Critical Care

Critical Care

The Use of Dexmedetomidine in the Emergency Department: A Cohort Study

Sinnott, J.

Management of sedation, analgesia, and anxiolysis are cornerstone therapies in the emergency department (ED). Dexmedetomidine (DEX), a central alpha-2 agonist, is increasingly being used, and intensive care unit (ICU) data demonstrate improved outcomes in patients with respiratory failure. However, there is a lack of ED-based data. We therefore sought to: 1) characterize ED DEX use; 2) describe the incidence of adverse events; and 3) explore factors associated with adverse events among patients receiving DEX in the ED.

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Critical Care

Comparing Drugs for Out-of-hospital, Shock-refractory Cardiac Arrest: Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Srisurapanont, K.

The benefit of medications used in out-of-hospital, shock-refractory cardiac arrest remains controversial. This study aims to compare the treatment outcomes of medications for out-of-hospital, shock-refractory ventricular fibrillation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (pVT).

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Critical Care

Utilization of Point-of-care Echocardiography in Cardiac Arrest: A Cross-sectional Pilot Study

Wolfe, Y.

Point-of-care (POC) echocardiography (echo) is a useful adjunct in the management of cardiac arrest. However, the practice pattern of POC echo utilization during management of cardiac arrest cases among emergency physicians (EP) is unclear. In this pilot study we aimed to characterize the utilization of POC echo and the potential barriers to its use in the management of cardiac arrest among EPs.

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Critical Care

Quality Improvement Initiative to Increase Rate of and Time to Post-intubation Analgesia in the Emergency Department

Imhoff, B.

Intubation and mechanical ventilation are common interventions performed in the emergency department (ED). These interventions cause pain and discomfort to patients and necessitate analgesia and sedation. Recent trends in the ED and intensive care unit focus on an analgesia-first model to improve patient outcomes. Initial data from our institution demonstrated an over-emphasis on sedation and an opportunity to improve analgesic administration. As a result of these findings, the ED undertook a quality improvement (QI) project aimed at improving analgesia administration and time to analgesia post-intubation.

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Critical Care

Randomised Controlled Trial Assessing Head Down Deep Breathing Method Versus Modified Valsalva Manoeuvre for Treatment of Supraventricular Tachycardia in the Emergency Department

Lim, HC.

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is commonly encountered in the emergency department (ED). Vagal manoeuvres are internationally recommended therapy in stable patients. The head down deep breathing (HDDB) technique was previously described as an acceptable vagal manoeuvre, but there are no studies comparing its efficacy to other vagal manoeuvres. Our objective in this study was to compare the rates of successful cardioversion with HDDB and the commonly practiced, modified Valsalva manoeuvre (VM).

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Critical Care

Effectiveness of Mechanical Chest Compression Devices over Manual Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: A Systematic Review with Meta-analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis

Sheraton, M.

Our goal was to systematically review contemporary literature comparing the relative effectiveness of two mechanical compression devices (LUCAS and AutoPulse) to manual compression for achieving return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) in patients undergoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).

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Critical Care

Efficacy of Laryngeal Tube versus Bag Mask Ventilation by Inexperienced Providers

Hart, MD, et al.

We performed a crossover study first year emergency medicine residents and third and fourth year medical students. After a brief instructional video followed by hands on practice, participants performed both techniques in random order on a simulated model for two minutes each. Returned tidal volumes and peak pressures were measured.

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Critical Care

Screening for QT Prolongation in the Emergency Department: Is There a Better “Rule of Thumb?”

Rischall, MD, et al.

Many emergency clinicians rely on the “rule of thumb” or “Half the RR” rule (Half-RR) as an initial screening method, but prior studies have shown that the Half-RR rule performs poorly as compared to other QT assessment methods. We sought to characterize the problems associated with the Half-RR rule and find a modified screening tool to more safely assess the QT interval of ED patients for prolonged QT.

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Critical Care

Emergency Reversal of Anticoagulation

Yee, DO, et al.

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.

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Critical Care

Evaluation and Management of Angioedema in the Emergency Department

Long, MD, et al.

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.

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Critical Care

Alternatives to Rapid Sequence Intubation: Contemporary Airway Management with Ketamine

Merelman, BS, et al.

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.

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Critical Care

Left Ventricular Assist Device Management in the Emergency Department

Trinquero, MD, et al.

It is critical for emergency physicians to be knowledgeable of current ventricular assist devices (VAD), and to be able to troubleshoot associated complications and optimally treat patients with emergent pathology. Special consideration must be taken when managing patients with VADs including device inspection, alarm interpretation, and blood pressure measurement.

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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
Email: editor@westjem.org

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

CPC-EM
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.