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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Balancing Efficiency and Access: Discouraging Emergency Department Boarding in a Global Budget System

Stryckman, B.

Reducing cost without sacrificing quality of patient care is an important yet challenging goal for healthcare professionals and policymakers alike. This challenge is at the forefront in the United States, where per capita healthcare costs are much higher than in similar countries around the world. The state of Maryland is unique in the hospital financing landscape due to its “capitation” payment system (also known as “global budget”), in which revenue for hospital-based services is set at the beginning of the year. Although Maryland’s system has yielded many benefits, including reduced Medicare spending, it also has had unintentional adverse consequences. These consequences, such as increased emergency department boarding and ambulance diversion, constrain Maryland hospitals’ ability to fulfill their role as emergency care providers and act as a safety net for vulnerable patient populations. In this article, we suggest policy remedies to mitigate the unintended consequences of Maryland’s model that should also prove instructive for a variety of emerging alternative payment mechanisms.

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Cervical Spine Injuries in Older Patients with Falls Found on Magnetic Resonance Imaging After Computed Tomography

Cushing, CH.

In this study we aimed to determine the rate of traumatic abnormalities on cervical spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after a normal cervical spine computed tomography (CT) in older patients with ground-level falls. We hypothesized that MRI is low yield following a normal physical examination and normal CT after a ground-level fall.

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Outcomes Associated with Lower Doses of Ketamine by Emergency Medical Services for Profound Agitation

Coffey, SK.

Ketamine is commonly used to treat profound agitation in the prehospital setting. Early in ketamine’s prehospital use, intubation after arrival in the emergency department (ED) was frequent. We sought to measure the frequency of ED intubation at a Midwest academic medical center after prehospital ketamine use for profound agitation, hypothesizing that intubation has become less frequent as prehospital ketamine has become more common and prehospital dosing has improved.

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Population Health Research Design

Enroller Experience and Parental Familiarity of Disease Influence Participation in a Pediatric Trial

Schunk, JE.

Acquiring parental consent is critical to pediatric clinical research, especially in interventional trials. In this study we investigated demographic, clinical, and environmental factors associated with likelihood of parental permission for enrollment in a study of therapies for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in children.

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A Multivariable Model of Parent Satisfaction, Pain, and Opioid Administration in a Pediatric Emergency Department

Donaldson, CD.

Children and adolescents are not impervious to the unprecedented epidemic of opioid misuse in the United States. In 2016 more than 88,000 adolescents between the ages of 12–17 reported misusing opioid medication, and evidence suggests that there has been a rise in opioid-related mortality for pediatric patients. A major source of prescribed opioids for the treatment of pain is the emergency department (ED). The current study sought to assess the complex relationship between opioid administration, pain severity, and parent satisfaction with children’s care in a pediatric ED.

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Cannabis in Homes with Children: A Survey on Use, Storage, and Attitudes

Gimelli, A.

The recent legalization of cannabis in California has the potential to affect cannabis prevalence in households with children. This eventuality, combined with suboptimal cannabis storage practices, could lead to adverse effects such as unintentional pediatric ingestion, which occurred in Colorado after legalization. Our objective was to assess prevalence and storage practices of cannabis in households with children, and attitudes on use and storage education in a state that has legalized cannabis.

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Toxicologic Exposures in California Emergency Departments in 2011 and Its Risk Factors

Loftipour, S.

Toxicologic exposures (TE) are a major preventable public health issue, with most cases due to unintentional causes. Although these cases are well documented and reported via the National Poison Data System, there is little information regarding toxicologic exposure cases in the emergency department (ED). The aim of this study was to identify demographic groups at risk for potential poisoning.

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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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Radiology Education Among Emergency Medicine Residencies: A National Needs Assessment

Villa, SE.

Radiology training is an important component of emergency medicine (EM) education, but its delivery has been variable. Program directors have reported a lack of radiology skills in incoming interns. A needs assessment is a crucial first step toward improving radiology education among EM residencies. Our objective was to explore the current state of radiology education in EM residency programs.

