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Introduction: A physician handoff is the process through which physicians transfer the primary responsibility of a care unit. The emergency department (ED) is a fast-paced and crowded environment where the risk of information loss between shifts is significant. Yet, the impact of handoffs between emergency physicians on patient outcomes remains understudied. We performed a retrospective cohort study in the ED to determine if handed-off patients, when compared to non-handed-off patients, were at higher risk of negative outcomes. Methods: We included every adult patient first assessed by an emergency physician and subsequently admitted to hospital in one of the five sites of the CHU de Québec-Université Laval during fiscal year 2016-17. Data were extracted from the local hospital discharge database and the ED information system. Primary outcome was mortality. Secondary outcomes were incidence of ICU admission and surgery and hospital length of stay. We conducted multilevel multivariate regression analyses, accounting for patient and hospital clusters and adjusting for demographics, CTAS score, comorbidities, admitting department delay before evaluation by an emergency physician and by another specialty, emergency department crowding, initial ED orientation and handoff timing. We conducted sensitivity analyses excluding patients that had an ED length of stay > 24 hours or events that happened after 72 hours of hospitalization. Results: 21,136 ED visits and 17,150 unique individuals were included in the study. Median[Q1-Q3] age, Charlson index score, door-to-emergency-physician time and ED length of stay were 71[55-83] years old, 3[1-4], 48 [24,90] minutes, 20.8[9.9,32.7] hours, respectively. In multilevel multivariate analysis (OR handoff/no handoff [CI95%] or GMR[SE]), handoff status was not associated with mortality 0.89[0.77,1.02], surgery 0.95[0.85,1.07] or hospital length of stay (-0.02[0.03]). Non-handed-off patients had an increased risk of ICU admission (0.75[0.64,0.87]). ED occupancy rate was an independent predictor of mortality and ICU admission rate irrespectively of handoff status. Sensitivity and sub-group based analyses yielded no further information. Conclusion: Emergency physicians’ handoffs do not seem to increase the risk of severe in-hospital adverse events. ED occupancy rate is an independent predictor of mortality. Further studies are needed to explore the impact of ED handoffs on adverse events of low and moderate severity.
Introduction: Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) is a common problem: each year in Canada, its incidence is estimated at 500-600 cases per 100 000. Between 10 and 56% of mTBI patients develop persistent post-concussion symptoms (PPCS) that can last for more than 90 days. It is therefore important for clinicians to identify patients who are at risk of developing PPCS. We hypothesized that blood biomarkers drawn upon patient arrival to the Emergency Department (ED) could help predict PPCS. The main objective of this project was to measure the association between four biomarkers and the incidence of PPCS 90 days post mTBI. Methods: Patients were recruited in seven Canadian ED. Non-hospitalized patients, aged ≥14 years old with a documented mTBI that occurred ≤24 hrs of ED consultation, with a GCS ≥13 at arrival were included. Sociodemographic and clinical data as well as blood samples were collected in the ED. A standardized telephone questionnaire was administered at 90 days post ED visit. The following biomarkers were analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA): S100B protein, Neuron Specific Enolase (NSE), cleaved-Tau (c-Tau) and Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The primary outcome measure was the presence of persistent symptoms at 90 days after mTBI, as assessed using the Rivermead Post-Concussion symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ). A ROC curve was constructed for each biomarker. Results: 1276 patients were included in the study. The median age for this cohort was 39 (IQR 23-57) years old, 61% were male and 15% suffered PPCS. The median values (IQR) for patients with PPCS compared to those without were: 43 pg/mL (26-67) versus 42 pg/mL (24-70) for S100B protein, 50 pg/mL (50-223) versus 50 pg/mL (50-199) for NSE, 2929 pg/mL (1733-4744) versus 3180 pg/mL (1835-4761) for c-Tau and 1644 pg/mL (650-3215) versus 1894 pg/mL (700-3498) for GFAP. For each of these biomarkers, Areas Under the Curve (AUC) were 0.495, 0.495, 0.51 and 0.54, respectively. Conclusion: Among mTBI patients, S100B protein, NSE, c-Tau or GFAP during the first 24 hours after trauma do not seem to be able to predict PPCS. Future research testing of other biomarkers is needed in order to determine their usefulness in predicting PPCS when combined with relevant clinical data.
