. Results: Records of 168 patients were screened for inclusion. 65 cases were excluded because they were not pregnant or had confirmed miscarriage or other, leaving a total of 103 patients included in the analysis. The PoCUS rate was 51.5% (95% CI 42%-61%), lower than previously reported PoCUS rates of 73% (67.8 – 77.6%). The formal ultrasound rate was 67% (57%-75%). Both approaches were significantly lower than the recommended rate of 100% (95.7 – 100%). Rates for other key markers of care will also be presented. Conclusion: Fewer PoCUS exams were performed at our centre compared with reported and recommended rates for ultrasound. Further results will explore our current practice in the management of first trimester pregnancy complications. We plan to use this information to suggest improvements in the management of this patient population.
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.
Introduction: Emergency department (ED) staff carry a high risk for the burnout syndrome of increased emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and decreased personal accomplishment. Previous research has shown that task-oriented coping skills were associated with reduced levels of burnout compared to emotion-oriented coping. ED staff at one hospital participated in an intervention to teach task-oriented coping skills. We hypothesized that the intervention would alter staff coping behaviors and ultimately reduce burnout. Methods: ED physicians, nurses and support staff at two regional hospitals were surveyed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS). Surveys were performed before and after the implementation of communication and conflict resolution skills training at the intervention facility (I) consisting of a one-day course and a small group refresher 6 to 15 months later. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis assessed differences in staff burnout and coping styles compared to the control facility (C) and over time. Results: 85/143 (I) and 42/110 (C) ED staff responded to the initial survey. Post intervention 46 (I) and 23(C) responded. During the two year study period there was no statistically significant difference in CISS or MBI scores between hospitals (CISS: (Pillai's trace = .02, F(3,63) = .47, p = .71, partial η2 = .02); MBI: (Pillai's trace = .01, F(3,63) = .11, p = .95, partial η2 = .01)) or between pre- and post-intervention groups (CISS: (Pillai's trace = .01, F(3,63) = .22, p = .88, partial η2 = .01); MBI: (Pillai's trace = .09, F(3,63) = 2.15, p = .10, partial η2 = .01)). Conclusion: We were not able to measure improvement in staff coping or burnout in ED staff receiving communication skills intervention over a two year period. Burnout is a multifactorial problem and environmental rather than individual factors may be more important to address. Alternatively, to demonstrate a measurable effect on burnout may require more robust or inclusive interventions.
Introduction: Burnout includes emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalization (DP) and personal accomplishment (PA). Emergency Department (ED) staff have high levels of burnout that may be responsive to communication skills training. We surveyed ED staff perception of need and efficacy before and after an intervention using an established conflict resolution methodology. Methods: ED physicians, nurses and support staff were surveyed at two regional hospitals using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and a communications questionnaire to establish the perceived need for communication skill training. Participants from one center were provided with a communications intervention (Crucial Conversations®, VitalSmarts®), and a refresher course 6-15 months later. The survey was then repeated at both sites and course participant feedback was elicited. Results: MBI results were high (mean EE = 25.25 (high > 25), 95% CI = 22.5-28; DP = 11.6 (high > 8), 95% CI = 10.1-13.2; PA = 35.85 (low <34), 95% CI = 34.3-37.4). Initially 82% of intervention and 77% of control site participants responded that “attending an educational session about ways to communicate better would help the participants at work”. Post intervention group responses to “The program will be helpful to me in communicating more effectively in my work environment” were: 75% “strongly agree” and 25% “agree”. No rating below “agree” was assigned by any of the participants. Participants preferred facilitated small group simulations and advocated for earlier career implementation. Conclusion: There was a perceived need for and impact from communication skills training for ED staff with high measured burnout. Training may be best implemented in small group simulated encounters and in health professional education curriculum or as part of work orientation.
Background: Chest tube insertion is a time and safety critical procedure with a significant complication rate (up to 30%). Industry routinely uses Lean and ergonomic methodology to improve systems. This process improvement study used best evidence review, small group consensus, process mapping and prototyping in order to design a lean and ergonomically mindful equipment solution. Aim Statement: By simplifying and reorganising chest tube equipment, we aim to provide users with adequate equipment, reduce equipment waste, and wasted effort locating equipment. Measures & Design: The study was conducted between March 2018 and November 2018. An initial list of process steps from the best available evidence was produced. This list was then augmented by multispecialty team consensus (3 Emergency Physicians, 1 Thoracic Surgeon, 1 medical student, 2 EM nurses). Necessary equipment was identified. Next, two prototyping phases were conducted using a task trainer and a realistic interprofessional team (1 EM Physician, 1 ER Nurse, 1 Medical student) to refine the equipment list and packaging. A final equipment storage system was produced and evaluated by an interprofessional team during cadaver training using a survey and Likert scales. Evaluation/Results: There were 47 equipment items in the pre-intervention ED chest tube tray. After prototyping 21 items were removed while nine critical items were added. The nine items missing from the original design were found in four different locations in the department. Six physicians and seven RNs participated in cadaver testing and completed an evaluation survey of the new layout. Participants preferred the new storage design (Likert median 5, IQR of 1) over the current storage design (median of 1, IQR of 1). Discussion/Impact: The results suggest that the lean equipment storage is preferred by ED staff compared to the current set-up, may reduce time finding missing equipment, and will reduce waste. Future simulation work will quantitatively understand compliance with safety critical steps, user stress, wasted user time and cost.
