Doc number: 11 Abstract Background: Rupture of the spleen in the absence of trauma or previously diagnosed disease is largely ignored in the emergency literature and is often not documented as such in journals from other fields. We have conducted a systematic review of the literature to highlight the surprisingly frequent occurrence of this phenomenon and to document the diversity of diseases that can present in this fashion. Methods: Systematic review of English and French language publications catalogued in Pubmed, Embase and CINAHL between 1950 and 2011. Results: We found 613 cases of splenic rupture meeting the criteria above, 327 of which occurred as the presenting complaint of an underlying disease and 112 of which occurred following a medical procedure. Rupture appeared to occur spontaneously in histologically normal (but not necessarily normal size) spleens in 35 cases and after minor trauma in 23 cases. Medications were implicated in 47 cases, a splenic or adjacent anatomical abnormality in 31 cases and pregnancy or its complications in 38 cases. The most common associated diseases were infectious (n = 143), haematologic (n = 84) and non-haematologic neoplasms (n = 48). Amyloidosis (n = 24), internal trauma such as cough or vomiting (n = 17) and rheumatologic diseases (n = 10) are less frequently reported. Colonoscopy (n = 87) was the procedure reported most frequently as a cause of rupture. The anatomic abnormalities associated with rupture include splenic cysts (n = 6), infarction (n = 6) and hamartomata (n = 5). Medications associated with rupture include anticoagulants (n = 21), thrombolytics (n = 13) and recombinant G-CSF (n = 10). Other causes or associations reported very infrequently include other endoscopy, pulmonary, cardiac or abdominal surgery, hysterectomy, peliosis, empyema, remote pancreato-renal transplant, thrombosed splenic vein, hemangiomata, pancreatic pseudocysts, splenic artery aneurysm, cholesterol embolism, splenic granuloma, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, rib exostosis, pancreatitis, Gaucher's disease, Wilson's disease, pheochromocytoma, afibrinogenemia and ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Conclusions: Emergency physicians should be attuned to the fact that rupture of the spleen can occur in the absence of major trauma or previously diagnosed splenic disease. The occurrence of such a rupture is likely to be the manifesting complaint of an underlying disease. Furthermore, colonoscopy should be more widely documented as a cause of splenic rupture.
Background Whether enhanced prehospital volume therapy leads to outcome improvements in severely injured patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of prehospital volume therapy on the clinical course of severely injured patients with severe TBI. Methods Data for 122,672 patients from TraumaRegister DGU® (TR-DGU) was analyzed. Inclusion criteria were defined as follows: Injury Severety Score (ISS) ≥ 16, primary admission, age ≥ 16 years, Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) head ≥3, administration of at least one unit of packed red blood cells (pRBCs), and available volume and blood pressure data. Stratification based on the following matched-pair criteria was performed: group 1: prehospital volumes of 0-1000 ml; group 2: prehospital volumes of ≥1501 ml; AIS head (3, 4, 5 + 6 and higher than for other body regions); age (16-54, 55-69, ≥ 70 years); gender; prehospital intubation (yes/no); emergency treatment time +/− 30 min.; rescue resources (rescue helicopter, emergency ambulance); blood pressure (20-60, 61-90, ≥ 91 mmHg); year of accident (2002-2005, 2006-2009, 2010-2012); AIS thorax, abdomen, and extremities plus pelvis. Results A total of 169 patients per group fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Increasing volume administration was associated with reduced coagulation capability and reduced hemoglobin (Hb) levels (prothrombin ratio: group 1: 68%, group 2: 63.7%; p ≤ 0.04; Hb: group 1: 11.2 mg/dl, group 2: 10.2 mg/dl; p ≤ 0.001). It was not possible to show a significant reduction in the mortality rate with increasing volumes (group 1: 45.6, group 2: 45.6; p = 1). Conclusions The data presented in this study demonstrates that prehospital volume administration of more than 1500 ml does not improve severely injured patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Head trauma affects millions of Americans each year and has significant morbidity and economic costs to society. The objective of this study is to describe the epidemiology of head traumas presenting to emergency departments in the United States. The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program was queried to conduct a retrospective analysis of head traumas treated in U.S. emergency departments. 207,159 cases of nonfatal head trauma from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2011 were included in this study. An estimated 10,746,629 (95 % confidence interval: 8,368,720-13,124,537) head traumas were treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs) during the study period, averaging 2,149,326 cases annually. The annual injury rate per 10,000 population increased from 55.2 in 2007 to 85.4 in 2011, with the largest increases seen in children [less than or equai to]11 years of age and in adults >65 years of age. Traffic-related head trauma accounted for an estimated 1,819,824 visits to U.S. EDs over the study period and was associated with a 1.74 times greater risk of a hospital admission compared to injuries due to non-traffic-related causes. Assaults (95.9 %) were the most common reason for head trauma in cases where injury intent was documented, and 16.9 % of assault-related head trauma occurred in children 0-17 years of age. When analyzed separately from other head traumas, concussions increased by 37.5 % over the study period, and nearly a third (29.9 %) of all concussions were sports-related. The increase in the number and rate of head traumas treated in U.S. EDs warrants continued injury prevention efforts and improvements in injury nomenclature and surveillance.
