Current Issue: Volume 25 Issue 3

Relationship of Beta-Human Chorionic Gonadotropin to Ectopic Pregnancy Detection and Size

Duane M. Eisaman,

Ectopic pregnancies are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the first trimester of pregnancy. Hospital protocols requiring a specific beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) level to qualify for diagnostic testing (pelvic ultrasound) can delay diagnosis and treatment. In this study we sought to determine the relationship between β-hCG level and the size of ectopic pregnancy with associated outcomes.

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Trauma-informed Care Training in Trauma and Emergency Medicine: A Review of the Existing Curricula

Cecelia Morra, BA

Greater lifetime exposure to psychological trauma correlates with a higher number of health comorbidities and negative health outcomes. However, physicians often are not specifically trained in how to care for patients with trauma, especially in acute care settings. Our objective was to identify implemented trauma-informed care (TIC) training protocols for emergency and/or trauma service physicians that have both sufficient detail that they can be adapted and outcome data indicating positive impact.

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Public Health Interventions in the Emergency Department: A Framework for Evaluation

Elisabeth Fassas, MD, MSc

Emergency departments (ED) in the United States serve a dual role in public health: a portal of entry to the health system and a safety net for the community at large. Public health officials often target the ED for public health interventions due to the perception that it is uniquely able to reach underserved populations. However, under time and resource constraints, emergency physicians and public health officials must make calculated decisions in choosing which interventions in their local context could provide maximal impact to achieve public health benefit. We identify how decisions regarding public health interventions are affected by considerations of cost, time, and available personnel, and further consider the role of local community needs, health department goals, and political environment. We describe a sample of ED-based public health interventions and demonstrate how to use a proposed framework to assess interventions. We posit a series of questions and variables to consider: local disease prevalence; ability of the ED to perform the intervention; relative efficacy of the ED vs community partnerships as the primary intervention location; and expected outcomes. In using this framework, clinicians should be empowered to improve the public health in their communities.

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Patient-related Factors Associated with Potentially Unnecessary Transfers for Pediatric Patients with Asthma: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Gregory A. Peters, MD

Asthma is a common chronic medical condition among children and the most common diagnosis associated with interfacility transports for pediatric patients. As many as 40% of pediatric transfers may be unnecessary, resulting in potential delays in care and unnecessary costs. Our objective was to identify the patient-related factors associated with potentially unnecessary transfers for pediatric patients with asthma.

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Support for Thrombolytic Therapy for Acute Stroke Patients on Direct Oral Anticoagulants: Mortality and Bleeding Complications

Paul Koscumb, MD

Alteplase (tPA) is the initial treatment for acute ischemic stroke. Current tPA guidelines exclude patients who took direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) within the prior 48 hours. In this propensity-matched retrospective study we compared acute ischemic stroke patients treated with tPA who had received DOACs within 48 hours of thrombolysis to those not previously treated with DOACs, regarding three outcomes: mortality; intracranial hemorrhage (ICH); and need for acute blood transfusions (as a marker of significant blood loss).

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Public Beliefs About Accessibility and Quality of Emergency Departments in Germany

Jens Klein, PhD

It is well established that emergency department (ED) crowding leads to worse health outcomes. Although various patient surveys provide information about reasons to visit EDs, less is known in terms of beliefs about EDs among the general population. This study examines public beliefs regarding accessibility and quality of EDs and their associations with social characteristics (gender, age, education, immigration background) as well as knowledge about emergency care services and health literacy.

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Sexually Transmitted Infection Co-testing in a Large Urban Emergency Department

James S. Ford, MD

The incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STI) increased in the United States between 2017–2021. There is limited data describing STI co-testing practices and the prevalence of STI co-infections in emergency departments (ED). In this study, we aimed to describe the prevalence of co-testing and co-infection of HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, in a large, academic ED.

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Operation CoVER Saint Louis (COVID-19 Vaccine in the Emergency Room): Impact of a Vaccination Program in the Emergency Department

Brian T. Wessman, MD

Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) inequitably impacted minority populations and regions with limited access to healthcare resources. The Barnes-Jewish Emergency Department in St. Louis, MO, serves such a population. The COVID-19 vaccine is an available defense to help achieve community immunity. The emergency department (ED) is a potential societal resource to provide access to a vaccination intervention. Our objective in this study was to describe and evaluate a novel ED COVID-19 vaccine program, including its impact on the local surrounding underserved community.