Introduction: Clinical assessment of patients with mTBI is challenging and overuse of head CT in the emergency department (ED) is a major problem. During the last decades, studies have attempted to reduce unnecessary head CTs following a mTBI by identifying new tools aiming to predict intracranial bleeding. S100B serum protein level might be helpful reducing those imaging since a higher level of S-100B protein has been associated with intracranial hemorrhage following a mTBI in previous literature. The main objective of this study was to assess whether the S100B serum protein level is associated with clinically important brain injury and could be used to reduce the number of head CT following a mTBI. Methods: This prospective multicenter cohort study was conducted in five Canadian ED. MTBI patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 13-15 in the ED and a blood sample drawn within 24-hours after the injury were included. S-100B protein was analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). All types of intracranial bleedings were reviewed by a radiologist who was blinded to the biomarker results. The main outcome was the presence of clinically important brain injury. Results: A total of 476 patients were included. Mean age was 41 ± 18 years old and 150 (31.5%) were female. Twenty-four (5.0%) patients had a clinically significant intracranial hemorrhage while 37 (7.8%) had any type of intracranial bleeding. S100B median value (Q1-Q3) of was: 0.043 ug/L (0.008-0.080) for patients with clinically important brain injury versus 0.039 μg/L (0.023-0.059) for patients without clinically important brain injury. Sensitivity and specificity of the S100B protein level, if used alone to detect clinically important brain injury, were 16.7% (95% CI 4.7-37.4) and 88.5% (95% CI 85.2-91.3), respectively. Conclusion: S100B serum protein level was not associated with clinically significant intracranial hemorrhage in mTBI patients. This protein did not appear to be useful to reduce the number of CT prescribed in the ED and would have missed many clinically important brain injuries. Future research should focus on different ways to assess mTBI patient and ultimately reduce unnecessary head CT.
Introduction: Each year, 3/1000 Canadians sustain a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Many of those mTBI are accompanied by various co-injuries such as dislocations, sprains, fractures or internal injuries. A number of those patients, with or without co-injuries will suffer from persistent post-concussive symptoms (PPCS) more than 90 days post injury. However, little is known about the impact of co-injuries on mTBI outcome. This study aims to describe the impact of co-injuries on PPCS and on patient return to normal activities. Methods: This multicenter prospective cohort study took place in seven large Canadian Emergency Departments (ED). Inclusion criteria: patients aged ≥ 14 who had a documented mTBI that occurred within 24 hours of ED visit, with a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 13-15. Patients who were admitted following their ED visit or unable to consent were excluded. Clinical and sociodemographic information was collected during the initial ED visit. A research nurse then conducted three follow-up phone interviews at 7, 30 and 90 days post-injury, in which they assessed symptom evolution using the validated Rivermead Post-concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ). Adjusted risk ratios (RR) were calculated to estimate the influence of co-injuries. Results: A total of 1674 patients were included, of which 1023 (61.1%) had at least one co-injury. At 90 days, patients with co-injuries seemed to be at higher risk of having 3 symptoms ≥2 points according to the RPQ (RR: 1.28 95% CI 1.02-1.61) and of experiencing the following symptoms: dizziness (RR: 1.50 95% CI 1.03-2.20), fatigue (RR: 1.35 95% CI 1.05-1.74), headaches (RR: 1.53 95% CI 1.10-2.13), taking longer to think (RR: 1.50 95% CI 1.07-2.11) and feeling frustrated (RR: 1.45 95% CI 1.01-2.07). We also observed that patients with co-injuries were at higher risk of non-return to their normal activities (RR: 2.31 95% CI 1.37-3.90). Conclusion: Patients with co-injuries could be at higher risk of suffering from specific symptoms at 90 days post-injury and to be unable to return to normal activities 90 days post-injury. A better understanding of the impact of co-injuries on mTBI could improve patient management. However, further research is needed to determine if the differences shown in this study are due to the impact of co-injuries on mTBI recovery or to the co-injuries themselves.
Introduction: Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a serious public health issue and as much as one third of mTBI patients could be affected by persistent post-concussion symptoms (PPCS) three months after their injury. Even though a significant proportion of all mTBIs are sports-related (SR), little is known on the recovery process of SR mTBI patients and the potential differences between SR mTBI and patients who suffered non-sports-related mTBI. The objective of this study was to describe the evolution of PPCS among patients who sustained a SR mTBI compared to those who sustained non sport-related mTBI. Methods: This Canadian multicenter prospective cohort study included patients aged ≥ 14 who had a documented mTBI that occurred within 24 hours of Emergency Department (ED) visit, with a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 13-15. Patients who were hospitalized following their ED visit or unable to consent were excluded. Clinical and sociodemographic information was collected during the initial ED visit. Three follow-up phone interviews were conducted by a research nurse at 7, 30 and 90 days post-injury to assess symptom evolution using the validated Rivermead Post-concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ). Adjusted risk ratios (RR) were calculated to demonstrate the impact of the mechanism of injury (sports vs non-sports) on the presence and severity of PPCS. Results: A total of 1676 mTBI patients were included, 358 (21.4%) of which sustained a SR mTBI. At 90 days post-injury, patients who suffered a SR mTBI seemed to be significantly less affected by fatigue (RR: 0.70 (95% CI: 0.50-0.97)) and irritability (RR: 0.60 (95% CI: 0.38-0.94)). However, no difference was observed between the two groups regarding each other symptom evaluated in the RPQ. Moreover, the proportion of patients with three symptoms or more, a score ≥21 on the RPQ and those who did return to their normal activities were also comparable. Conclusion: Although persistent post-concussion symptoms are slightly different depending on the mechanism of trauma, our results show that patients who sustained SR-mTBI could be at lower risk of experiencing some types of symptoms 90 days post-injury, in particular, fatigue and irritability.
