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Journal: The American journal of emergency medicine


The primary objective was to determine the relationship between advanced age and need for admission from an emergency department (ED) observation unit. The secondary objective was to determine the relationship between initial ED vital signs and admission.

Concepts: Vital signs, Gerontology, Ageing, Primary education, Gymnasium


Red cell distribution width (RDW) is associated with mortality in both the general population and in patients with certain diseases. However, the relationship between RDW and mortality in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association of RDW with mortality in patients with CAP.

Concepts: Medical terms, Pneumonia, Demography, The Association, Red blood cell distribution width


Health care support occupations have an assault-injury rate nearly 10 times the general sector. Emergency departments (EDs) are at greatest risk of such events.

Concepts: Time, Health care, Health


OBJECTIVE: The axillary vein is an easily accessible vessel that can be used for ultrasound-guided central vascular access and offers an alternative to the internal jugular and subclavian veins. The objective of this study was to identify which transducer orientation, longitudinal or transverse, is better for imaging the axillary vein with ultrasound. METHODS: Emergency medicine physicians at an inner-city academic medical center were asked to cannulate the axillary vein in a torso phantom model. They were randomized to start with either the longitudinal or transverse approach and completed both sequentially. Participants answered questionnaires before and after the cannulation attempts. Measurements were taken regarding time to completion, success, skin punctures, needle redirections, and complications. RESULTS: Fifty-seven operators with a median experience of 85 ultrasound procedures (interquartile range, 26-120) participated. The frequency of first-attempt success was 39 (0.69) of 57 for the longitudinal method and 21 (0.37) of 57 for the transverse method (difference, 0.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.12-0.51 [P = .001]); this difference was similar regardless of operator experience. The longitudinal method was associated with fewer redirections (difference, 1.8; 95% CI, 0.8-2.7 [P = .0002]) and skin punctures (difference, 0.3; 95% CI, -2 to +0.7 [P = .07]). Arterial puncture occurred in 2 of 57 longitudinal and 7 of 57 transverse attempts; no pleural punctures occurred. For successful attempts, the time spent was 24 seconds less for the longitudinal method (95% CI, 3-45 [P = .02]). CONCLUSIONS: The longitudinal method of visualizing the axillary vein during ultrasound-guided venous access is associated with greater first-attempt success, fewer needle redirections, and a trend of fewer arterial punctures compared with the transverse orientation.

Concepts: Blood vessel, Artery, Vein, Internal jugular vein, Subclavian vein, Subclavian artery, Axillary vein


BACKGROUND: Stylet use during endotracheal intubation (ETI) is variable across medical specialty and geographic location; however, few objective data exist regarding the impact of stylet use on ETI performance. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the impact of stylet use on the time required to perform ETI in cases of simulated difficult airways in novice and experienced providers. METHODS: We performed a prospective, randomized observational study of experienced (attending anesthesiologists and emergency physicians) vs inexperienced airway providers (emergency medical technician, paramedic and medical students) comparing the use of stylet vs no stylet in random order using a simulated difficult airway. The primary outcome was attempt time for each of 6 attempts defined as entry of the laryngoscope in the mouth until successfully passing the endotracheal tube past the vocal cords. We analyzed the data using descriptive statistics including means with SDs and t tests. We used generalized estimating equations to evaluate potential changes in the attempt time over multiple attempts. RESULTS: There were 23 providers per group. The mean (SD) inexperienced attempt time in seconds was 25.88 (28.46) and 10.50 (5.47) for experienced providers (P < .0001). Stylet use did not alter attempt time for either group. When adjusting for stylet use, the attempt time did not change over repeated intubations (P = .541). When adjusting for experience status, inexperienced intubators had shorter attempt times with each successive trial, whereas experienced intubators attempt times remained constant (P < .001). CONCLUSION: Stylet use does not improve attempt time in a simulated difficult airway model for either inexperienced or experienced intubators.

Concepts: Medicine, Endotracheal tube, Experience, Philosophy of science, Intubation, Emergency medical services, Emergency medical technician, Oropharyngeal airway


This randomized clinical trial compares the efficacy and safety of oral oxycodone (an oral opioid) with naproxen (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) in acute pain control in patients with soft tissue injury. It also evaluates the need for additional doses of analgesics in the first 24 hours of discharge from emergency department (ED).

Concepts: Opioid, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Analgesic, Celecoxib, Naproxen


For emergency department (ED) patients with acute exacerbations of heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), we aimed to assess the adherence to evidence-based care and determine the proportion that experienced adverse events.

Concepts: Asthma, Medical terms, Pneumonia, Hospital, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Chronic bronchitis


The aim of present study was to determine the reliability of the dipstick values (protein, glucose, and pH) for differentiation of exudate from transudate ascites in comparison with the serum-ascites albumin gradient as criterion standard. A total of 100 patients with ascites (58 males and 42 females; mean age, 55.6 ± 16.1 years) were studied for the different causes of ascites. Peripheral blood samples were obtained, and at the same time, the patients underwent paracentesis. There were 62 cases (62.0%) of transudate ascites and 38 (38.0%) of exudates ascites, based on serum-ascites albumin gradient. Using logistic regression, we found a dipstick equation (K = 0.012Protein - 0.012Glucose - 3.329pH + 23.498) to differentiate transudate (K < 0) from exudate (K > 0) ascites. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of dipstick equation to diagnose ascites as transudate and exudate were 93.8%, 94.4%, 96.8%, and 89.5%, respectively, and 94.4%, 93.9%, 89.5%, and 96.9%, respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.915 (95% confidence interval, 0.848-0.982; P < .001). We concluded that the dipstick can be an inexpensive, rapid, and simple option for categorizing ascites into transudate and exudate and can be used routinely for this purpose in clinical practice.

Concepts: Blood, Positive predictive value, Negative predictive value, Sensitivity and specificity, Ascites, Binary classification, Biostatistics, Exudate


BACKGROUND: Nontraumatic impaired consciousness is a common issue in emergency departments with a serious but widely variable prognosis. STUDY OBJECTIVES: The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the ability of systematic combined noncontrast computed tomography (NCCT)/computed tomography angiography (CTA) imaging, firstly to provide a neurologic prognosis and secondly to ensure early detection of basilar artery occlusion (BAO), in unexplained nontraumatic impaired consciousness management. METHODS: Combined NCCT/CTA imaging was performed on 65 patients with impaired consciousness and no history of trauma prospectively over 14 months in a single center. Images were assessed based on visual and quantitative criteria. Clinical outcome was assessed using the modified Rankin Scale at 3 months. Statistical analysis aimed to identify the prognostic value of combined NCCT/CTA imaging and its ability for early BAO detection. RESULTS: This study shows that combined NCCT/CTA imaging was a significant predictor of poor neurological outcome, with a positive predictive value of 94.6%. The combination was also crucial for early detection of BAO, given that 42.8% of cases were misdiagnosed with NCCT alone. Basilar artery occlusion represented 10.8% of all unexplained nontraumatic impaired consciousness. CONCLUSIONS: Systematic combined NCCT/CTA imaging is an efficient tool for predicting poor neurologic prognosis in cases of unexplained nontraumatic impaired consciousness and is also essential for detecting BAO.

Concepts: Hospital, Medical imaging, Modified Rankin Scale, Neurology, Prognosis, Disability, Thought experiment, Barthel scale


We evaluate physician productivity using electronic medical records in a community hospital emergency department.

Concepts: Hospital, Surgery, Physician, Emergency department