Health Outcomes

Necrotizing Fasciitis Within 72 hours After Presentation with Skin and Skin Structure Infection

Rappo, U.

A small percentage of patients with skin infections later develop necrotizing fasciitis (NF). Diagnostic testing is needed to identify patients with skin infections at low risk of NF who could be discharged from the emergency department (ED) after antibiotic initiation. Elevated lactate has been associated with NF; existing estimates of the frequency of NF are based on retrospective reviews, and cases often lack testing for lactate. We present the incidence of patients with skin infections who developed NF and their baseline lactates.

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Risky Behavior: Hospital Transfers Associated with Early Mortality and Rates of Goals of Care Discussions

Brooten, JK.

Inter-hospital transfer (IHT) patients have higher in-hospital mortality, higher healthcare costs, and worse outcomes compared to non-transferred patients. Goals of care (GoC) discussions prior to transfer are necessary in patients at high risk for decline to ensure that the intended outcome of transfer is goal concordant. However, the frequency of these discussions is not well understood. This study was intended to assess the prevalence of GoC discussions in IHT patients with early mortality, defined as death within 72 hours of transfer, and prevalence of primary diagnoses associated with in-hospital mortality.

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Practice Gap in Atrial Fibrillation Oral Anticoagulation Prescribing at Emergency Department Home Discharge

Kea, B.

Current U.S. cardiology guidelines recommend oral anticoagulation (OAC) to reduce stroke risk in selected patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), but no formal AF OAC recommendations exist to guide emergency medicine clinicians in the acute care setting. We sought to characterize emergency department (ED) OAC prescribing practices after an ED AF diagnosis.

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Prevalence of Cigarette Smoking Among Adult Emergency Department Patients in Canada

Tolmie, AD.

Tobacco smoking is a priority public health concern, and a leading cause of death and disability globally. While the daily smoking prevalence in Canada is approximately 9.7%, the proportion of smokers among emergency department (ED) patients has been found to be significantly higher. The purpose of this survey study was to determine the smoking prevalence of adult ED patients presenting to three urban Canadian hospitals, and to determine whether there was an increased prevalence compared to the general public.

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Plastic Surgery Complications: A Review for Emergency Clinicians

Montrief, T.

The number of aesthetic surgical procedures performed in the United States is increasing rapidly. Over 1.5 million surgical procedures and over three million nonsurgical procedures were performed in 2015 alone. Of these, the most common procedures included surgeries of the breast and abdominal wall, specifically implants, liposuction, and subcutaneous injections. Emergency clinicians may be tasked with the management of postoperative complications of cosmetic surgeries including postoperative infections, thromboembolic events, skin necrosis, hemorrhage, pulmonary edema, fat embolism syndrome, bowel cavity perforation, intra-abdominal injury, local seroma formation, and local anesthetic systemic toxicity. This review provides several guiding principles for management of acute complications. Understanding these complications and approach to their management is essential to optimizing patient care.

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Point-of-care Ultrasound in Morbidity and Mortality Cases in Emergency Medicine: Who Benefits the Most?

Goldsmith, AJ.

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is an essential tool in the timely evaluation of an undifferentiated patient in the emergency department (ED). Our primary objective in this study was to determine the perceived impact of POCUS in high-risk cases presented at emergency medicine (EM) morbidity and mortality (M&M) conferences. Additionally, we sought to identify in which types of patients POCUS might be most useful, and which POCUS applications were considered to be highest yield.

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Age-adjusted and Expanded Lactate Thresholds as Predictors of All-Cause Mortality in the Emergency Department

Cannon, CM.

While numerous studies have found emergency department (ED) lactate levels to be associated with increased in-hospital mortality, little information is available on the role age plays in this association. This study investigates whether age is a necessary variable to consider when using lactate levels as a marker of prognosis and a guide for management decisions in the ED.

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Insurance Does Not Affect Adverse Events While Awaiting Surgery for Ankle Trauma in One System

Dobbins, AB.

Ankle injuries that are not properly cared for can have devastating effects on a patient’s health and ability to maintain an active lifestyle. Recommended outpatient surgery may be difficult to obtain for many groups of patients, including those without insurance or minority races. Patients who are of low socioeconomic status also have worse outcomes following trauma. The purpose of this study was to examine whether insurance status impacts the number of adverse events that patients face prior to receiving surgical treatment following an emergency department (ED) visit for an acute ankle injury.

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Nicotine Patch Prescription Fulfillment Rates for Emergency Department Patients

Emerman, CL.