Introduction: Acute pain is frequent among patients visiting the emergency department (ED). In addition to the acute discomfort, pain has been linked to adverse events and poorest outcomes in older adults. However, pain is frequently overlooked by emergency clinicians, particularly in older adults. Advanced age has been linked to poor recognition and under treatment of pain. The contribution of ED investigations and procedures to the patient's pain is unknown. This study aims to determine the intensity of the pain induced by the investigations and procedures commonly performed in the ED. Methods: In two EDs, a convenience sample of older adults (≥ 65 years old) with at least two investigations or procedures performed during their ED visit were eligible. Patients were excluded if they were hemodynamically unstable, in palliative care or not oriented in time and space. The pain intensity was assessed at bedside by a research assistant for the following investigations or procedures: blood sampling, intravenous catheter, electrocardiogram, X-rays, computed tomography, beside ultrasound, urinary catheter, cervical collar and prehospital immobilization mattress. The predetermined sample size was 50 pain assessment per investigation or procedure. The pain intensity was assessed using a numerous rating scale (NRS) ranging from 0 (no pain) to 10 (most severe pain), for each investigation or procedure received. NRS results are presented using median (med) and interquartile range (IQR) and classified as followed: no pain (0), mild pain (1-3), moderate pain (4-6) and severe pain (7-10). Results: Between June 2018 and December 2019, 494 patients were screened of which 318 were finally included (exclusion: not oriented (n = 113), refusal (n = 27), palliative care (n = 34), other reasons (n = 12)). The mean age of included patients was 77.8 years old (standard deviation = 8.0), 54.4% were female and 78.6% were living in the community. Only 15 patients (4.7%) were known to have cognitive impairment or dementia and 23 patients (7.2%) were on regular or PRN opioid medication at home. The expected sample size of at least 50 pain score assessment per investigation or procedure was obtained for all interventions with the exception of urinary catheter (n = 23) and immobilization mattress (n = 35). For the other investigations or procedures, the number of pain assessment ranged between 51 (cervical collar) and 231 (blood sampling). All investigations and procedures were associated with a median pain score of 0 with the exception of blood sampling (n = 231, med NRS 1 (IQR 0;3)), intravenous catheter (n = 241, med NRS 1 (IQR 0;4)), urinary catheter (n = 23, med NRS 4 (IQR 1;6)), cervical collar (n = 51, med NRS 5 (IQR 0;8)) immobilisation mattress (n = 35, med NRS 3 (IQR 0;8)). Moderate or severe pain (NRS 4-10) was infrequently reported following most investigations or procedures with the exception of urinary catheter (60.8%), cervical collar (54.9%) and immobilization mattress (48.5%). Cervical collar induced severe pain in 41.8% of the patients. Conclusion: Most investigations and procedures commonly administered in the ED to older adults are associated with no pain or low intensity of pain. Severe pain is also infrequently induced by these interventions for most older adults. However, urinary catheter, cervical collar and immobilization mattress are associated with a higher intensity of pain and more than 40% of patients suffering from severe pain following the application of cervical collar. Considering the potential adverse effects of pain and the lack of evidence-based data to support the use of some interventions such as the cervical collar, the decision to use these interventions should be carefully weighted and could include a shared-decision making process. The generalizability of those findings to older adults with cognitive impairment is unknown. Future studies should focus on circumstances in which these procedures are beneficial to the patient to limit the unnecessary pain associated with their use.
Introduction: While negative consequences of incident delirium on functional and cognitive decline have been widely studied, very limited data is available regarding functional and cognitive outcomes in Emergency Department (ED) patients. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the impact of ED stay-associated delirium on older patient's functional and cognitive status at 60 days post-ED visit. Methods: This study is a planned sub-analysis of a large multicentre prospective cohort study (the INDEED study). This project took place between March and July of the years 2015 and 2016 within 5 participating EDs across the province of Quebec. Independent non-delirious patients aged □65, with an ED stay at least 8hrs were monitored until 24hrs post-ward admission. A 60-day follow-up phone assessment was also conducted. Participants were screened for delirium using the validated Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) and the severity of its symptoms was measured using the Delirium Index. Functional and cognitive status were assessed at baseline as well as at the 60-day follow-up using the validated OARS and TICS-m. Results: A total of 608 patients were recruited, 393 of which completed the 60-day follow-up. Sixty-nine patients obtained a positive CAM during ED-stay or within the first 24 hours following ward admission. At 60-days, those patients experienced a loss of 3.1 (S.D. 4.0) points on the OARS scale compared to non-delirious patients who lost 1.6 (S.D. 3.0) (p = 0.03). A significant difference in cognitive function was also noted at 60-days, as delirious patients’ TICS-m score decreased by 2.1 (S.D. 6.2) compared to non-delirious patients, who showed a minor improvement of 0.5 (S.D. 5.8) (p = 0.01). Conclusion: People who developed ED stay-associated delirium have lower baseline functional and cognitive status than non-delirious patients and they will experience a more significant decline at 60 days post-ED visit.
