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Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC) is an initiative to encourage patient-physician discussions about the appropriate, evidence based use of medical tests, procedures and treatments. We present the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians’ (CAEP) top five list of recommendations, and the process undertaken to generate them.
The CAEP Expert Working Group (EWG) generated a candidate list of 52 tests, procedures, and treatments in emergency medicine whose value to care was questioned. This list was distributed to CAEP committee chairs, revised, and then divided and randomly allocated to 107 Canadian emergency physicians (EWG nominated) who voted on each item based on: action-ability, effectiveness, safety, economic burden, and frequency of use. The EWG discussed the items with the highest votes, and generated the recommendations by consensus.
The top five CAEP CWC recommendations are: 1) Don’t order CT head scans in adults and children who have suffered minor head injuries (unless positive for a validated head injury clinical decision rule); 2) Don’t prescribe antibiotics in adults with bronchitis/asthma and children with bronchiolitis; 3) Don’t order lumbosacral spinal imaging in patients with non-traumatic low back pain who have no red flags/pathologic indicators; 4) Don’t order neck radiographs in patients who have a negative examination using the Canadian C-spine rules; and 5) Don’t prescribe antibiotics after incision and drainage of uncomplicated skin abscesses unless extensive cellulitis exists.
The CWC recommendations for emergency medicine were selected using a mixed methods approach. This top 5 list was released at the CAEP Conference in June 2015 and should form the basis for future implementation efforts.
Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) is used to treat severe acute respiratory distress. Prehospital NIPPV has been associated with a reduction in both in-hospital mortality and the need for invasive ventilation.
The authors of this study examined factors associated with NIPPV failure and evaluated the impact of NIPPV on scene times in a critical care helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation failure was defined as the need for airway intervention or alternative means of ventilatory support.
A retrospective chart review of consecutive patients where NIPPV was completed in a critical care HEMS was conducted. Factors associated with NIPPV failure in univariate analyses and from published literature were included in a multivariable, logistic regression model.
From a total of 44 patients, NIPPV failed in 14 (32%); a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) <15 at HEMS arrival was associated independently with NIPPV failure (adjusted odds ratio 13.9; 95% CI, 2.4-80.3; P=.003). Mean scene times were significantly longer in patients who failed NIPPV when compared with patients in whom NIPPV was successful (95 minutes vs 51 minutes; 39.4 minutes longer; 95% CI, 16.2-62.5; P=.001).
Patients with a decreased level of consciousness were more likely to fail NIPPV. Furthermore, patients who failed NIPPV had significantly longer scene times. The benefits of NIPPV should be balanced against risks of long scene times by HEMS providers. Knowing risk factors of NIPPV failure could assist HEMS providers to make the safest decision for patients on whether to initiate NIPPV or proceed directly to endotracheal intubation prior to transport.
LeeJS, O’DochartaighD, MacKenzieM, HudsonD, CouperthwaiteS, Villa-RoelC, RoweBH. Factors Associated with Failure of Non-invasive Positive Pressure Ventilation in a Critical Care Helicopter Emergency Medical Service. Prehosp Disaster Med2015; 30(2): 1–5
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