Current Issue: Volume 22 Issue 6

Epidemiology of Patients with Head Injury at a Tertiary Hospital in Rwanda

Karim, N.

Traumatic injuries disproportionately affect populations in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) where head injuries predominate. The Rwandan Ministry of Health (MOH) has dramatically improved access to emergency services by rebuilding its health infrastructure. The MOH has strengthened the nation’s acute emergency response by renovating emergency departments (ED), developing the field of emergency medicine as a specialty, and establishing a prehospital care service: Service d’Aide Medicale Urgente (SAMU). Despite the prevalence of traumatic injury in LMIC and the evolving emergency service in Rwanda, data regarding head trauma epidemiology is lacking.

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Societal Impact on Emergency Care

A Scoping Review of Current Social Emergency Medicine Research

Shah, R.

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.

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Gender-based Barriers in the Advancement of Women Leaders in Emergency Medicine: A Multi-institutional Qualitative Study

Graham, EM.

Leadership positions occupied by women within academic emergency medicine have remained stagnant despite increasing numbers of women with faculty appointments. We distributed a multi-institutional survey to women faculty and residents to evaluate categorical characteristics contributing to success and differences between the two groups.

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United States Emergency Department Use of Medications with Pharmacogenetic Recommendations

Limkakeng Jr, AT.

Emergency departments (ED) use many medications with a range of therapeutic efficacy and potential significant side effects, and many medications have dosage adjustment recommendations based on the patient’s specific genotype. How frequently medications with such pharmaco-genetic recommendations are used in United States (US) EDs has not been studied.

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A Retrospective Cohort Study of Acute Epiglottitis in Adults

Felton, P.

Adult epiglottitis is a disease process distinct from pediatric epiglottitis in microbiology, presentation, and clinical course. While traditionally considered more indolent and benign than in children, adult epiglottitis remains a cause of acute airway compromise with a mortality rate from 1-20%. Our objective was to characterize the disease course and evaluate the rate and type of airway management in this population at a tertiary, academic referral center.

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Estimated Cost Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccination for Emergency Medical Services Professionals

Hubble, WK.

Because of their frequent contact with compromised patients, vaccination against influenza is recommended for all healthcare workers. Recent studies suggest that vaccination decreases influenza transmission to patients and reduces worker illness and absenteeism. However, few emergency medical services (EMS) agencies provide annual vaccination, and the vaccination rate among EMS personnel remains low. Reticence among EMS agencies to provide influenza vaccination to their employees may be due in part to the unknown fiscal consequences of implementing a vaccination program. In this study, we sought to estimate the cost effectiveness of an employer-provided influenza vaccination program for EMS personnel.

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Centralized Ambulance Destination Determination: A Retrospective Data Analysis to Determine Impact on EMS System Distribution, Surge Events, and Diversion Status

Bains, G.

Emergency medical services (EMS) systems can become impacted by sudden surges that can occur throughout the day, as well as by natural disasters and the current pandemic. Because of this, emergency department crowding and ambulance “bunching,” or surges in ambulance-transported patients at receiving hospitals, can have a detrimental effect on patient care and financial implications for an EMS system. The Centralized Ambulance Destination Determination (CAD-D) project was initially created as a pilot project to look at the impact of an active, online base hospital physician and paramedic supervisor to direct patient destination and distribution, as a way to improve ambulance distribution, decrease surges at hospitals, and decrease diversion status.

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Food Insecurity in a Pediatric Emergency Department and the Feasibility of Universal Screening

Gonzalez, JV.

Children with food insecurity (FI) experience adverse health outcomes due to inadequate quantity or quality of food. Food insecurity may be high among families seeking emergency care. The Hunger Vital Sign (HVS) is a two-question validated tool used to screen families for FI. Our goal in this study was to assess prevalence of FI among emergency department (ED) patients, patient-level risk factors for FI, and the feasibility of screening.

