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The use of Spratt’s dog cakes is well documented in the diaries and reminiscences of many early Antarctic expedition members. Commercially produced dog food was promoted by the likes of Spratt’s as an advanced form of animal nutrition and would have been of interest to expedition planners who were already concerned with the nutritional requirements of expedition members. An approximately 100-year-old dog cake recovered from Antarctica was compared by chemical analysis and spectroscopic methods with a series of model dog cakes and a commercial dog biscuit to determine the composition and calorific content. The presence of bone fragments within the dog cake was confirmed, whereas starch in the bulk matrix of the sample was consistent with being a mixture of wheat and oat flour, while only minimal fat or oil was present. Calorific content, while insufficient compared to a modern feed for high-performance dogs, would nonetheless have been a valuable addition to the use of dried or frozen whole meat such as seal, fish, or pemmican and contributed additional energy compared to meat alone.
The Late Triassic fauna of the Lossiemouth Sandstone Formation (LSF) from the Elgin area, Scotland, has been pivotal in expanding our understanding of Triassic terrestrial tetrapods. Frustratingly, due to their odd preservation, interpretations of the Elgin Triassic specimens have relied on destructive moulding techniques, which only provide incomplete, and potentially distorted, information. Here, we show that micro-computed tomography (μCT) could revitalise the study of this important assemblage. We describe a long-neglected specimen that was originally identified as a pseudosuchian archosaur, Ornithosuchus woodwardi. μCT scans revealed dozens of bones belonging to at least two taxa: a small-bodied pseudosuchian and a specimen of the procolophonid Leptopleuron lacertinum. The pseudosuchian skeleton possesses a combination of characters that are unique to the clade Erpetosuchidae. As a basis for investigating the phylogenetic relationships of this new specimen, we reviewed the anatomy, taxonomy and systematics of other erpetosuchid specimens from the LSF (all previously referred to Erpetosuchus). Unfortunately, due to the differing representation of the skeleton in the available Erpetosuchus specimens, we cannot determine whether the erpetosuchid specimen we describe here belongs to Erpetosuchus granti (to which we show it is closely related) or if it represents a distinct new taxon. Nevertheless, our results shed light on rarely preserved details of erpetosuchid anatomy. Finally, the unanticipated new information extracted from both previously studied and neglected specimens suggests that fossil remains may be much more widely distributed in the Elgin quarries than previously recognised, and that the richness of the LSF might have been underestimated.
Introduction: In the emergency department (ED), high-acuity presentations encountered at low frequencies are associated with reduced staff comfort. Previous studies have shown that simulation can improve provider confidence with practical skills and management of presentations in various fields of medicine. The present study examined the effect of in situ simulation on interprofessional provider comfort with the identification and management of high-acuity low-frequency events in the ED. It further assessed the feasibility of implementing weekly simulation as an interprofessional education initiative in a high-volume ED. Methods: This was a retrospective pre-test post-test quasi-experimental design. Weekly in situ simulation events were facilitated by an interdisciplinary team in a high-volume ED in Hamilton, Ontario that sees an average of 185 patients per day. To date, 34 simulation events were held between January 18, 2019 and November 22, 2019, and included neonatal, paediatric and obstetric emergencies, and adult codes. There was an average of 20 patients presenting to the ED during these events. Events included a debrief, and typically lasted 60 minutes in total. Participants included individuals from various disciplines working on shift at the time of the event. Questionnaires were administered via email following the event, in which participants were asked to rank their comfort with emergency codes before and after the simulation using two 5-point Likert scales. The data from 39 questionnaires was analyzed. T-tests were used to analyze differences in self-reported comfort scores. Results: Questionnaire responders included nurses (41%), respiratory therapists (26%), resident physicians (10%), paramedics (3%), attending physicians (3%), students of various disciplines (10%) and other (7%). 38% of participants reported increases in comfort following simulation when compared to prior. Using the 5-point scale, the average reported score for comfort pre-simulation was 3.59 (95% CI 3.30–3.88), and the average post-simulation score was 3.97 (95% CI 3.76–4.19, p = 0.03). Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that weekly interprofessional in situ simulation is feasible in a high-volume ED, and significantly improves self-reported provider comfort with the identification and management of high-acuity, low-frequency events. This warrants the implementation of this simulation design to improve staff confidence and has implications for its potential role in improving team dynamics and patient safety.
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: 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: 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.
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: 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.
Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe is a concept for a National Aeronautics and Space Administration probe-class space mission that will achieve ground-breaking science in the fields of galaxy evolution, cosmology, Milky Way, and the Solar System. It is the follow-up space mission to Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), boosting its scientific return by obtaining deep 1–4 μm slit spectroscopy for ∼70% of all galaxies imaged by the ∼2 000 deg2 WFIRST High Latitude Survey at z > 0.5. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy will measure accurate and precise redshifts for ∼200 M galaxies out to z < 7, and deliver spectra that enable a wide range of diagnostic studies of the physical properties of galaxies over most of cosmic history. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe and WFIRST together will produce a 3D map of the Universe over 2 000 deg2, the definitive data sets for studying galaxy evolution, probing dark matter, dark energy and modifications of General Relativity, and quantifying the 3D structure and stellar content of the Milky Way. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe science spans four broad categories: (1) Revolutionising galaxy evolution studies by tracing the relation between galaxies and dark matter from galaxy groups to cosmic voids and filaments, from the epoch of reionisation through the peak era of galaxy assembly; (2) Opening a new window into the dark Universe by weighing the dark matter filaments using 3D weak lensing with spectroscopic redshifts, and obtaining definitive measurements of dark energy and modification of General Relativity using galaxy clustering; (3) Probing the Milky Way’s dust-enshrouded regions, reaching the far side of our Galaxy; and (4) Exploring the formation history of the outer Solar System by characterising Kuiper Belt Objects. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe is a 1.5 m telescope with a field of view of 0.4 deg2, and uses digital micro-mirror devices as slit selectors. It has a spectroscopic resolution of R = 1 000, and a wavelength range of 1–4 μm. The lack of slit spectroscopy from space over a wide field of view is the obvious gap in current and planned future space missions; Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy fills this big gap with an unprecedented spectroscopic capability based on digital micro-mirror devices (with an estimated spectroscopic multiplex factor greater than 5 000). Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy is designed to fit within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration probe-class space mission cost envelope; it has a single instrument, a telescope aperture that allows for a lighter launch vehicle, and mature technology (we have identified a path for digital micro-mirror devices to reach Technology Readiness Level 6 within 2 yr). Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe will lead to transformative science over the entire range of astrophysics: from galaxy evolution to the dark Universe, from Solar System objects to the dusty regions of the Milky Way.
After five positive randomized controlled trials showed benefit of mechanical thrombectomy in the management of acute ischemic stroke with emergent large-vessel occlusion, a multi-society meeting was organized during the 17th Congress of the World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology in October 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. This multi-society meeting was dedicated to establish standards of practice in acute ischemic stroke intervention aiming for a consensus on the minimum requirements for centers providing such treatment. In an ideal situation, all patients would be treated at a center offering a full spectrum of neuroendovascular care (a level 1 center). However, for geographical reasons, some patients are unable to reach such a center in a reasonable period of time. With this in mind, the group paid special attention to define recommendations on the prerequisites of organizing stroke centers providing medical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke, but not for other neurovascular diseases (level 2 centers). Finally, some centers will have a stroke unit and offer intravenous thrombolysis, but not any endovascular stroke therapy (level 3 centers). Together, these level 1, 2, and 3 centers form a complete stroke system of care. The multi-society group provides recommendations and a framework for the development of medical thrombectomy services worldwide.
There are no available medications for the management of alcohol dependence for patients with alcoholic liver disease (ALD).
To conduct a multisite, double blind, placebo-controlled, randomised clinical trial of baclofen in the treatment of alcohol dependence, with or without liver disease (trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01711125).
Patients (n = 104) were randomised to placebo, baclofen 30 mg/day or 75 mg/day for 12 weeks. Primary outcomes included survival time to lapse (any drinking), relapse (≥5 drinks per day in men and ≥4 in women), and the composite outcome of drinks per drinking day, number of heavy drinking days, and percentage days abstinent.
There was a significant effect of baclofen (composite groups) on time to lapse (χ2 = 6.44, P<0.05, Cohen's d = 0.56) and relapse (χ2 = 4.62, P<0.05, d = 0.52). A significant treatment effect of baclofen was observed for percentage days abstinent (placebo 43%, baclofen 30 mg 69%, baclofen 75 mg 65%; P<0.05). There was one serious adverse event (overdose) directly related to medication (75 mg).
Baclofen may be an effective treatment option for patients with ALD. However, given the profile of adverse events, the role for this medication might be best limited to specialist services.
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 effective training and skill retention for public use of EAIs. 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 blinded raters. Patient recorded experience measures (PREMs) assessed participant-patient interaction for every scenario. Data that was non-normally distributed was analyzed using non-parametric testing (Kruskall-Wallis-Rank Sum-Test). Results: Initial analysis showed differences between group baseline characteristics for age and first aid training; with a multivariable analysis providing the effect size of these differences. PREM data and video assessment data were not normally distributed. Analysis of PREM data revealed significantly higher scores in the SIM group at 0-months (median=6.5, IQR=5; p=0.05) and 3-months (median=5, IQR=3; p<0.01), compared to those groups that did not receive SIM. Video assessment performance scores show trends in higher skills and knowledge retention for SIM participants at 3-months; full data analysis will be performed at a later date. Final video assessment analysis will involve a weighted scoring system, using a consensus process, and an inter-rater agreement analysis. Conclusion: Simulation training improves interaction, essential skills, and retention of knowledge in simulated anaphylaxis response with public EAIs compared to non-simulation-based training.