Introduction: This systematic scoping review aims to synthetize the available evidence on the epidemiology, risk factors, clinical characteristics, screening tools, prevention strategies, interventions and knowledge of health care providers regarding elder abuse in the emergency department (ED). Methods: A systematic literature search was performed using three databases (Medline, Embase and Cochrane Library). Grey literature was scrutinized. Studies were considered eligible when they were observational studies or randomized control trials reporting on elder abuse in the prehospital and/or ED setting. Data extraction was performed independently by two researchers and a qualitative approach was used to synthetize the findings. Results: A total of 443 citations were retrieved from which 58 studies published between 1988 and 2018 were finally included. Prevalence of elder abuse following an ED visit varied between 0.01% and 0.03%. Reporting of elder abuse to proper law authorities by ED physicians varied between 2% to 50% of suspected cases. The most common reported type of elder abuse detected was neglect followed by physical abuse. Female gender was the most consistent factor associated with elder abuse. Cognitive impairment, behavioral problems and psychiatric disorder of the patient or the caregiver were also associated with physical abuse and neglect as well as more frequent ED consultations. Several screening tools have been proposed, but ED-based validation is lacking. Literature on prehospital- or ED-initiated prevention and interventions was scarce without any controlled trial. Health care providers were poorly trained to detect and care for older adults who are suspected of being a victim of elder abuse. Conclusion: Elder abuse in the ED is an understudied topic. It remains underrecognized and underreported with ED prevalence rates lower than those in community-dwelling older adults. Health care providers reported lacking appropriate training and knowledge with regards to elder abuse. Dedicated ED studies are required.
Introduction: The number of CT scans prescribed in the Emergency department (ED) for suspected renal colic has increased over recent years without an associated improvement in patient-centred outcomes. We assessed whether Point-of-Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) decreases the use of formal radiologic imaging. Methods: We completed a retrospective cohort study on consecutive patients 18 years of age and older presenting to the ED with suspected uncomplicated renal colic in a tertiary care centre in Québec in 2016. Exclusion criteria included: previous urologic intervention, solitary kidney, dialysis, fever, pyuria, acute kidney injury, pregnancy, suspicion of a serious alternative diagnosis or persistent symptoms despite analgesia. We compared the proportion (95%CI) of formal radiologic imaging performed (Ultrasound or CT) in patients who had PoCUS in the ED vs. those who did not. Two-tailed Fisher exact test (α = 0.05) and odds ratios (95%CI) calculated from multivariate logistic regression models adjusted for age, gender, Charlson Index and previous renal colic were used to compare the two groups. The reliability of data collection was evaluated with a kappa score (95%CI). Results: 169 patients with uncomplicated renal colic were included. There was no difference between the groups in terms of age, gender, Charlson Index, or previous renal colic. The PoCUS level of training and the doctor's education level was significantly higher in the PoCUS group. There was a non-significant trend towards less formal imaging in patients of the PoCUS group 65/88 (73.9% [63.4-82.7%]) vs. the non-PoCUS group 69/81 (85.2% [75.6-92.1%]), p = 0.087. After adjustment for confounders, the patients not evaluated with PoCUS were more likely to have formal imaging with a significant odds ratio of 2.41 [1.05-5.56]). Among patients who underwent a CT, incidentalomas were found in 16.5% and only 2.0% demonstrated significant findings leading to changes in ED management, such as an alternative diagnosis, need for admission, or an urgent urological intervention. Inter-observer agreement was excellent between assessers with a kappa score of 0.88 [0.66-1.00]. Conclusion: ED patients with uncomplicated renal colic who are investigated with PoCUS tend to have fewer formal imaging test. When CT scans were performed, incidentalomas were found in 16.5% and ED management changed only 2.0% of the time. PoCUS appears to be a useful tool for decreasing CT utilisation in this low-risk ED population.