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Association Between Sexually Transmitted Infections and the Urine Culture

Johnathan M. Sheele, MD, MHS, MPH

Bacterial urinary tract infections (UTI) and some sexually transmitted infections (STI) can have overlapping signs and symptoms or nonspecific findings, such as pyuria on urinalysis. Furthermore, results from the urine culture and the nucleic acid amplification test for an STI may not be available during the clinical encounter. We sought to determine whether gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis are associated with bacteriuria, information that might aid in the differentiation of STIs and UTIs.

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Best Practices for Treating Blind and Visually Impaired Patients in the Emergency Department: A Scoping Review

Kareem Hamadah, BS

Blind and visually impaired individuals, an under-represented population of the emergency department (ED), possess comorbidities and have a higher chance of in-hospital sequelae, including falls. This potentially vulnerable population, if not treated mindfully, can be subject to decreased quality of care, recurrent and/or longer hospitalizations, persistence of health issues, increased incidence of falls, and higher healthcare costs. For these reasons, it is crucial to implement holistic practices and train clinicians to treat blind and visually impaired patients in the ED setting.

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The Utility of Dot Phrases and SmartPhrases in Improving Physician Documentation of Interpreter Use

Katrin Jaradeh, MD

Patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) experience significant healthcare disparities. Clinicians are responsible for using and documenting their use of certified interpreters for patient encounters when appropriate. However, the data on interpreter use documentation in the emergency department (ED) is limited and variable. We sought to assess the effects of dot phrase and SmartPhrase implementation in an adult ED on the rates of documentation of interpreter use.

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Imaging in a Pandemic: How Lack of Intravenous Contrast for Computed Tomography Affects Emergency Department Throughput

Wayne A. Martini, MD

During the coronavirus 2019 pandemic, hospitals in the United States experienced a shortage of contrast agent, much of which is manufactured in China. As a result, there was a significantly decreased amount of intravenous (IV) contrast available. We sought to determine the effect of restricting the use of IV contrast on emergency department (ED) length of stay (LOS).

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Geographic Location and Corporate Ownership of Hospitals in Relation to Unfilled Positions in the 2023 Emergency Medicine Match

Zachary J. Jarou, MD, MBA

In the 2023 National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) match, there were 554 unfilled emergency medicine (EM) positions before the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP). We sought to describe features of EM programs that participated in the match and the association between select program characteristics and unfilled positions.

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Emergency Department SpO2/FiO2 Ratios Correlate with Mechanical Ventilation and Intensive Care Unit Requirements in COVID-19 Patients

Gary Zhang, MD

Patients with coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) are at high risk for respiratory dysfunction. The pulse oximetry/fraction of inspired oxygen (SpO2/FiO2) ratio is a non-invasive assessment of respiratory dysfunction substituted for the PaO2:FiO2 ratio in Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scoring. We hypothesized that emergency department (ED) SpO2/FiO2 ratios correlate with requirement for mechanical ventilation in COVID-19 patients. Our objective was to identify COVID-19 patients at greatest risk of requiring mechanical ventilation, using SpO2/FiO2 ratios.

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Factors Associated with Acute Telemental Health Consultations in Older Veterans

Erica C. Koch, MD

The United States Veterans Health Administration is a leader in the use of telemental health (TMH) to enhance access to mental healthcare amidst a nationwide shortage of mental health professionals. The Tennessee Valley Veterans Affairs (VA) Health System piloted TMH in its emergency department (ED) and urgent care clinic (UCC) in 2019, with full 24/7 availability beginning March 1, 2020. Following implementation, preliminary data demonstrated that veterans ≥65 years old were less likely to receive TMH than younger patients. We sought to examine factors associated with older veterans receiving TMH consultations in acute, unscheduled, outpatient settings to identify limitations in the current process.

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Addressing System and Clinician Barriers to Emergency Department-initiated Buprenorphine: An Evaluation of Post-intervention Physician Outcomes

Jacqueline J. Mahal, MD, MBA

Emergency departments (ED) are in the unique position to initiate buprenorphine, an evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). However, barriers at the system and clinician level limit its use. We describe a series of interventions that address these barriers to ED-initiated buprenorphine in one urban ED. We compare post-intervention physician outcomes between the study site and two affiliated sites without the interventions.

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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.