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Journal: Open access emergency medicine : OAEM


Data on the incidence of in-flight medical emergencies on-board civil aircraft are uncommon and rarely published. Such data could provide information regarding required medical equipment on-board aircraft and requisite training for cabin crew. The aim of the present study was to gather data on the incidences, nature, and medical equipment for in-flight medical emergencies by way of a survey of physician members of a German aerospace medical society.

Concepts: Profession, Medical school, Licensure, Specialty, Pediatrics, Medicine, Physician, Airline


Bench press exercise, which involves repetitive lifting of weights to full arm extension while lying supine on a narrow bench, has been associated with complications ranging in acuity from simple pectoral muscle strain, to aortic and coronary artery dissection. A 39-year-old man, physically fit and previously asymptomatic, presented with acute chest pain following bench press exercise. Diagnostic evaluation led to the discovery of critical multivessel coronary occlusive disease, and subsequently, highly elevated levels of lipoprotein (a). Judicious use of ancillary testing may identify the presence of “high-risk” conditions in a seemingly “low-risk” patient. Emergency department evaluation of the young adult with acute chest pain must take into consideration an extended spectrum of potential etiologies, so as to best guide appropriate management.

Concepts: Bench press, Heart


Lactate measurement is the key component in septic shock identification and resuscitation. However, point-of-care lactate testing is not widely used due to the lack of access to nearby test equipment. Biomarkers such as serum lactate, anion gap (AG), and base excess (BE) are used in determining shock in patients with seemingly normal vital signs.

Concepts: Anion gap, Shock, The Key, Science fiction novels, Blood pressure, Septic shock, Vital signs


Patients can use numerous drugs that exist outside of existing regulatory statutes in order to get “legal highs.” Legal psychoactive substances represent a challenge to the emergency medicine physician due to the sheer number of available agents, their multiple toxidromes and presentations, their escaping traditional methods of analysis, and the reluctance of patients to divulge their use of these agents. This paper endeavors to cover a wide variety of “legal highs,” or uncontrolled psychoactive substances that may have abuse potential and may result in serious toxicity. These agents include not only some novel psychoactive substances aka “designer drugs,” but also a wide variety of over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and even a household culinary spice. The care of patients in the emergency department who have used “legal high” substances is challenging. Patients may misunderstand the substance they have been exposed to, there are rarely any readily available laboratory confirmatory tests for these substances, and the exact substances being abused may change on a near-daily basis. This review will attempt to group legal agents into expected toxidromes and discuss associated common clinical manifestations and management. A focus on aggressive symptom-based supportive care as well as management of end-organ dysfunction is the mainstay of treatment for these patients in the emergency department.

Concepts: Urgent care, Opioid, Hospital, Psychoactive drug, Emergency medicine, Recreational drug use, Drug, Pharmacology


Septic shock resuscitation bundles have poor compliance worldwide partly due to a lack of knowledge and clinical skills. High-fidelity simulation-based training is a new teaching technology in our faculty which may improve the performance of medical students in the resuscitation process. However, since the efficacy of this training method in our institute is limited, we organized an extra class for this evaluation.

Concepts: Education, Skill, Shock, Simulation, Improve, Learning, Cardiac arrest, Septic shock


The study of disaster triage is made difficult by the complex emotional response of potentially lifesaving intervention that a triage officer must make basing decisions on a succinct and efficient algorithm. A survey of triage professionals in international settings was designed to identify possible emotionally led bias that affects objective decision making in identifying victims most likely to benefit from immediate life support intervention. This survey suggests a lack of correlation between triage priority and predictable clinical outcomes as predicted by the Revised Trauma Score tool. Among the subjects, it was observed that a pediatric victim is uniformly overtriaged when compared to less injured victims.

Concepts: Emotion, Decision making


The present study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of morphine and meperidine (pethidine) as pain relief in opioid-dependent patients with acute pain. A total of 122 opioid-dependent patients with acute pain were included in the study. Their pain severity was assessed, using visual analog scale (VAS) scores ranging from 0 to 10. The patients randomly received intravenous morphine (up to 0.15 mg/kg) or meperidine (up to 1.5 mg/kg) for pain control by patient control analgesia (PCA) pump. The clinical opioid withdrawal scale (COWS) was employed for the assessment of withdrawal symptoms. The pain relief and the emergence of withdrawal symptoms were measured at 15, 30, and 60 minutes after drug administration. The patients who received morphine reported a better pain control compared to those who received meperidine (mean ± standard deviation [SD] VAS scores 4.11±1.90 vs 5.85±2.08 at the end of the study; P<0.001). On the other hand, the patients who received meperidine indicated prominent withdrawal symptoms (mean ± SD COWS scores 4.80±2.18 vs. 1.98±0.82 at the end of the study; P<0.001). Our findings revealed that morphine can be recommended in acute pain management of opioid-dependent patients. In addition, emergency physicians should ask their patients about any drug dependence before selecting the appropriate drug for their acute pain management.

Concepts: Suffering, Hydromorphone, Fentanyl, Drug addiction, Morphine, Heroin, Pain, Opioid