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Emergency Department Crowding is Associated with Reduced Satisfaction Scores in Patients Discharged from the Emergency Department

Introduction: Emergency department (ED) crowding has been shown to negatively impact patient outcomes. Few studies have addressed the effect of ED crowding on patient satisfaction. Our objective was to evaluate the impact of ED crowding on patient satisfaction in patients discharged from the ED.

Conclusion: Increased crowding, as measured by ED occupancy rate and EDWIN score, was significantly associated with reduced patient satisfaction. Although causative attribution was limited, our study suggested yet another negative impact resulting from ED crowding.

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Does Targeted Education of Emergency Physicians Improve Their Comfort Level in Treating Psychiatric Patients?

Introduction: We determined if targeted education of emergency physicians (EPs) regarding the treatment of mental illness will improve their comfort level in treating psychiatric patients boarding in the emergency department (ED) awaiting admission.

Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that the comfort level of EPs, when asked to treat PBPs, may be improved with education. We believe our data support further study of this idea and of whether an improved comfort level will translate to a willingness to treat.

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How Frequently are “Classic” Drug-Seeking Behaviors Used by Drug-Seeking Patients in the Emergency Department?

Introduction: Drug-seeking behavior (DSB) in the emergency department (ED) is a very common problem, yet there has been little quantitative study to date of such behavior. The goal of this study was to assess the frequency with which drug seeking patients in the ED use classic drug seeking behaviors to obtain prescription medication.

Conclusion: Drug-seeking patients appear to exhibit “classically” described drug-seeking behaviors with only low to moderate frequency. Reliance on historical features may be inadequate when trying to assess whether or not a patient is drug-seeking.

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Comparison of Pressures Applied by Digital Tourniquets in the Emergency Department

Digital tourniquets used in the emergency department have been scrutinized due to complications associated with their use, including neurovascular injury secondary to excessive tourniquet pressure and digital ischemia caused by a forgotten tourniquet. To minimize these risks, a conspicuous tourniquet that applies the least amount of pressure necessary to maintain hemostasis is recommended.

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Bilateral Psoas Abscess in the Emergency Department

We present the case of a 45-year-old female who presented multiple times to the emergency department with acute low back pain and was subsequently diagnosed with bilateral psoas muscle abscess. Psoas abscess is an uncommon cause of acute low back pain that is associated with high morbidity and mortality. The onset of symptoms is frequently insidious and the clinical presentation vague. Proper diagnosis requires vigilance of the physician to recognize signs in the history and physical examination that are suggestive of a potentially serious spinal condition and initiate further workup. While most patients with acute low back pain have a benign etiology, this case report demonstrates the challenge of diagnosing a patient with bilateral psoas abscess who had few known risk factors and symptoms typical of mechanical low back pain.

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Wide Complex Tachycardias: Understanding this Complex Condition Part 2 – Management, Miscellaneous Causes, and Pitfalls

  Author Affiliation Gus M. Garmel, MD Stanford University School of Medicine/Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara INTRODUCTION Patients who present with electrocardiograms (ECGs) demonstrating wide complex tachycardias (WCTs) are often challenging to clinicians. Not only may the patient present with (or be at risk for) hemodynamic compromise, but their treatment may result in hemodynamic collapse if […]

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Wide Complex Tachycardias: Understanding this Complex Condition: Part 1 – Epidemiology and Electrophysiology

  Author Affiliation Gus M. Garmel, MD Stanford University School of Medicine/Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara INTRODUCTION Patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with electrocardiograms (ECGs) indicating wide complex tachycardias (WCTs) are difficult to manage. Furthermore, these ECGs are often challenging to interpret.1,2 Patients typically have ongoing chest discomfort, with or without symptoms of dyspnea, lightheadedness, […]

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WestJEM/ Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Irvine Health

333 The City Blvd. West, Rt 128-01
Suite 640
Orange, CA 92868, USA
Phone: 1-714-456-6389
Email: editor@westjem.org

Our Philosophy

Emergency Medicine is a specialty which closely reflects societal challenges and consequences of public policy decisions. The emergency department specifically deals with social injustice, health and economic disparities, violence, substance abuse, and disaster preparedness and response. This journal focuses on how emergency care affects the health of the community and population, and conversely, how these societal challenges affect the composition of the patient population who seek care in the emergency department. The development of better systems to provide emergency care, including technology solutions, is critical to enhancing population health.