Introduction: Undifferentiated hypotension remains one of the most life-threatening presentations to emergency departments (ED) around the world. An accurate and rapid initial assessment is essential, as shock carries a high mortality with multiple unique etiologies and management plans. Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) has emerged as a promising tool to improve these diagnostic and management challenges, yet its reliability in this setting remains unclear. Methods: We performed a systematic review of Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane, and clinicaltrials.gov databases from inception to June 8, 2018. Databases were reviewed by two independent researchers and all languages were included. The methodological quality of included studies were evaluated using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2) tool. Our primary outcome was diagnostic accuracy of PoCUS in hypotension, with secondary outcomes including patient outcomes and changes to management. Results: Our literature search revealed 5345 articles after duplicates were removed, leaving 235 articles for full article review. Following full article review, 9 studies remained and were included in the systematic review. There were 2 randomized control trials, 6 prospective cohort trials, and 1 retrospective cohort trial. For our primary outcome of diagnostic accuracy, eight studies were included; we extracted Kappa values ranging from 0.70 to 0.971, pooled sensitivity ranging from 69% to 88%, and pooled specificity ranging from 88% to 96%. Four studies reported on management change including results reporting shorter time to disposition, change in diagnostic test ordering (18% to 31%), change in consultation (13.6%), change in admission location (12%) and change in management plan (25% to 40%). Only one study reported on patient outcomes, which revealed no survival or length of stay benefit. Conclusion: When assessing for the diagnostic accuracy of PoCUS in the setting of undifferentiated hypotension presenting to the emergency department, we found fair consistency between PoCUS and final diagnosis with high Kappa values, fair to good pooled sensitivities, and good to excellent specificities. There was no strong evidence indicating improved outcomes. However, the large amount of heterogeneity amongst studies has limited our ability to make a strong conclusion except that future research should focus on a uniform study design and patient focused outcomes.
Introduction: Improving public access and training for epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs) can reduce time to initial treatment in anaphylaxis. Effective use of EAIs by the public requires bystanders to respond in a timely and proficient manner. We wished to examine optimal methods for assessing effective training and skill retention for public use of EAIs, including the use of microskills lists. Methods: In this prospective, stratified randomized study, 154 participants at 15 sites receiving installation of public EAIs were randomized to one of three experimental education interventions: A) didactic poster (POS) teaching; B) poster with video teaching (VID), and C) Poster, video, and simulation training (SIM). Participants were tested by participation in a standardized simulated anaphylaxis scenario at 0-months, immediately following training, and again at follow-up at 3 months. Participants’ responses were videoed and assessed by two blinded raters using microksills checklists. The microskills lists were derived from the best available evidence and interprofessional process mapping using a skills trainer. The interobserver reliability was assessed for each item in a 14 step microskill checklist composed of 3-point and 5-point Likert scale questions around EpiPen use, expressed as Kappa Values. Results: Overall there was poor agreement between the two raters. Being composed or panicked had the highest level of agreement K = 0.7, but a result that did not reach statistical significance (substantial agreement, p = 0.06) calling for EMS support has the second highest level of agreement, K = 0.6 (moderate agreement, p = 0.01), the remainder of the items had very low to moderate agreement with a Kappa value range of -103 to 0.48. Conclusion: Although microskills chesklists have been shown to identify areas where learners and interprofessional teams require deliberate practice, these results support previously published evidence that the use of microskills checklists to assess skills has poor reproducibility. Performance will be further assessed in this study using global rating scales, which have shown higher levels of agreement in other studies.
Introduction: Complications in early pregnancy are common and have many physical and emotional consequences. Locally, there is no early pregnancy loss clinic or standardized guide in the emergency department (ED) for referral and follow-up decisions, and both initial management of patients and follow up can be inconsistent. This study aimed to obtain consensus on the best approach to initial work-up, management, and follow up for patients who present to the ED with early pregnancy complications, with the goal of using this consensus to produce a standardized guide for emergency provider use. Methods: A literature review was completed to produce evidence-based recommendations which were used to initiate a modified Delphi consensus process. A survey was distributed, with three rounds completed. Participants included emergency providers, obstetrician-gynecologists, a radiologist, a sample of family medicine physicians including some involved in primary care obstetrics, and nurse practitioners. An obstetric specialist from outside the local region was also involved. Results: Consensus was reached on several key recommendations, however some areas remained without clear accepted best practice. There was consensus that physical components of early pregnancy complications are addressed well, but that we could improve on patient flow and more consistent follow up. Important investigations to be done for patients were identified. The timing of formal ultrasound, necessity and timing of obstetrician consultation, and safety of discharge was addressed for various patient scenarios including stable and unstable patients, with and without adnexal pain, with intrauterine pregnancy of uncertain viability, and with pregnancy of unknown location. Management of confirmed early pregnancy loss in the ED and family medicine clinics was addressed. Barriers to an early pregnancy loss clinic included lack of funding, space, and staffing as well as lack of resources and uncertain patient volumes. A feasible alternative to an early pregnancy loss clinic was for willing providers to keep appointment times available to facilitate confirmation of follow-up prior to discharge. Other suggested alternatives included an early pregnancy loss clinic, a nurse educator, and having a standardized guideline in the ED. Conclusion: Through a consensus approach, several recommendations were agreed upon for improving care for patients presenting to the ED with early pregnancy complications.
