Collaboration and Decision-Making on Trauma Teams: A Survey Assessment

Sethuraman, KN.

Leadership, communication, and collaboration are important in well-managed trauma resuscitations. We surveyed resuscitation team members (attendings, fellows, residents, and nurses) in a large urban trauma center regarding their impressions of collaboration among team members and their satisfaction with patient care decisions.

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Patterns and Predictors of Firearm-related Spinal Cord Injuries in Adult Trauma Patients

Mahmassani, D.

Firearm-related spinal cord injuries are commonly missed in the initial assessment as they are often obscured by concomitant injuries and emergent trauma management. These injuries, however, have a significant health and financial impact. The objective of this study was to examine firearm-related spinal cord injuries and identify predictors of presence of such injuries in adult trauma patients.

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The FAST VIP (First Aid for Severe Trauma “Virtual” in-Person) Educational Study

Goolsby, CA.

Trauma is the leading cause of death for young Americans. Increased school violence, combined with an emphasis on early hemorrhage control, has boosted demand to treat injuries in schools. Meanwhile, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has made educating the public about trauma more difficult. A federally funded high school education program in development, called First Aid for Severe Trauma™ (FAST™), will teach students to aid the severely injured. The program will be offered in instructor-led, web-based, and blended formats. We created a program to prepare high school teachers to become FAST instructors via “virtual” in-person (VIP) instruction. We used a webinar followed by VIP skills practice, using supplies shipped to participants’ homes. To our knowledge, no prior studies have evaluated this type of mass, widely distributed, VIP education.

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Management of Minor Traumatic Brain Injury in an ED Observation Unit

Wheatley, MA.

Traumatic intracranial hemorrhages (TIH) have traditionally been managed in the intensive care unit (ICU) setting with neurosurgery consultation and repeat head CT (HCT) for each patient. Recent publications indicate patients with small TIH and normal neurological examinations who are not on anticoagulation do not require ICU-level care, repeat HCT, or neurosurgical consultation. It has been suggested that these patients can be safely discharged home after a short period of observation in emergency department observation units (EDOU) provided their symptoms do not progress.

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Concurrent Proximal Fractures Are Rare in Distal Forearm Fractures: A National Cross-sectional Study

Negaard, MD, et al.

Distal forearm fractures (DFF) account for 1.5% of emergency department (ED) visits in the United States. Clinicians frequently obtain imaging above/below the location of injury to rule out additional injuries. We sought to determine the incidence of associated proximal fractures (APF) in the setting of DFF and to evaluate the imaging practices in a nationally representative sample of EDs.

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Emergency Department Time Course for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Workup

Michelson, MD, et al.

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a common cause for visits to the emergency department (ED). The actual time required for an ED workup of a patient with mTBI in the United States is not well known. National emergency medicine organizations have recommended reducing unnecessary testing, including head computed tomography (CT) for these patients. To examine this issue, we developed a care map that included each step of evaluation of mTBI (Glasgow Coma Scale Score 13–15) – from initial presentation to the ED to discharge.

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Geospatial Clustering of Opioid-Related Emergency Medical Services Runs for Public Deployment of Naloxone

Dworkis, MD, PhD, et al.

An alternate approach would be to position naloxone kits where they are most needed in a community, in a manner analogous to automated external defibrillators. We hypothesized that opioid overdoses would show geospatial clustering within a community, leading to potential target sites for such publicly deployed naloxone (PDN).

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Asymmetrical Bilateral Hip Dislocation

Author Affiliation Bruce M. Lo, MD  Eastern Virginia Medical School, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, Norfolk, Virginia A previously healthy 36-year-old male who was a restrained driver presented with bilateral hip pain after a motor vehicle collision (MVC) put his vehicle in a ditch. On examination, the patient was alert and oriented […]

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Injury Outcomes

Riding the Escalator: How Dangerous is it Really?

Intro: About 10,000 escalator-related injuries per year result in emergency department treatment in the United States. Since the 1990s, a steady increase has been reported, but few statistics on escalator-related injuries have been published worldwide.
Conclusion: Escalator accidents can result in severe trauma. Significant gender differences in escalator accidents have been observed. Alcohol intoxication and age are significant risk factors in escalator-related accidents and might be possible targets for preventive measures.

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Bedside Ultrasound in a Case of Blunt Scrotal Trauma

This case study describes a patient who suffered blunt force trauma to the scrotum. Use of bedside emergency ultrasound facilitated early diagnosis of a ruptured testicle and allowed for prompt urological consultation and timely surgical repair. The utility of bedside emergency ultrasound in the evaluation of testicular trauma, as well as the outcome of our case, is discussed here.

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Clinician-performed Beside Ultrasound for the Diagnosis of Traumatic Pneumothorax

Intro: Prior studies have reported conflicting results regarding the utility of ultrasound in the diagnosis of traumatic pneumothorax (PTX) because they have used sonologists with extensive experience. This study evaluates the characteristics of ultrasound for PTX for a large cohort of trauma and emergency physicians.
Conclusion: In a large heterogenous group of clinicians who typically care for trauma patients, the sonographic evaluation for pneumothorax was as accurate as supine chest radiography. Thoracic ultrasound may be helpful in the initial evaluation of patients with truncal trauma.

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Unusual Cause of Cardiac Compression in a Trauma Patient: Cystic Thymoma

A 29-year-old man with sudden onset of dyspnea and chest pain with impairment of the general status after falling down from five meters was transferred to our emergency department. He was completely asymptomatic before the injury, but hypotensive (80/50 mmHg) and tachycardic (112 beats/minute) after the injury. Chest radiograph revealed a bulging cardiac silhouette on the right paracardiac region with an increased cardiothoracic ratio of 70%.

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Sonographic Consensual Pupillary Reflex

Patients suffering from severe orbital trauma are at risk for numerous complications, including orbital compartment syndromes. This can result in an afferent pupillary defect, which must be evaluated for on physical examination. Unfortunately, these at-risk patients are often challenging to examine properly due to surrounding edema. Point-of-care ultrasonography can be used as an adjunct to the standard examination in this situation.

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Injury Outcomes

Occult Pneumothoraces in Acute Trauma Patients

Introduction: Many traumatic pneumothoraces (PTX) are not seen on initial chest radiograph (CR) (occult PTX) but are detected only on computed tomography (CT). The primary objective of this study was to retrospectively determine the effectiveness of CR for detecting PTX in trauma patients.

Conclusion: Factors associated with PTX on CR included air in the soft tissue on CR and size of the PTX. Even when PTX is not apparent on CR, 44% of these PTXs received placement of a chest tube.

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Emergency Physician Estimation of Blood Loss

Emergency physicians (EP) frequently estimate blood loss, which can have implications for clinical care. The objectives of this study were to examine EP accuracy in estimating blood loss on different surfaces and compare attending physician and resident performance.

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Benefit of a Tiered-Trauma Activation System to Triage Dead-on-Arrival Patients

Author Affiliation Omar K Danner, MD Morehouse School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Atlanta, Georgia Kenneth L Wilson, MD Morehouse School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Atlanta, Georgia Sheryl Heron, MD, MPH Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia Yusuf Ahmed, MD King Saud University, Department of Epidemiology, College of Pharmacy, […]

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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


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.