Smoking cessation has significant health benefits, and the emergency department (ED) can be an important venue for smoking cessation counseling. Nicotine replacement therapy with transdermal patches has been shown to be associated with smoking cessation in a variety of studies. This study evaluated fulfillment rates for prescriptions for nicotine replacement transdermal patches (NRT-P) from the ED.

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Utilization of Educational Videos to Improve Communication and Discharge Instructions

Wray, A.

When discharging a patient from the emergency department (ED), it is crucial to make sure that they understand their disposition and aftercare instructions. However, numerous factors make it difficult to ensure that patients understand their next steps. Our objective was to determine whether patient understanding of ED discharge and aftercare instructions could be improved through instructional videos in addition to standard written discharge instructions.

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Code Status Documentation Availability and Accuracy Among Emergency Patients with End-stage Disease

Russell, E.

Some patients with end-stage disease who may neither want nor benefit from aggressive resuscitation receive such treatment if they cannot communicate in an emergency. Timely access to patients’ current resuscitation wishes, or “code status,” should be a key metric of electronic health records (EHR). We sought to determine what percentage of a cohort of patients with end-stage disease who present to the emergency department (ED) have accessible, code status documents, and for those who do, how quickly can this documentation be retrieved.

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Study of Haloperidol for Abdominal Pain in the Emergency Department (SHAPE)

Knudsen-Lachendro, K.

Intravenous haloperidol has been shown to decrease milligram morphine equivalents (MME) of analgesia and reduce hospital admissions for diabetic gastroparesis. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether haloperidol decreases MME for the treatment of non-specific abdominal pain diagnoses in the emergency department (ED), including gastroparesis, cyclic vomiting, cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, and unspecified abdominal pain. The primary outcome compared the difference in MME between encounters. Secondary outcomes included admission rate, pain scores, length of stay, rescue therapy administration, and adverse effects.

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Evidence-Based Heatstroke Management in the Emergency Department

Rublee, C.

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.

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Effect of Blood Pressure Variability on Outcomes in Emergency Patients with Intracranial Hemorrhage

Tran, QC.

Patients with spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage (sICH) have high mortality and morbidity, which are associated with blood pressure variability. Additionally, blood pressure variability is associated with acute kidney injury (AKI) in critically ill patients, but its association with sICH patients in emergency departments (ED) is unclear. Our study investigated the association between blood pressure variability in the ED and the risk of developing AKI during sICH patients’ hospital stay.

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Diagnostic Uncertainty in Dyspneic Patients with Cancer in the Emergency Department

Hunold, KM.

Dyspnea is the second most common symptom experienced by the approximately 4.5 million patients with cancer presenting to emergency departments (ED) each year. Distinguishing pneumonia, the most common reason for presentation, from other causes of dyspnea is challenging. This report characterizes the diagnostic uncertainty in patients with dyspnea and pneumonia presenting to an ED by establishing the rates of co-diagnosis, co-treatment, and misdiagnosis.

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Four-factor Prothrombin Complex Concentrate for Reversal of Factor Xa Inhibitors versus Warfarin in Life-threatening Bleeding

Rech, MA.

Factor Xa (fXa) inhibitor reversal for life-threatening bleeding is controversial due to a lack of high-quality evidence. The purpose of this study was to determine the hemostatic efficacy of four-factor prothrombin complex concentrate (4F-PCC) for the reversal of fXa inhibitors compared to warfarin for life-threatening bleeding.

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Persistent and Widespread Pain Among Blacks Six Weeks after MVC: Emergency Department-based Cohort Study

Beaudoin, FL.

Blacks in the United States experience greater persistent pain than non-Hispanic Whites across a range of medical conditions, but to our knowledge no longitudinal studies have examined the risk factors or incidence of persistent pain among Blacks experiencing common traumatic stress exposures such as after a motor vehicle collision (MVC). We evaluated the incidence and predictors of moderate to severe axial musculoskeletal pain (MSAP) and widespread pain six weeks after a MVC in a large cohort of Black adults presenting to the emergency department (ED) for care.

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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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Inpatient Outcomes Following a Return Visit to the Emergency Department: A Nationwide Cohort Study

Tsai, CL.

Emergency department (ED) revisits are traditionally used to measure potential lapses in emergency care. However, recent studies on in-hospital outcomes following ED revisits have begun to challenge this notion. We aimed to examine inpatient outcomes and resource use among patients who were hospitalized following a return visit to the ED using a national database.

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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.