Introduction: Low acuity patients have been controversially tagged as a source of emergency department (ED) misuse. Authorities for many Canadian health regions have set up policies so these patients preferably present to walk-in clinics (WIC). We compared the cost and quality of the care given to low acuity patients in an academic ED and a WIC of Québec City during fiscal year 2015-16. Methods: We conducted an ambidirectional (prospective and retrospective) cohort study using a time-driven activity-based costing method. This method uses duration of care processes (e.g., triage) to allocate to patient care all direct costs (e.g., personnel, consumables), overheads (e.g., building maintenance) and physician charges. We included consecutive adult patients, ambulatory at all time and discharged from the ED or WIC with a diagnosis of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), urinary tract infection (UTI) or low back pain. Mean cost [95%CI] per patient per condition was compared between settings after risk-adjustment for age, sex, vital signs, number of regular medications and co-morbidities using generalized log-gamma regression models. Proportions [95%CI] of antibiotic prescription and chest X-Ray use in URTI, compliance with provincial guidelines on use of antibiotics in UTI, and column X-Ray use in low back pain were compared between settings using a Pearson Chi-Square test. Results: A total of 409 patients were included. ED and WIC groups were similar in terms of age, sex and vital signs on presentation, but ED patients had a greater burden of comorbidities. Adjusted mean cost (2016 CAN$) of care was significantly higher in the ED than in the WIC (p < 0.0001) for URTI (78.42[64.85-94.82] vs. 59.43[50.43-70.06]), UTI (78.88[69.53-89.48] vs. 53.29[43.68-65.03]), and low back pain (87.97[68.30-113.32] vs. 61.71[47.90-79.51]). For URTI, antibiotics were more frequently prescribed in the WIC (44.1%[34.3-54.3] vs. 5.8%[1.2-16.0]; p < 0.0001) and chest X-Rays, more frequently used in the ED (26.9%[15.6-41.0] vs. 13.7%[7.7-22.0]; p = 0.05). No significant differences were observed in the compliance with guidelines on use of antibiotics in UTI and in the use of column X-Ray in low back pain. Conclusion: Total cost of care for low acuity patients is lower in walk-in clinics than in EDs. However, our results suggest that quality-of-care issues should be considered in determining the best alternate setting for treating ambulatory emergency patients.
Introduction: Identification of severe bacterial infections (SBI) among infants presenting to the emergency department (ED) for fever without a source (FWS) remains challenging. Controversies persist on the usefulness of blood biomarkers, especially when used for assessing infants 22 to 60 days old. Although C-reactive protein (CRP) and white blood cells count (leucocytes) are commonly prescribed, this practice relies on poor and conflicting evidence. Our objective was to determine the performance of those two markers at identifying SBI. Methods: This is a sub-analysis of an ongoing retrospective cohort study conducted in an academic pediatric ED in Quebec City, that aims to determine whether a lumbar puncture should routinely be performed in the FWS workup of 22 to 60 days old infants. All consecutive charts of eligible febrile infants were reviewed. Premature infants (<37 weeks), as well as infants with chronic diseases, immunodeficiency, previous antimicrobial therapy, in-dwelling catheters, or septic shock were excluded. Among others, data related to final diagnosis and investigations were gathered. Sensitivity, specificity, positive (PPV) and negative (NPV) predictive values, positive (LR+) and negative (LR-) likelihood ratios were estimated for each blood biomarkers. Results: Out of 1261 charts reviewed, 920 patients were included in this analysis. SBI prevalence was 13.0% (95%CI: 10.9-15.2) among infants of our cohort. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, LR+ and LR- of the leucocytes <5000 or≥15000/□L were 43% (95%CI: 34-53%), 80% (95%CI: 77-83%), 25% (95%CI: 21-30%), 90% (95%CI: 88-91%), 2.1 (95%CI: 1.7-2.8), and 0.72 (95%CI: 0.61-0.84), respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV of CRP >= 25 mg/L were 46% (95%CI: 37-56%), 96% (95%CI: 94-97%), 65% (95%CI: 55-73%), and 91% (95%CI: 89-92%), respectively. ROC curves analysis indicates that a CRP≥25 mg/L offers the best LR+ (10.4; 95%CI: 6.9-15.6) with a corresponding LR- of 0.56 (95%CI: 0.47-0.67). Conclusion: When evaluating febrile infants in the ED, leucocytes appear to have limited added value, while CRP≥25 mg/L significantly increases the pre-test probability of SBI. CRP should be considered for inclusion in the workup of FWS for infants of 22 to 60 days of age.
Introduction: Fever is a common presenting complaint in the emergency department (ED). Febrile infants are at particularly high risk of serious bacterial infection including bacterial meningitis. Unfortunately, recommendations as to when to perform a lumbar puncture in febrile infants older than 21 days remain conflicting. Our study seeks to establish the prevalence of bacterial meningitis in infants 22 to 60 days old and to evaluate the performance of our local fever without a source (FWS) workup protocol at identifying bacterial meningitis. Methods: This analysis represents the results of a retrospective cohort study which took place in an academic pediatric ED in Quebec City. Infants 22 to 60 days old investigated for FWS, were included in the study. Premature infants ( <37 weeks), as well as infants with chronic diseases, immunodeficiency, previous antimicrobial therapy, in-dwelling catheters, or septic shock were excluded. We evaluated the performance of our local FWS workup protocol which includes the Yale Scale, a complete blood count, blood culture, C-reactive protein, urinalysis and urine culture. The protocol recommends a lumbar puncture in all febrile infants <1 month old, and in all infants <3 months old with either leukocytes <5.0 or >15.0 X 10^9cells/L, petechia, or a Yale between 11 and 16. Results: We reviewed 1261 charts from 2012 to 2017, of which 920 met our inclusion criteria. In our cohort, 171 infants were 22 to 30 days old, 369 were 31 to 45 days old, and 380 were 46 to 60 days old. The proportion of infants with cerebrospinal fluid analysis in these 3 groups was 76% (n = 130), 25% (n = 98) and 12% (n = 46) respectively. In the entire cohort, two infants were diagnosed with bacterial meningitis resulting in a prevalence of 0.2% (95%CI: 0-0.5%); viral meningitis had a prevalence of 4.7% (95%CI: 3.3-6.1%). Sensitivity and specificity of the protocol were 100% and 52.8%; positive and negative predictive values were 0.4% and 100%, respectively. All charts were reviewed for 2 weeks following the index visit to screen for missed cases of bacterial meningitis. Conclusion: Systematically performing a lumbar puncture for workup of fever without a source in infants 22 to 60 days old appears unwarranted given the low prevalence of bacterial meningitis in this population. Our FWS workup protocol correctly identified the 2 cases of bacterial meningitis in our cohort. This is an ongoing study and more cases will be recruited to better evaluate the safety and performance of our protocol.