Tonsillectomy is a common procedure with significant post-operative pain. This study was designed to compare post-operative pain, returns to a normal diet and normal activity, and duration of regular analgesic use in Coblation and bipolar tonsillectomy patients.
A total of 137 patients, aged 2–50 years, presenting to a single institution for tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy were recruited. Pain level, diet, analgesic use, return to normal activity and haemorrhage data were collected.
Coblation tonsillectomy was associated with significantly less pain than bipolar tonsillectomy on post-operative days 1 (p = 0.005), 2 (p = 0.006) and 3 (p = 0.010). Mean pain scores were also significantly lower in the Coblation group (p = 0.039). Coblation patients had a significantly faster return to normal activity than bipolar tonsillectomy patients (p < 0.001).
Coblation tonsillectomy is a less painful technique compared to bipolar tonsillectomy in the immediate post-operative period and in the overall post-operative period. This allows a faster return to normal activity and decreased analgesic requirements.
Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) are responding to ocean–climate variability throughout the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) where some breeding colonies have declined by 80%. Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers were used to understand historical population genetic structure and gene flow given relatively recent and continuing reductions in sea ice habitats and changes in numbers of breeding adults at colonies throughout the WAP. Genetic diversity, spatial genetic structure, genetic signatures of fluctuations in population demography and gene flow were assessed in four regional Adélie penguin colonies. The analyses indicated little genetic structure overall based on bi-parentally inherited microsatellite markers (FST =-0.006–0.004). No significant variance was observed in overall haplotype frequency (mtDNA ΦST =0.017; P=0.112). Some comparisons with Charcot Island were significant, suggestive of female-biased philopatry. Estimates of gene flow based on a two-population coalescent model were asymmetrical from the species’ regional core to its northern range. Breeding Adélie penguins of the WAP are a panmictic population and hold adequate genetic diversity and dispersal capacity to be resilient to environmental change.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) has become an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension in the emergency department (ED). Current established protocols (e.g. RUSH and ACES) were developed by expert user opinion, rather than objective, prospective data. Recently the SHoC Protocol was published, recommending 3 core scans; cardiac, lung, and IVC; plus other scans when indicated clinically. We report the abnormal ultrasound findings from our international multicenter randomized controlled trial, to assess if the recommended 3 core SHoC protocol scans were chosen appropriately for this population. Methods: Recruitment occurred at seven centres in North America (4) and South Africa (3). Screening at triage identified patients (SBP<100 or shock index>1) who were randomized to PoCUS or control (standard care with no PoCUS) groups. All scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians within one hour of arrival in the ED. Demographics, clinical details and study findings were collected prospectively. A threshold incidence for positive findings of 10% was established as significant for the purposes of assessing the appropriateness of the core recommendations. Results: 138 patients had a PoCUS screen completed. All patients had cardiac, lung, IVC, aorta, abdominal, and pelvic scans. Reported abnormal findings included hyperdynamic LV function (59; 43%); small collapsing IVC (46; 33%); pericardial effusion (24; 17%); pleural fluid (19; 14%); hypodynamic LV function (15; 11%); large poorly collapsing IVC (13; 9%); peritoneal fluid (13; 9%); and aortic aneurysm (5; 4%). Conclusion: The 3 core SHoC Protocol recommendations included appropriate scans to detect all pathologies recorded at a rate of greater than 10 percent. The 3 most frequent findings were cardiac and IVC abnormalities, followed by lung. It is noted that peritoneal fluid was seen at a rate of 9%. Aortic aneurysms were rare. This data from the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard care for undifferentiated hypotensive ED patients, supports the use of the prioritized SHoC protocol, though a larger study is required to confirm these findings.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) is an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension in the emergency department (ED). While PoCUS protocols have been shown to improve early diagnostic accuracy, there is little published evidence for any mortality benefit. We report the findings from our international multicenter randomized controlled trial, assessing the impact of a PoCUS protocol on survival and key clinical outcomes. Methods: Recruitment occurred at 7 centres in North America (4) and South Africa (3). Scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians. Screening at triage identified patients (SBP<100 or shock index>1), randomized to PoCUS or control (standard care and no PoCUS) groups. Demographics, clinical details and study findings were collected prospectively. Initial and secondary diagnoses were recorded at 0 and 60 minutes, with ultrasound performed in the PoCUS group prior to secondary assessment. The primary outcome measure was 30-day/discharge mortality. Secondary outcome measures included diagnostic accuracy, changes in vital signs, acid-base status, and length of stay. Categorical data was analyzed using Fishers test, and continuous data by Student T test and multi-level log-regression testing. (GraphPad/SPSS) Final chart review was blinded to initial impressions and PoCUS findings. Results: 258 patients were enrolled with follow-up fully completed. Baseline comparisons confirmed effective randomization. There was no difference between groups for the primary outcome of mortality; PoCUS 32/129 (24.8%; 95% CI 14.3-35.3%) vs. Control 32/129 (24.8%; 95% CI 14.3-35.3%); RR 1.00 (95% CI 0.869 to 1.15; p=1.00). There were no differences in the secondary outcomes; ICU and total length of stay. Our sample size has a power of 0.80 (α:0.05) for a moderate effect size. Other secondary outcomes are reported separately. Conclusion: This is the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard care for undifferentiated hypotensive ED patients. We did not find any mortality or length of stay benefits with the use of a PoCUS protocol, though a larger study is required to confirm these findings. While PoCUS may have diagnostic benefits, these may not translate into a survival benefit effect.