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Healthcare Utilization

Role of Creatine Kinase in the Troponin Era: A Systematic Review

Beamish, D.

The diagnosis of non-ST-elevated myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) depends on a combination of history, electrocardiogram, and cardiac biomarkers. The most sensitive and specific biomarkers for cardiac injury are the troponin assays. Many hospitals continue to automatically order less sensitive and less specific biomarkers such as creatine kinase (CK) alongside cardiac troponin (cTn) for workup of patients with chest pain. The objective of this systematic review was to identify whether CK testing is useful in the workup of patients with NSTEMI symptoms.

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Healthcare Utilization

The Association of Demographic, Socioeconomic, and Geographic Factors with Potentially Preventable Emergency Department Utilization

Carlson, LC.

Prevention quality indicators (PQI) are a set of measures used to characterize healthcare utilization for conditions identified as being potentially preventable with high quality ambulatory care. These indicators have recently been adapted for emergency department (ED) patient presentations. In this study the authors sought to identify opportunities to potentially prevent emergency conditions and to strengthen systems of ambulatory care by analyzing patterns of ED utilization for PQI conditions.

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Assessment and Diagnosis of Mental Illness in EDs Among Individuals Without a Home: Findings from the National Hospital Ambulatory Care Survey

Ahmed, H.

Homeless individuals lack resources for primary healthcare and as a result use the emergency department (ED) as a social safety net. Our primary objective in this study was to identify the differences between features of visits to United States (US) EDs made by patients without a home and patients who live in a private residence presenting with mental health symptoms or no mental health symptoms at triage.

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Endemic Infections

A Dispatch Screening Tool to Identify Patients at High Risk for COVID-19 in the Prehospital Setting

Albright, A.

Emergency medical services (EMS) dispatchers have made efforts to determine whether patients are high risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) so that appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) can be donned. A screening tool is valuable as the healthcare community balances protection of medical personnel and conservation of PPE. There is little existing literature on the efficacy of prehospital COVID-19 screening tools. The objective of this study was to determine the positive and negative predictive value of an emergency infectious disease surveillance tool for detecting COVID-19 patients and the impact of positive screening on PPE usage.

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Endemic Infections

Sources of Distress and Coping Strategies Among Emergency Physicians During COVID-19

Dehon, E.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been shown to increase
levels of psychological distress among healthcare workers. Little is known, however, about specific
positive and negative individual and organizational factors that affect the mental health of emergency
physicians (EP) during COVID-19. Our objective was to assess these factors in a broad geographic
sample of EPs in the United States.

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Emergency Department Operations

“Friction by Definition”: Conflict at Patient Handover Between Emergency and Internal Medicine Physicians at an Academic Medical Center

Kanjee, Z.

Patient handoffs from emergency physicians (EP) to internal medicine (IM) physicians may be complicated by conflict with the potential for adverse outcomes. The objective of this study was to identify the specific types of, and contributors to, conflict between EPs and IM physicians in this context.

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Emergency Department Operations

A Scoping Review of Emergency Department Discharge Risk Stratification

Jaffe, TA.

Although emergency department (ED) discharge presents patient-safety challenges and opportunities, the ways in which EDs address discharge risk in the general ED population remains disparate and largely uncharacterized. In this study our goal was to conduct a review of how EDs identify and target patients at increased risk at time of discharge.

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Emergency Department Operations

Retrospective Analysis of Adult Patients Presenting to the Acute Care Setting Requesting Prescriptions

Shepherd, L.

Patient visits to the emergency department (ED) or urgent care centre (UCC) for the sole purpose of requesting prescriptions are challenging for the patient, the physician, and the department. The primary objective of this study was to determine the characteristics of these patients, the nature of their requests, and the response to these requests. Our secondary objective was to determine the proportion of these medication requests that had street value.

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Contact Information

WestJEM/ Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Irvine Health

3800 W Chapman Ave Ste 3200
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.