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Ethical and Legal Issues

Effects of a Dedicated Regional Psychiatric Emergency Service on Boarding of Psychiatric Patients in Area Emergency Departments

Volume XV, Issue 1, February 2014
Scott Zeller, MD et al.

This study sought to assess the effects of a regional dedicated emergency psychiatric facility design known at the “Alameda Model” on boarding times and hospitalization rates for psychiatric patients in area EDs.

This study sought to assess the effects of a regional dedicated emergency psychiatric facility design known at the “Alameda Model” on boarding times and hospitalization rates for psychiatric patients in area EDs.

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Ethical and Legal Issues

The Alameda Model: An Effort Worth Emulating

Volume XV, Issue 1, February 2014
Aimee Moulin, MD, et al.

In 2009 Alameda placed 11.0 involuntary holds per 1,000 population, while the next highest county in California only placed 6.4 per 1,000 population.5 This may suggest instead that some of Alameda’s mental health patients would not have been placed on an involuntary hold in other California counties in the first place, increasing the proportion of lower acuity psychiatric emergencies and thus accounting for the high discharge rate.

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Ethical and Legal Issues

Response to Moulin and Jones: “The Alameda Model: An Effort Worth Emulating”

Volume XV, Issue 1, February 2014
Scott Zeller, MD

As Moulin and Jones correctly indicate, there is no delineation of the relative acuity of the study patients to those seen in other emergency settings in California. However, we are unaware of any established metric to provide such a comparison for this patient population, and no such categorization was noted in any of the other boarding time studies cited in the article.

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Ethical and Legal Issues

Increasing Suicide Rates Among Middle-age Persons and Interventions to Manage Patients with Psychiatric Complaints

Volume XV, Issue 1, February 2014
Bharath Chakravarthy, MD, MPH et al.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published significant data and trends related to suicide rates in the United States (U.S.). Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in U.S. adults, and rates are increasing across all geographic regions. There is a significant increase in the suicide rate among adults in the 35–64 age range. We present findings from the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) with commentary on current resources and barriers to psychiatric care.

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Technology in Emergency Care

Social Media Guidelines and Best Practices: Recommendations from the Council of Residency Directors Social Media Task Force

Volume XV, Issue 1, February 2014
Malford T. Pillow, MD, MEd et al.

Social media has become a staple of everyday life among over one billion people worldwide. A social networking presence has become a hallmark of vibrant and transparent communications. It has quickly become the preferred method of communication and information sharing. It offers the ability for various entities, especially residency programs, to create an attractive internet presence and “brand” the program. Social media, while having significant potential for communication and knowledge transfer, carries with it legal, ethical, personal, and professional risks. Implementation of a social networking presence must be deliberate, transparent, and optimize potential benefits while minimizing risks. This is especially true with residency programs. The power of social media as a communication, education, and recruiting tool is undeniable. Yet the pitfalls of misuse can be disastrous, including violations in patient confidentiality, violations of privacy, and recruiting misconduct. These guidelines were developed to provide emergency medicine residency programs leadership with guidance and best practices in the appropriate use and regulation of social media, but are applicable to all residency programs that wish to establish a social media presence.

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Technology in Emergency Care

Betrayed Mood in Public View: Taking a MySpace History

Volume XV, Issue 1, February 2014
Vinodinee L. Dissanayake, MD et al.

Social networking sites (SNS), the modern mainstay of adolescent expression, may provide vital information to physicians. The emergency department (ED) is a setting where SNS may be helpful. A reticent 19-year-old in the ED prompted a search for pertinent information on the Internet, where a profile on www.myspace.com relayed a troubled post. The patient was admitted for psychiatric evaluation due to intentional overdose. These SNS may provide a venue for physicians to learn about risky behaviors and life stressors that would help identify underlying medical issues in young adults. We provide a guideline on how to utilize SNS with privacy rights in mind.

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Education

Impact of Learners on Emergency Medicine Attending Physician Productivity

Volume XV, February 2014
Rahul Bhat, MD et al.

Several prior studies have examined the impact of learners (medical students or residents) on overall emergency department (ED) flow as well as the impact of resident training level on the number of patients seen by residents per hour. No study to date has specifically examined the impact of learners on emergency medicine (EM) attending physician productivity, with regards to patients per hour (PPH). We sought to evaluate whether learners increase, decrease, or have no effect on the productivity of EM attending physicians in a teaching program with one student or resident per attending.

