Chronic Health Crises and Emergency Medicine in War-torn Yemen, Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mohammed Alsabri, MD, MBBS, FISQUA

Much of Yemen’s infrastructure and healthcare system has been destroyed by the ongoing civil war that began in late 2014. This has created a dire situation that has led to food insecurity, water shortages, uncontrolled outbreaks of infectious disease and further failings within the healthcare system. This has greatly impacted the practice of emergency medicine (EM), and is now compounded by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic.

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Development and Validation of a Novel Triage Tool for Predicting Cardiac Arrest in the Emergency Department

Chu-Lin Tsai, MD, ScD

Early recognition and prevention of in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) have played an increasingly important role in the chain of survival. However, clinical tools for predicting IHCA are scarce, particularly in the emergency department (ED). We sought to estimate the incidence of ED-based IHCA and to develop and validate a novel triage tool, the Emergency Department In-hospital Cardiac Arrest Score (EDICAS), for predicting ED-based IHCA.

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Burnout and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Among Emergency Medicine Resident Physicians During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jungsoo Chang, BS

Emergency medicine is characterized by high volume decision-making while under multiple stressors. With the arrival of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus in early 2020, physicians across the world were met with a surge of critically ill patients. Emergency physicians (EP) are prone to developing burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), due to experiencing emotional trauma as well as the cumulative stress of practice. Thus, calls have been made for attempts to prevent physician PTSD during this current pandemic.

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Impact of COVID-19 on Emergency Medicine Residency Programs: A Cross-Sectional Study in New York State

Muhammad Waseem, MD, MS

The 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic has caused significant disruptions in the clinical operations of hospitals as well as clinical education, training, and research at academic centers. New York State was among the first and largest epicenters of the pandemic, resulting in significant disruptions across its 29 emergency medicine (EM) residency programs. We conducted a cross-sectional observational study of EM residency programs in New York State to assess the impact of the pandemic on resident education and training programs.

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Utility of Temporal Bone Computed Tomography in Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Sarah Benyo, BS

Temporal bone computed tomography (CT) requires a relatively high radiation dose to produce high-resolution images required to define surgical anatomy. In the acute setting, the need for this detailed evaluation of temporal bone pathology may not be required for nonsurgical management and clinical decision-making. We performed a retrospective review of the clinical characteristics and subsequent management of children who underwent CT of the temporal bone with the goal of optimizing clinical decision-making and mitigating the risks of radiation exposure in children.

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Prehospital Translation of Chest Pain Tools (RESCUE Study): Completion Rate and Inter-rater Reliability

Anna C. Snavely, PhD

Chest pain is a common reason for ambulance transport. Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and pulmonary embolism (PE) risk assessments, such as history, electrocardiogram, age, risk factors (HEAR); Emergency Department Assessment of Chest Pain Score (EDACS); Pulmonary Embolism Rule-out Criteria (PERC); and revised Geneva score, are well validated for emergency department (ED) use but have not been translated to the prehospital setting. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the 1) prehospital completion rate and 2) inter-rater reliability of chest pain risk assessments.

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Novel Use of Video Logs to Deliver Educational Interventions to Black Women for Disease Prevention

Mandy J. Hill, DrPH, MPH

Cisgender Black women comprise 67% of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnoses among women in the South and are 11 times more likely to become HIV positive than White women in Texas. Optimal progress toward ending the HIV epidemic requires strategies that will interrupt transmission pathways in hotspot locations like Harris County, TX. Researchers are calling for public health interventions that can prevent HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) transmission; thus, we launched the first video log (vlog)-based, pilot HIV prevention intervention.

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Comorbid Patterns in the Homeless Population: A Theoretical Model to Enhance Patient Care

Kanwalgeet Hans, MS

From the perspective of social determinants, homelessness perpetuates poor health and creates barriers to effective chronic disease management, necessitating frequent use of emergency department (ED) services. In this study we developed a screening algorithm (checklist) from common comorbidities observed in the homeless population in the United States. The result was a theoretical screening tool (checklist) to aid healthcare workers in the ED, including residents, medical students, and other trainees, to provide more efficacious treatment and referrals for discharge.

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Training Leaders in Trauma Resuscitation: Teacher and Learner Perspectives on Ideal Methods

Samantha Quon, MD

Effective leadership improves patient care during medical and trauma resuscitations. While dedicated training programs can improve leadership in trauma resuscitation, we have a limited understanding of the optimal training methods. Our objective was to explore learners’ and teachers’ perceptions of effective methods of leadership training for trauma resuscitation.

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Educating and Empowering Inner-City High School Students in Bleeding Control

Millicent Okereke, MD

Unintentional bleeding is the leading cause of death in people 1–44 years of age in the United States. The Stop the Bleed (STB) campaign is a nationwide course that teaches the public to ensure their own safety, call 911, find the bleeding injury, and achieve temporary hemorrhage control by several techniques. Although the national campaign for the training course was inspired by active shooter events, the training can be applied to motor vehicle accidents and small-scale penetrating and gunshot wounds. Extending the audience to inner-city high school students in a violence-prone neighborhood has the potential to save lives if they are first on the scene.

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Up in Flames: The Safety of Electrocautery Trephination of Subungual Hematomas with Acrylic Nails

Claude Blereau, MD

Subungual hematomas are fingertip injuries, generally secondary to blunt trauma, that cause pain due to an accumulation of blood under the fingernail. It is generally considered standard of practice to relieve this accumulation by means of trephination with a hollow tip needle, a heated paper clip, or electrocautery. It has been assumed that due to the flammable properties of acrylic, trephination via electrocautery has the potential to ignite acrylic nails and cause burns and other potentially serious injury, making electrocautery contraindicated in patients with acrylic nails. Our thorough literature review failed to support or refute this assumption; so in the interest of ensuring that this practice is evidence-based, we sought to explore this topic.