Introduction: Prompt defibrillation is critical during paediatric cardiac arrest. The main objective of this systematic review was to determine the initial defibrillation energy dose for ventricular fibrillation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (pVT) that is associated with sustained return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) during paediatric cardiac arrest. Associations between initial defibrillation energy dose with any ROSC, survival and defibrillation-induced complications were also assessed. Methods: A systematic review was performed using four databases (Medline, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane Library) (PROSPERO: CRD42016036734). Human studies (cohort studies or controlled trials) and animal model studies (controlled trials) of pediatric cardiac arrest involving assessment of external defibrillation energy dosing were considered. The primary outcome was sustained ROSC. Two researchers independently reviewed all the titles and abstracts of the retrieved citations, selected the studies and extracted the data using a standardized template. Risk of bias of human non-randomised studies were assessed using the ROBIN-I tool (formerly ACROBAT-NRSI) tool proposed by the Cochrane Collaboration group. Results: The search strategy identified 14,471 citations of which 232 manuscripts were reviewed. Ten human and 10 animal model studies met the inclusion criteria. Human studies were prospective (n = 6) or retrospective (n = 4) cohort studies and included between 11 and 266 patients (median = 46 patients). Sustained ROSC rates ranged from 0 to 61% (n = 7). No studies reported a statistically significant association between the initial defibrillation energy dose and the rate of sustained ROSC (n = 7) or survival (n = 6). No human studies reported defibrillation-induced complications. Meta-analysis was not considered appropriate due to clinical heterogeneity. The overall risk of bias was moderate. All animal studies were randomized controlled trials with 8 and 52 (median = 27) piglets. ROSC was frequently achieved (more than 85%) with energy dose ranging from 2 to 7 joules/kg (n = 7). The defibrillation threshold varied according to the body weight and appears to be higher in infant models. Conclusion: Defibrillation energy doses and thresholds varied according to the body weight and trended higher for infants. No definitive association between initial defibrillation doses and the outcomes of sustained ROSC or survival could be demonstrated.
Introduction: Delirium is a frequent pathology in the elderly presenting to the emergency department (ED) and is seldom recognised. This condition is associated with many medical complications and has been shown to increase the hospital length-of-stay. The objective of this study was to identify the predictor factors of developing delirium in this high-risk population. Methods: Design: This study was part of the multicenter prospective cohort INDEED study. Participants: Patients aged 65 and older, initially free of delirium and with an ED stay of 8h or longer, were followed up to 24h after ward admission. Measures: Clinical and demographic variables were collected by interview and chart review. A research professional assessed their delirium status twice daily using the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM). Analyses: A classification tree was used to select predictors and cut-points that minimized classification error of patients with incident delirium. After literature review, nineteen predictors were considered for inclusion in the model (eight non-modifiable and eleven modifiable factors). Results: Among the 605 patients included in this study, incident delirium was detected by the CAM in 69 patients (11.4%). In total, fourteen variables were included in a preliminary model, of which six were intrinsic to the patient and eight were modifiable in the ED. Variables with the greatest impact in the prediction of delirium includes age, cognitive status, ED length of stay, autonomy in daily activities, fragility and mobility during their hospital stay. The diagnostic performance of the model applied to the study sample gave a sensitivity of 78.3% (95% CI: 66.7 to 87.3), a specificity of 100.0% (95% CI: 99.3 to 100.0), a PPV of 100.0% (95% CI: 93.4 to 100.0) and a NPV of 97.3% (95% CI: 95.6 to 98.5). Conclusion: The delirium risk model developed in this study shows promising results with elevated sensitivity and specificity values. Considering the limited ability to predict and detect delirium among physicians, the potential increase in sensitivity provided by this tool could be beneficial to patients. This model will ultimately serve to identify high-risk patients with the goal of developing strategies to alter modifiable risk factors and subsequently decrease the incidence of delirium in this population.