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Does the Medical Student Performance Evaluation Change the Decision to Invite Residency Applicants?

Thimm, TN.

Although emergency medicine (EM) residency program directors (PD) have multiple sources to evaluate each applicant, some programs await the release of the medical student performance evaluation (MSPE) to extend interview offers. While prior studies have demonstrated that MSPE content is variable and selectively positive, no prior work has evaluated the impact of the MSPE on the likelihood to invite (LTI) applicants for a residency interview. This study aimed to evaluate how information in the MSPE impacted LTI, with the hypothesis that changes in LTI would be relatively rare based on MSPE review alone.

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National Survey of Point-of-Care Ultrasound Scholarly Tracks in Emergency Medicine Residency Programs

Alerhand, S.

Residency scholarly tracks are educational programs, designed to help trainees develop an area of expertise. Although the breadth of residency point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) education has developed considerably in recent years, there is no literature to date describing scholarly tracks specifically in POCUS. In this study we sought to determine the prevalence, characteristics, and outcomes of POCUS scholarly tracks in emergency medicine (EM).

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Mobile Crisis Outreach and Emergency Department Utilization: A Propensity Score-matched Analysis

Vakkalanka, JP.

Mental health and substance use disorder (MHSUD) patients in the emergency department (ED) have been facing increasing lengths of stay due to a shortage of inpatient beds. Previous research indicates mobile crisis outreach (MCO) reduces long ED stays for MHSUD patients. Our objective was to assess the impact of MCO contact on future ED utilization.

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Endemic Infections

Impact of COVID-19 and Shelter in Place on Volume and Type of Traumatic Injuries

Murrett, J.

Very little is known about the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its associated social distancing practices on trauma presentations to the emergency department (ED). This study aims to assess the impact of a city-wide stay at home order on the volume, type, and outcomes of traumatic injuries at urban EDs.

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Endemic Infections

Mortality Variations of COVID-19 from Different Hospital Settings During Different Pandemic Phases: A Multicenter Retrospective Study

Chou, EH.

Diverse coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mortalities have been reported but focused on identifying susceptible patients at risk of more severe disease or death. This study aims to investigate the mortality variations of COVID-19 from different hospital settings during different pandemic phases.

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Endemic Infections

Efficacy of Various Facial Protective Equipment for Infection Control in a Healthcare Setting

Dinsmore, J.

The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has reinforced the importance of facial protection against droplet transmission of diseases. Healthcare workers wear personal protection equipment (PPE), including face shields and masks. Plastic face shields may have advantages over regular medical masks. Although many designs of face shields exist, there is a paucity of evidence regarding the efficacy of shield designs against droplet transmissions. There is even less published evidence comparing various face shields. Due to the urgency of the pandemic and the health and safety of healthcare workers, we aimed to study the efficacy of various face shields against droplet transmission.

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Endemic Infections

A Global Survey of Emergency Department Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mahajan, P.

Emergency departments (ED) globally are addressing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic with varying degrees of success. We leveraged the 17-country, Emergency Medicine Education & Research by Global Experts (EMERGE) network and non-EMERGE ED contacts to understand ED emergency preparedness and practices globally when combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Endemic Infections

Patient Perceptions of Drive-through Medical Treatment Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Stuart, S.

The cumulative burden of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the United States’ healthcare system is substantial. To help mitigate this burden, novel solutions including telehealth and dedicated screening facilities have been used. However, there is limited data on the efficacy of such models and none assessing patient comfort levels with these changes in healthcare delivery. The aim of our study was to evaluate patients’ perceptions of a drive-through medical treatment system in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Endemic Infections

Use of Telemedicine to Expedite and Expand Care During COVID-19

Shah, M.

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) created challenges with access to care including increased burden on healthcare systems and potential exposure risks for vulnerable patients. To address these needs, Rush University Medical Center created a virtual, urgent care program specifically designed to address these challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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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.