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Treatment Protocol Assessment

Predictors of Unattempted Central Venous Catheterization in Septic Patients Eligible for Early Goal-directed Therapy

Volume XV, Issue 1, February 2014
David R. Vinson, MD et al.

We sought to determine the association of relative normotension (sustained systolic blood pressure >90 mmHg independent of or in response to an initial crystalloid resuscitation of 20 mL/kg), obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥30), moderate thrombocytopenia (platelet count <50,000 per μL), and coagulopathy (international normalized ratio ≥2.0) with unattempted CVC in EGDT-eligible patients.

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Emergency Department Operations

The July Effect: Is Emergency Department Length of Stay Greater at the Beginning of the Hospital Academic Year?

Volume XV, Issue 1, February 2014
Christine Riguzzi, MD et al.

The objective of this study is to determine if the average ED LOS at the beginning of the hospital academic year differs for teaching hospitals with residents in the ED, when compared to other months of the year, and as compared to non-teaching hospitals without residents.

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Technology in Emergency Care

Electronic Medical Record Utopia May Be Right Before Our Eyes

Volume XV, Issue 1, February 2014
Clark Rosenberry, MD et al.

The quantitative and qualitative demand for medical care burdened to every provider seems only to increase. I encourage you to push us to this bright, more efficient, and more capable future. Advise your electronic medical record carrier to mold their interface into new applications for hardware such as the Google Glass and inevitable subsequent comparable models, integrate highly useful software adjuncts, and foster the adoption of these progressing technologies.

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Technology in Emergency Care

Sensitivity of Emergency Bedside Ultrasound to Detect Hydronephrosis in Patients with Computed Tomography-proven Stones

Volume XV, Issue 1, February 2014
Jeff RIddell, MD et al.

Non-contrast computed tomography (CT) is widely regarded as the gold standard for diagnosis of urolithiasis in emergency department (ED) patients. However, it is costly, time-consuming and exposes patients to significant doses of ionizing radiation. Hydronephrosis on bedside ultrasound is a sign of a ureteral stone, and has a reported sensitivity of 72–83% for identification of unilateral hydronephrosis when compared to CT. The purpose of this study was to evaluate trends in sensitivity related to stone size and number.

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Diagnostic Acumen

Usefulness of Computed Tomography Perfusion in Treatment of an Acute Stroke Patient with Unknown Time of Symptom Onset

Volume XV, Issue 1, February 2014
Francis M. Fesmire, MD et al.

Examination on arrival to the emergency department revealed altered mental status, right hemiplegia, forced leftward gaze, and complete aphasia. Patient was ineligible for tissue plasminogen (TPA) therapy due to unknown time of symptom onset. Computed University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee Figure 1. Transverse (left) and coronal (right) computed tomography angiogram demonstrating abrupt cutoff of the left middle cerebral artery at the site of the thrombus (marked by arrows). Tomography angiogram (CTA) revealed occlusion of the left middle cerebral artery (MCA) with acute thrombus (Figure 1).

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Diagnostic Acumen

Diagnosis of Necrotizing Faciitis with Bedside Ultrasound: the STAFF Exam

Volume XV, Issue 1, February 2014
Erik Castleberg, MD et al.

We propose the STAFF ultrasound exam may be beneficial in the rapid evaluation of unstable patients with consideration of necrotizing fasciitis, in a similar fashion to the current use of a focused assessment with sonography for trauma exam in the setting of trauma.

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Diagnostic Acumen

Recurrent Priapism from Therapeutic Quetiapine

Volume 15, Issue 1, February 2014
Omeed Saghafi, MD, et al.

Priapism is rarely related to use of non-erectile related medications. The objective was to educate about the multiple possible causes of priapism and to provide treatment recommendations for the different types of priapism. We present the case of a 43-year-old African American male with a history of schizoaffective disorder who presented to our emergency department multiple times over a three year period with priapism, each episode related to the ingestion of quetiapine. Following penile aspiration and intercavernosal injection of phenylephrine, this patient had resolution of his priapism. This case demonstrates an unusual case of recurrent priapism.

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Contact Information

WestJEM/ Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Irvine Health

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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.