Introduction: The diagnosis of Salter-Harris Type 1 fractures in the Emergency Department (ED) is primarily clinical, as radiographs are usually unrevealing. We hypothesize that bilateral asymmetry of the growth plate, detected using bedside ultrasound (US), could improve the accuracy of this diagnosis in the ED. This study seeks to determine growth plate size according to age, and to establish normal variation in bilateral symmetry of growth plate cartilage, for the ulna, radius, tibia, and fibula, using bedside US in normal healthy children. Methods: This prospective observational study was conducted in a convenience sample of children ages 0-17 during planned visits to an elementary school, high school, and an outpatient pediatric clinic. A sample size of 177 was determined with a linear regression model using previously published data on the subject. The study was approved by the hospital and universitys ethics board. After a medical questionnaire with a research nurse, the participants underwent ultrasound evaluation of bilateral ulnae, radii, fibulae, and tibiae, to obtain still images of the physes from two orthogonal views. The evaluations were performed by 3 medical residents, 1 medical student, and by the supervising emergency physician. All ultrasonographers were EDE1 certified and specifically trained for growth plate imagery. The still images were evaluated ulteriorly and measurements taken of the physeal cartilage. Ten percent of the patients had their images re-evaluated by the supervising physician to determine inter-rater reliability. Results: A total of 227 patients were recruited. The median age was 8 years old with an interquartile range of (3;14). Mean growth plate size by age was determined, confirming decreasing growth plate size with advancing age for all articulations. The percentage of absolute difference between right and left, for all growth plates together, was a mean of 17% with a 95% CI of 16-19%. The overall inter-rater reliability was excellent at 0.84. Conclusion: This study establishes a reproducible technique of measuring growth plates with ultrasound. We suspect that increased asymmetry at the growth plate, beyond this established normal variation, may signify a physis widening or hematoma consistent with a Salter-Harris Type 1 fracture; this will be evaluated in a second study.
Introduction: Prevalence and incidence of delirium in older patients admitted to acute and long-term care facilities ranges between 9.6% and 89% but little is known in the context of emergency department (ED) incident delirium. Literature regarding the incidence of delirium in the ED and its potential impacts on hospital length of stay (LOS), functional status and unplanned ED readmissions is scant, its consequences have yet to be clearly identified in order to orient modern acute medical care. Methods: This study is part of the multicenter prospective cohort INDEED study. Three Canadian EDs completed the two years prospective study (March-July 2015 and Feb-May 2016). Patients aged 65 years old, initially free of delirium with an ED stay 8hours were followed up to 24h after ward admission. Patients were assessed 2x/day during their entire ED stay and up to 24 hours on hospital ward by research assistants (RA). The primary outcome of this study was incident delirium in the ED or within 24 h of ward admission. Functional and cognitive status were assessed using validated Older Americans’ Resources and Services and the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status- modified tools. The Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) was used to detect incident delirium. ED and hospital administrative data were collected. Inter-observer agreement was realized among RA. Results: Incident delirium was not different between sites, nor between phases, nor between times from one site to another. All phases confounded, there is between 7 to 11% of ED related incident delirious episodes. Differences were seen in ED LOS between sites in non-delirious patients, but also between some sites for delirious participants (p<0.05). Only one site had a difference in ED LOS between their delirious and non-delirious patients, respectively of 52.1 and 40.1 hours (p<0.05). There is also a difference between sites in the time between arrival to the ED and the incidence of delirium (p=0.003). Kappa statistics were computed to measure inter-rater reliability of the CAM. Based on an alpha of 5%, 138 patients would allow 80% power for an estimated overall incidence proportion of 15 % with 5% precision.. Other predictive delirium variables, such as cognitive status, environmental factors, functional status, comorbidities, physiological status, and ED and hospital length of stay were similar between sites and phases. Conclusion: The fact that incidence of delirium was the same for all sites, despite the differences of ED LOS and different time periods suggest that many other modifiable and non-modifiable factors along LOS influenced the incidence of ED induced delirium. Emergency physician should concentrate on improving senior-friendly environment for the ED.
Introduction: Neuroleptics are commonly used drugs to treat different conditions (e.g. psychosis, migraines) in the acute care setting and the emergency department. Their side effects can be disabling or, worse, fatal. The use of diphenhydramine to prevent those side-effects is widespread, but remains controversial. We performed a systematic review to determine if prophylactic administration of diphenhydramine (PAD) reduces the incidence of neuroleptic side-effects. Methods: Data sources: Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library, PsycInfo and Web of Science were searched. References from reviews that were identified in the search and from included studied were also reviewed for inclusion. Study selection: Randomized controlled trials evaluating any neuroleptic with PAD versus the same neuroleptic alone or with any inactive agent. Primary outcome was incidence of any extra-pyramidal side-effect. Secondary outcomes were akathisia, usage of rescue medication, subjective restlessness, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, sedation and sedation intensity. Data extraction: Independent reviewers scanned identified citations, extracted data and assessed for risk of bias. Data analysis: Meta-analysis was performed using random effect models. Heterogeneity and quality of evidence were assessed using, respectively, I2 and the GRADE approach. Results: Results: Of 1566 identified citations, nine studies (n=1436) met all eligibility criteria. Four studies were specifically designed to assess for neuroleptic side-effects. Four studies were at high risk of bias. In primary analysis, PAD had no effect on the incidence of extra-pyramidal symptoms (7 studies, n=1393 patients, RR 0.70 [0.40-1.22]), akathisia (5 studies, n=1094 patients, RR 0.81 [0.36-1.82]) and sedation (5 studies; n=1079, RR 1,48 [0.90-2.42]). Higher dosage of diphenhydramine was not associated with a greater reduction of extra-pyramidal side-effects. In a sensitivity analysis excluding an outlier study (n=120, RR 6.63 [1.55-28,35]), PAD was associated with a significant decrease in extra-pyramidal side-effects (6 studies, n=1273, RR 0.56 [0,38-0.82]), but not with any of the secondary outcome measures. Conclusion: Conclusion: When excluding an outlier study, PAD was associated with a significant reduction of extra-pyramidal side-effects. However, PAD did not significantly influence the incidence of akathisia. Overall quality of evidence is low. Further studies are warranted. PAD represents an interesting treatment option against neuroleptic side-effects, but its widespread usage whitout strong evidence to support it raises concerns.
