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Although procedural sedation for cardioversion is a common event in emergency departments (EDs), there is limited evidence surrounding medication choices. We sought to evaluate geographic and temporal variation in sedative choice at multiple Canadian sites, and to estimate the risk of adverse events due to sedative choice.
This is a secondary analysis of one health records review, the Recent Onset Atrial Fibrillation or Flutter-0 (RAFF-0 [n=420, 2008]) and one prospective cohort study, the Recent Onset Atrial Fibrillation or Flutter-1 (RAFF-1 [n=565, 2010 – 2012]) at eight and six Canadian EDs, respectively. Sedative choices within and among EDs were quantified, and the risk of adverse events was examined with adjusted and unadjusted comparisons of sedative regimes.
In RAFF-0 and RAFF-1, the combination of propofol and fentanyl was most popular (63.8% and 52.7%) followed by propofol alone (27.9% and 37.3%). There were substantially more adverse events in the RAFF-0 data set (13.5%) versus RAFF-1 (3.3%). In both data sets, the combination of propofol/fentanyl was not associated with increased adverse event risk compared to propofol alone.
There is marked variability in procedural sedation medication choice for a direct current cardioversion in Canadian EDs, with increased use of propofol alone as a sedation agent over time. The risk of adverse events from procedural sedation during cardioversion is low but not insignificant. We did not identify an increased risk of adverse events with the addition of fentanyl as an adjunctive analgesic to propofol.
There is no consensus on what constitutes the core competencies for emergency medicine (EM) clerkship rotations in Canada. Existing EM curricula have been developed through informal consensus and often focus on EM content to be known at the end of training rather than what is an appropriate focus for a time-limited rotation in EM. We sought to define the core competencies for EM clerkship in Canada through consensus among an expert panel of Canadian EM educators.
We used a modified Delphi method and the CanMEDS 2005 Physician Competency Framework to develop a consensus among expert EM educators from across Canada.
Thirty experts from nine different medical schools across Canada participated on the panel. The initial list consisted of 152 competencies organized in the seven domains of the CanMEDS 2005 Physician Competency Framework. After the second round of the Delphi process, the list of competencies was reduced to 62 (59% reduction). A complete list of competencies is provided.
This study established a national consensus defining the core competencies for EM clerkship in Canada.
It is believed that when patients present to the emergency department (ED) with recent-onset atrial fibrillation or flutter (RAFF), controlling the ventricular rate before cardioversion improves the success rate. We evaluated the influence of rate control medication and other variables on the success of cardioversion.
This secondary analysis of a medical records review comprised 1,068 patients with RAFF who presented to eight Canadian EDs over 12 months. Univariate analysis was performed to find associations between predictors of conversion to sinus rhythm including use of rate control, rhythm control, and other variables. Predictive variables were incorporated into the multivariate model to calculate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) associated with successful cardioversion.
A total of 634 patients underwent attempted cardioversion: 428 electrical, 354 chemical, and 148 both. Adjusted ORs for factors associated with successful electrical cardioversion were use of rate control medication, 0.39 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.21-0.74); rhythm control medication, 0.28 (95% CI 0.15-0.53); and CHADS2 score > 0, 0.43 (95% CI 0.15-0.83). ORs for factors associated with successful chemical cardioversion were use of rate control medication, 1.29 (95% CI 0.82-2.03); female sex, 2.37 (95% CI 1.50-3.72); and use of procainamide, 2.32 (95% CI 1.43-3.74).
We demonstrated reduced successful electrical cardioversion of RAFF when patients were pretreated with either rate or rhythm control medication. Although rate control medication was not associated with increased success of chemical cardioversion, use of procainamide was. Slowing the ventricular rate prior to cardioversion should be avoided.
Residents must become proficient in a variety of procedures. The practice of learning procedural skills on patients has come under ethical scrutiny, giving rise to the concept of simulation-based medical education. Resident training in a simulated environment allows skill acquisition without compromising patient safety. We assessed the impact of a simulation-based procedural skills training course on residents' competence in the performance of critical resuscitation procedures.
We solicited self-assessments of the knowledge and clinical skills required to perform resuscitation procedures from a cross-sectional multidisciplinary sample of 28 resident study participants. Participants were then exposed to an intensive 8-hour simulation-based training program, and asked to repeat the self-assessment questionnaires on completion of the course, and again 3 months later. We assessed the validity of the self-assessment questionnaire by evaluating participants' skills acquisition through an Objective Structured Clinical Examination station.
We found statistically significant improvements in participants' ratings of both knowledge and clinical skills during the 3 self-assessment periods (p < 0.001). The participants' year of postgraduate training influenced their self-assessment of knowledge (F2,25 = 4.91, p < 0.01) and clinical skills (F2,25 = 10.89, p < 0.001). At the 3-month follow-up, junior-level residents showed consistent improvement from their baseline scores, but had regressed from their posttraining measures. Senior-level residents continued to show further increases in their assessments of both clinical skills and knowledge beyond the simulation-based training course.
Significant improvement in self-assessed theoretical knowledge and procedural skill competence for residents can be achieved through participation in a simulation-based resuscitation course. Gains in perceived competence appear to be stable over time, with senior learners gaining further confidence at the 3-month follow-up. Our findings support the benefits of simulation-based training for residents.