Introduction: We previously reported that a targeted knowledge translation (KT) intervention was associated with a trend towards increased awareness and knowledge of the Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC) emergency medicine (EM) recommendations. We wished to assess if the intervention changed physician practice, specifically looking at the imperative “do not order lumbar XRs for non-traumatic low back pain unless red flags exist”. Methods: A departmental KT initiative was implemented in April 2016 and consisted of a 1-hour seminar reviewing the CWC-EM recommendations, access to a video cast, departmental posters, and a before and after awareness survey. The effectiveness of our intervention was assessed by analyzing the frequency of lumbar XR imaging conducted for low back pain before and after the introduction of our intervention at a tertiary teaching hospital emergency department. All patient visits for the complaint of low back pain were included. The rates of XR imaging from June 2014 to September 2014 for the pre-intervention period and June 2016 to September 2016 for the post-intervention period were collected and analyzed using Fisher exact tests. A sample size of 683 was required to detect a 5% change with an alpha of 0.05 and a power of 80%. Results: Baseline characteristics of patients were similar for the pre- and post-intervention periods. There was a total of 781 patient visits for low back pain in June to September 2014 and 672 in June to September 2016. The XR imaging rate for low back pain increased from 12% (95% CI 9.9-14.5) to 16.2% (95% CI 13.6-19.2) following the intervention (p=0.023). Conclusion: We previously demonstrated a trend towards increased awareness and knowledge of the CWC EM recommendations following a knowledge translation initiative. Baseline XR imaging rates for low back pain were lower than what has been reported. We observed that our intervention was associated with an increased frequency of imaging for low back pain. This may be due to a contrarian effect. We feel this calls into question the role of knowledge translation initiatives where physician practice already closely adheres to pre-established recommendations.
Introduction: Point of Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) protocols are commonly used to guide resuscitation for emergency department (ED) patients with undifferentiated non-traumatic hypotension. While PoCUS has been shown to improve early diagnosis, there is a minimal evidence for any outcome benefit. We completed an international multicenter randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess the impact of a PoCUS protocol on key resuscitation markers in this group. We report diagnostic impact and mortality elsewhere. Methods: The SHoC-ED1 study compared the addition of PoCUS to standard care within the first hour in the treatment of adult patients presenting with undifferentiated hypotension (SBP<100 mmHg or a Shock Index >1.0) with a control group that did not receive PoCUS. Scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians. 4 North American, and 3 South African sites participated in the study. Resuscitation outcomes analyzed included volume of fluid administered in the ED, changes in shock index (SI), modified early warning score (MEWS), venous acid-base balance, and lactate, at one and four hours. Comparisons utilized a T-test as well as stratified binomial log-regression to assess for any significant improvement in resuscitation amount the outcomes. Our sample size was powered at 0.80 (α:0.05) for a moderate effect size. Results: 258 patients were enrolled with follow-up fully completed. Baseline comparisons confirmed effective randomization. There was no significant difference in mean total volume of fluid received between the control (1658 ml; 95%CI 1365-1950) and PoCUS groups (1609 ml; 1385-1832; p=0.79). Significant improvements were seen in SI, MEWS, lactate and bicarbonate with resuscitation in both the PoCUS and control groups, however there was no difference between groups. Conclusion: SHOC-ED1 is the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard of care in hypotensive ED patients. No significant difference in fluid used, or markers of resuscitation was found when comparing the use of a PoCUS protocol to that of standard of care in the resuscitation of patients with undifferentiated hypotension.