Introduction: An evidence-based care protocol to treat migraine with low-dose Propofol was implemented in May 2014 at the emergency department (ED) of the CHUL (Québec city). Given potential side effects of Propofol, we aimed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this protocol. Methods: We reviewed charts of all patients aged 16 years and older who received Propofol between May 2014 and August 2017 for a migraine headache with or without aura, as defined in the International Headache Society Classification. The care protocol consisted of: 1) administration of intra-venous Propofol 20 mg each 5 to 10 minutes as needed (maximum of 6 doses); 2) sets of vital signs before and after each dose; and 3) continuous cardiac and saturation monitoring. Our primary outcome measures were the incidence (95%CI) of the following side effects: low arterial pressure (< 90 systolic or < 65 mean), desaturation (SaO2<92%), excessive sedation (scores 3 or 4 on the Pasero scale), and any arrhythmia. We also compared the mean reduction (95%CI) of pain pre- and post-treatment (visual analogous scale VAS 0-10) and the proportion (95%CI) of rescue medication among patients who received Propofol as first-line medication to a matched cohort of patients who had Metoclopramide first. The two cohorts were paired for gender, age, triage priority, and month/year of ED visit. Results: Over the 3-year study period, 45 patients with migraine received Propofol through the care protocol, either as a first-line or a rescue therapy. In this cohort, hypotension, bradycardia (<60/min) and desaturation occurred in 17.8% (8.0-32.1), 13.3% (5.1-26.8) and 6.7% (1.4-18.3) of cases respectively; no excessive sedation was reported. An intervention was undertaken in 4 cases [8.9% (2.5-21.2) 3 iv fluid bolus, 1 supplemental oxygen] to palliate the side effects of Propofol. A statistically significant mean reduction of 3.6 points (2.8-4.4) on the VAS scale was observed in patients treated with Propofol as first-line therapy (n=35). However, patients managed with first-line Metoclopramide (n=100) experienced a significantly higher mean reduction of their VAS score [5.3 (4.6-6.0)] than the Propofol group (p=0.003). The proportion of patients requiring the use of rescue medication was higher among patients first treated with Propofol [77.1% (63.2-91.1) vs. 29.0% (20.1-37.9); p<0.001]. Conclusion: Our care protocol to treat migraine with low doses of Propofol appears to be safe and to cause very few side effects prompting corrective interventions. Continuous (as opposed to intermittent) heart and saturation monitoring is probably not indicated. Given the effectiveness of Propofol compared to Metoclopramide, our care protocol will be used as a second-line therapy.
Introduction: It is documented that physicians and nurses fail to detect delirium in more than half of cases from various clinical settings, which could have serious consequences for seniors and for our health care system. The present study aimed to describe the rate of documented incident delirium in 5 Canadian Emergency departments (ED) by health professionals (HP). Methods: This study is part of the multicenter prospective cohort INDEED study. Patients aged 65 years old, initially free of delirium with an ED stay 8hours were followed up to 24h after ward admission. Delirium status was assessed twice daily using the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) by trained research assistants (RA). HP reviewed patient charts to assess detection of delirium. HP had no specific routine detection of delirious ED patients. Inter-observer agreement was realized among RA. Comparison of detection between RA and HP was realized with univariate analyses. Results: Among the 652 included patients, 66 developed a delirium as evaluated with the CAM by the RA. Among those 66 patients, only 10 deliriums (15.2%) were documented in the patients medical file by the HP. 54 (81.8%) patients with a CAM positive for delirium by the RA were not recorded by the HP, 2 had incomplete charts. The delirium index was significantly higher in the HP reported group compared to the HP not reported, respectively 7.1 and 4.5 (p<0.05). Other predictive delirium variables, such as cognitive status, functional status, comorbidities, physiological status, and ED and hospital length of stay were similar between groups. Conclusion: It seems that health professionals missed 81.8% of the potential delirious ED patients in comparison to routine structured screening of delirium. HP could identify patients with a greater severity of symptoms. Our study points out the need to better identify elders at risk to develop delirium and the need for fast and reliable tools to improve the screening of this disorder.