Introduction: Chest tube insertion, a critical procedure with a published complication rate (30%), is a required competency for emergency physicians. Microskills training has been shown to identify steps that require deliberate practice. Objectives were: 1. Develop a chest tube insertion microskills checklist to facilitate IPE, 2. Compare the microskills checklist with published best available evidence, 3. Develop an educational video based on the process map, 4. Evaluate the video in an interprofessional team prior to cadaver training as a proof of concept. Methods: The study was conducted between March 2018 and November 2018. An initial list of process steps from the best available evidence was produced. This list was then augmented by multispecialty team consensus (3 Emergency Physicians, 1 Thoracic Surgeon, 1 medical student, 2 EM nurses). Two prototyping phases were conducted using a task trainer and a realistic interprofessional team (1 EM Physician, 1 ER Nurse, 1 Medical student). A final microskills list was produced and compared to the procedural steps described in consensus publications. An educational video was produced and evaluated by an interprofessional team prior to cadaver training using a survey and Likert scales as a proof of concept. Participants were 7 EM RNs and 6 ATLS trained physicians. Participants were asked to fill out a nine-question survey, using a 5-point Likert Scale (1-strongly disagree to 5 strongly agree). Results: The final process map contained 54 interdisciplinary steps, compared to ATLS that describes 14 main steps and peer reviewed articles that describe 9 main steps. The microskills checklist described, in more detail, the steps that relate to team interaction and the operational environment. Physicians rated the training video were able to apply what they learned in the video with an average of 4.67 (median of 5, mode of 5, and an IQR of 0.75). Conclusion: The development of the process maps and microkills checklists provides interprofessional teams with more information about chest tube insertion than instructions described in commonly available courses and procedural steps derived by consensus.
Introduction: Renal colic is a common presentation which exerts a significant burden on healthcare infrastructure. A significant proportion of patients managed with observation may return to the Emergency Department (ED) prior to spontaneous passage due to inadequate analgesia. It is unclear whether early urologist consultation would limit the burden of renal stones by reducing returns to the ED. We wished to determine whether urologist referral from the ED department is associated with fewer returns to the ED with renal colic. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review using RECORD methodology of consecutive patients diagnosed with CT-confirmed, ureteric or renal calculi in our ED over a two-year period. Disposition was categorized as either hospital admission, outpatient urologist referral, follow up with primary care, or no follow up. The primary outcome was the 30-day ED re-presentation for renal colic. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify predictors for ED-return. Results: In total, 232 patients met our inclusion criteria. Urgent or outpatient urologist referral was not associated with a significantly lower ED return rate when compared to patients with no follow-up. Surprisingly, urologic intervention and stent placement were both independent predictors for ED return (OR: 2.03; 95% CI: (1.06-3.88); p:0.03) and (OR:2.08; 95% CI: (1.07-4.05). Conclusion: A significant proportion of patients who underwent urologist-led intervention returned to the ED with renal colic. Further study may help clarify the role of early urologist referral for renal calculi, as this may not reduce ED return rates when compared to conservative management.
Innovation Concept: Free open access medical education (FOAM) is a quickly growing field. While there is an abundance of resources online, and on social media, the quality of those resources should always be questioned and reviewed. Furthermore, as medical learners progress in their training, they become lead consumers and producers of FOAM. Our educational innovation concept was the introduction of two FOAM streams into our residency program to assist learners to produce their own content with mentorship from our emergency medicine faculty. Methods: Medical students and residents training in the emergency department were encouraged to submit content to either our department website in the form of a clinical PEARL, or a research paper to the departmental Cureus online journal. All website content was reviewed by an attending physician and all Cureus content was submitted for further peer review and publication if approved. All published content was shared on social media through our department's Twitter account. A select number of residents were also mentored in reviewing and editing FOAM content and publishing it to our departmental website. Curriculum, Tool or Material: sjrhem.ca is the Saint John Regional Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine's website. A portion of the website is dedicated to posts arising from departmental rounds, case reviews as well as posts from learners in the form of clinical PEARLS. They are designed as succinct and informative clinical summaries and allow learners to share their content to a wider audience online. Cureus.com is an online journal of medical science, with a dedicated Dalhousie Emergency Medicine Channel. The editors are local emergency medicine faculty and senior residents, while reviewers are independent. In the last year, the clinical pearls received 5672 views, and the Cureus channel received 1143 content views. Conclusion: Feedback from learners regarding publication of their own FOAM has been positive and has allowed them to share their content to a much wider audience through our Departmental Website, Cureus Channel and Twitter stream. Furthermore, we are helping to prepare residents to produce their own high quality content, allowing our FOAM program to grow.