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Incidence of Emergency Department Visits for Electric Rental Scooters Using Detailed Ridership Data

Chelsea Williams, MD, MPH

Electric scooter (e-scooter) rental usage has increased exponentially around the country, expanding to more than 120 cities by the end of 2018. Early attempts to capture the safety effects of widespread adoption of this technology have been hampered by lack of accurate ridership data. Here we describe a 17-month evolution of ridership characteristics in St. Louis, Missouri, and the frequency of e-scooter rental-related injuries serious enough to require an emergency department (ED) visit over this time frame; we also provide estimates of incidence rates of injuries based on company ridership data.

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Substance Use-related Emergency Department Visits and Resource Utilization

Weiwei Beckerleg, MD, MPH, FRCPC

Substance use-related visits to the emergency department (ED) have been linked to higher service delivery costs, although little is known about the specific services used. Our goal In this study was to describe the recent trends of substance use-related ED visits and assess the association between substance use and specific ED resource utilization.

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Association of Blood Alcohol and Alcohol Use Disorders with Emergency Department Disposition of Trauma Patients

Wirachin Hoonpongsimanont, MD, MS

Trauma patients who present to the emergency department (ED) intoxicated or with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) undergo more procedures and have an increased risk of developing complications. However, how AUD and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) impact a trauma patient’s disposition from the ED remains inconclusive. In this study we aimed to identify the associations between positive BAC or an AUD with admission to the hospital, including the intensive care unit (ICU).

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Early Rooming Triage: Accuracy and Demographic Factors Associated with Clinical Acuity

David Y. Zhang, MD, PhD

Early rooming triage increases patient throughput and satisfaction by rapidly assigning patients to a definitive care area, without using vital signs or detailed chart review. Despite these operational benefits, the clinical accuracy of early rooming triage is not well known. We sought to measure the accuracy of early rooming triage and uncover additional patient characteristics that can assist triage.

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Association of Emergency Department Payer Mix with ED Receipt of Telehealth Services: An Observational Analysis

Kori S. Zachrison, MD, MSc

Telehealth is commonly used to connect emergency department (ED) patients with specialists or resources required for their care. Its infrastructure requires substantial upfront and ongoing investment from an ED or hospital and may be more difficult to implement in lower-resourced settings. Our aim was to examine for an association between ED payer mix and receipt of telehealth services.

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Untapped Potential for Emergency Department Observation Unit Use: A National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) Study

Angelo Navas, BS

Millions of people present to the emergency department (ED) with chest pain annually. Accurate and timely risk stratification is important to identify potentially life-threatening conditions such as acute coronary syndrome (ACS). An ED-based observation unit can be used to rapidly evaluate patients and reduce ED crowding, but the practice is not universal. We estimated the number of current hospital admissions in the United States (US) eligible for ED-based observation services for patients with symptoms of ACS.

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Community Hospital Response to COVID-19 Outbreak

Nishad Abdul Rahman, MD

Since early 2020, the world has been living through coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Westchester County, New York, was one of the hardest and earliest hit places in the United States. Working within a community emergency department amid the rise of a highly infectious disease such as COVID-19 presented many challenges, including appropriate isolation, adequate testing, personnel shortages, supply shortfalls, facility changes, and resource allocation. Here we discuss our process in navigating these complexities, including the practice changes implemented within our institution to counter these unprecedented issues. These adjustments included establishing three outdoor tents to serve as triage areas; creating overflow intensive care units through conversion of areas that had previously served as the ambulatory surgery unit, post-anesthesia care unit, and endoscopy suite; increasing critical care staff to meet unprecedented need; anticipating and adapting to medical supply shortages; and adjusting resident physician roles to meet workflow requirements. By analyzing and improving upon the processes delineated below, our healthcare system should be better prepared for future pandemics.

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Cloud-Based Influenza Surveillance System in Emergency Departments Using Molecular-Based Testing: Advances and Challenges

Kathryn Shaw-Saliba, ScM, PhD

Electronic influenza surveillance systems aid in health surveillance and clinical decision-making within the emergency department (ED). While major advances have been made in integrating clinical decision-making tools within the electronic health record (EHR), tools for sharing surveillance data are often piecemeal, with the need for data downloads and manual uploads to shared servers, delaying time from data acquisition to end-user. Real-time surveillance can help both clinicians and public health professionals recognize circulating influenza earlier in the season and provide ongoing situational awareness.

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Hepatitis C Virus Reflex Testing Protocol in an Emergency Department

Jacob J. Manteuffel, MD

Our aim was to measure hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening and linkage-to-care rates in an urban emergency department (ED) before and after implementing an HCV viral RNA (vRNA) reflex testing protocol within a HCV screening program for at-risk patients. Our hypothesis was that using a reflex testing protocol would increase HCV testing rates of at-risk patients in the ED, which would increase the linkage-to-care rate.

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Chronic Health Crises and Emergency Medicine in War-torn Yemen, Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mohammed Alsabri, MD, MBBS, FISQUA

Much of Yemen’s infrastructure and healthcare system has been destroyed by the ongoing civil war that began in late 2014. This has created a dire situation that has led to food insecurity, water shortages, uncontrolled outbreaks of infectious disease and further failings within the healthcare system. This has greatly impacted the practice of emergency medicine (EM), and is now compounded by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic.

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Contact Information

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


ISSN: 1936-900X
e-ISSN: 1936-9018

ISSN: 2474-252X

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.