Managing agitation in the clinical setting is a challenge that many practitioners face regularly. Our evolving understanding of the etiological factors involved in aggressive acts has better informed our interventions through pharmacologic and behavioral strategies. This paper reviews the literature on the neurobiological underpinnings of aggressive behaviors, linking psychopathology with proposed mechanisms of action of psychiatric medications shown to be effective in mitigating agitation.
As of April 21, 2020, more than 2.5 million cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, have been reported in 210 countries and territories, with the death toll at 171,810. Both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have gained considerable media attention as possible therapies, resulting in a significant surge in demand. In overdose, both medications can cause severe, potentially life-threatening effects. Here, we present a brief overview of the pharmacology of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, manifestations of toxicity, and treatment considerations.
For early detection of sepsis, automated systems within the electronic health record have evolved to alert emergency department (ED) personnel to the possibility of sepsis, and in some cases link them to suggested care pathways. We conducted a systematic review of automated sepsis-alert detection systems in the ED.
At the heart of the unparalleled crisis of COVID-19, healthcare workers (HCWs) face several challenges treating patients with COVID-19: reducing the spread of infection; developing suitable short-term strategies; and formulating long-term plans. The psychological burden and overall wellness of HCWs has received heightened awareness in news and research publications. The purpose of this study was to provide a review on current publications measuring the effects of COVID-19 on wellness of healthcare providers to inform interventional strategies. Between April 6–May 17, 2020, we conducted systematic searches using combinations of these keywords and synonyms in conjunction with the controlled vocabulary of the database: “physician,” “wellness, “wellbeing,” “stress,” “burnout,” “COVID-19,” and “SARS-CoV-2.” We excluded articles without original data, research studies regarding the wellness of non-healthcare occupations or the general public exclusively, other outbreaks, or wellness as an epidemic. A total of 37 studies were included in this review. The review of literature revealed consistent reports of stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms in HCWs as a result of COVID-19. We describe published data on HCW distress and burnout but urge future research on strategies to enhance HCW well-being.
Climate change is causing an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events, which disproportionately impact the health of vulnerable populations. Heatstroke, the most serious heat-related illness, is a medical emergency that causes multiorgan failure and death without intervention. Rapid recognition and aggressive early treatment are essential to reduce morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study was to evaluate current standards of care for the emergent management of heatstroke and propose an evidence-based algorithm to expedite care.
Social emergency medicine (EM) is an emerging field that examines the intersection of emergency care and social factors that influence health outcomes. We conducted a scoping review to explore the breadth and content of existing research pertaining to social EM to identify potential areas where future social EM research efforts should be directed.
Outside of EM, the most successful interventions focus on changes to systems rather than to individual physicians. Within EM, the number of well-structured interventions that have been studied is limited. Future work to achieve the desired culture of wellness within EM requires establishment of a consistent endpoint that serves as a surrogate for clinical significance, addressing contributors to burnout at all levels, and integrating successful interventions into the fabric of EM.
Cancer therapies have undergone several recent advancements. Current cancer treatments include immune-based therapies comprised of checkpoint inhibitors, and adoptive immunotherapy; each treatment has the potential for complications that differ from chemotherapy and radiation. This review evaluates immune-based therapies and their complications for emergency clinicians.
On Saturday, October 27, 2018, a man with anti-Semitic motivations entered Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; he had an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and three handguns, opening fire upon worshippers.
We reviewed the available literature regarding due process in emergency medicine. We also reviewed recent examples of training programs that underwent disruptions. We used this data to create a set of best practices regarding the handling of disruptions and due process in academic EM.
Heart failure is a common presentation to the emergency department (ED), which can be confused with other clinical conditions. This review provides an evidence-based summary of the current ED evaluation of heart failure.
On January 1, 2014, the State of Maryland implemented the Global Budget Revenue (GBR) program. We investigate the impact of GBR on length of stay (LOS) for inpatients in emergency departments (ED) in Maryland.
Our objective was to review risk factors predictive of older adult recidivism in the emergency department. Certain risk factors and themes commonly occurred in the literature. These recurring factors included increasing age, male gender, certain diagnoses (abdominal pain, traumatic injuries, and respiratory complaints), psychosocial factors (depression, anxiety, poor social support, and limited health literacy), and poor general health (cognitive health and physical functioning).
The growing use of tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems (“vaping”) among teenagers represents a major public health concern. Smoking is not only the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, but epidemiological, clinical, and preclinical data have also shown that adolescent exposure to tobacco or nicotine can lead to subsequent abuse of nicotine and other substances.
A working knowledge of hemostasis and the reversal of anticoagulation and antiplatelet drugs is required for every emergency department provider. This article reviews these topics and presents the currently recommended strategies for dealing with bleeding in the anticoagulated patient.
This paper serves as a primer on caring for undocumented patients in the ED, includes a conceptual framework for immigration as a social determinant of health, reviews unique clinical considerations, and finally suggests a blueprint for immigration-informed emergency care.
The normal physiologic changes of pregnancy complicate evaluation for sepsis and subsequent management. Previous sepsis studies have specifically excluded pregnant patients. This narrative review evaluates the presentation, scoring systems for risk stratification, diagnosis, and management of sepsis in pregnancy.
Cannabis research may offer novel treatment of seizures, spasticity from multiple sclerosis, nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, chronic pain, improvements in cardiovascular outcomes, and sleep disorders. Progress has been slow due to absent standards for chemical composition of cannabis products and limitations on research imposed by federal classification of cannabis as illegal.
Angioedema is defined by non-dependent, non-pitting edema that affects several different sites and is potentially life-threatening due to laryngeal edema. This narrative review provides emergency physicians with a focused overview of the evaluation and management of angioedema.
Ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic, can be used to facilitate two alternatives to RSI to augment airway safety in these scenarios: delayed sequence intubation – the use of ketamine to allow airway preparation and preoxygenation in the agitated patient; and ketamine-only breathing intubation, in which ketamine is used without a paralytic to facilitate ETI as the patient continues to breathe spontaneously.
Burned-out physicians are unlikely to seek professional treatment and may attempt to deal with substance abuse, depression and suicidal thoughts alone. This paper reviews the scope of burnout, contributors, and consequences both for medicine in general and for EM in particular.
Our purpose here is to highlight the areas where evidence is only as strong as the methodological constructs of the research used. This article is a narrative review of the available, limited evidence on which the one-hour bundle was based.
Headache is one of the most common reasons for presentation to the emergency department (ED), seen in up to 2% of patients.1 Most are benign, but it is imperative to understand and discern the life-threatening causes of headache when they present.
This two-article series provides a review of relevant tools and offers guidance to clinical mentors and researchers in choosing the appropriate instrument to suit their needs, whether assessing mentees or testing interventions in the research setting.