Background The increasing burdens of trauma and time sensitive non-communicable disease in Addis Ababa necessitate a robust emergency medical care system. The objectives of this study were to assess the proportion of patients who used emergency medical services (EMS) and to quantitatively and qualitatively assess barriers to EMS utilization in Addis Ababa. Methods A cross-sectional quantitative and qualitative study was conducted on patients who visited five selected public hospitals in Addis Ababa with specific emergency conditions. Data were collected by trained nurses using a standardized questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression was done on cleaned and coded quantitative data using SPSS version 20. Thematic analysis was performed on the qualitative data. Ethical approval was obtained prior to the study. Results A total of 429 participants completed the survey with a non-response rate of 5.1%. The most common emergency scene was the home (n = 222, 51.8%) followed by road side (n = 159, 37.1%). Only 87(20.3%) patients arrived by ambulance, though a majority (53.4%) of participants recalled at least one access number for an ambulance service and 96.3% stated that ambulances were an important part of the continuum of care for their emergency condition. A higher proportion of participants believed that ambulance transportation is generally safer (n = 341, 78.5%) and faster (n = 298, 69.5%) than emergency transport by taxi or private car. Patients who were non-Amharic speaking had a negative association with arriving by ambulance (P = 0.001, OR 0.47; C.I, 0.31, 0.71). The median acceptable time to get the ambulance (according to respondent’s perception) was 16 min but actually perceived ambulance waiting time was 40 min. Conclusion EMS utilization in Addis Ababa is relatively low and emergency patients are instead being transported by taxi or private car. Perceived longer ambulance waiting time and language barriers may have contributed for low utilization. Findings of this study suggest an action to improve access by improving ambulance availability while simultaneously enhancing the public’s knowledge and perception of EMS in Addis Ababa.
Female drug users report poorer physical and mental health than male drug users. We describe female and male patients treated for acute recreational drug toxicity, and look for gender differences in clinical state, treatment, and toxic agents taken. Retrospective case series from a primary care emergency outpatient clinic and a hospital emergency department in Oslo, Norway. All patients treated for acute recreational drug toxicity from October 2013 through March 2015 were included, except patients with lone alcohol intoxication. Patients were grouped according to whether they had taken opioids or not, as a proxy differentiation between heavy drug users and party drug users. Data from the two clinical settings were analysed separately. In total, 2495 cases were included, 567 (22.7%) were women. Female patients were younger than males, median 31 vs 34 years (p < 0.001). On most comparisons of clinical variables there were no significant differences between genders. A larger proportion of females in the outpatient opioid group were hypotensive, 10.9% vs 3.9% (p < 0.001). Fewer females were intubated, none vs 21.1% (p = 0.019) in the hospital opioid group, and 6.4% vs 21.0% (p = 0.039) in the hospital non-opioid group. The proportion of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) poisoning was larger among females both at the outpatient clinic (14.4% vs 8.6%, p < 0.001) and at the hospital (60.3% vs 36.4%, p = 0.001), while the proportion of heroin poisoning was smaller among females at the outpatient clinic (37.1% vs 47.0%, p < 0.001). One in four patients treated for acute recreational drug toxicity were women. Female patients were younger, had more frequently taken GHB and were less frequently intubated. Otherwise, the gender differences regarding clinical state and treatment were small. Although female drug users are known to report poorer health than males, we did not find that women had a more severe clinical course than men when presenting with overdose.
Background Renal failure carries high mortality even in high-resource countries. Little attention has been paid to renal failure patients presenting acutely in emergency care settings in low-to-middle income countries (LMIC). Our aim was to describe the profile, management strategies and outcome of renal failure patients presenting with indications for emergent dialysis to an urban Emergency Department (ED) in a tertiary public hospital in Tanzania. Methods This was a prospective cohort study of consecutive patients (age ≥ 15 yrs) presenting to the Emergency Medicine Department of Muhimbili National Hospital from September 2017 to February 2018. All patients with renal failure and complications requiring acute dialysis were included. A structured data collection sheet was used to gather demographics, clinical presentation, management strategies and outcomes. Data were summarized with descriptive statistics. Logistic regressions were performed to determine factors associated with receiving dialysis and with mortality. Results We enrolled 146 patients, median age was 49 years (IQR 32–66 years), and 110 (75.3%) were male. Shortness of breath 67 (45.9%) and reduced urine output 58 (39.7%) were the most common presenting complaints. The most common complications were hyperkalemia 77 (53%), uremic encephalopathy 66 (45%) and pulmonary edema 54 (37%). All patients were hospitalized, and 61 (42%) received dialysis. Overall mortality was 39% (57 patients); the mortality in non-dialysed patients was 53% vs. 20% (p 1200umol/L (OR = 5.0 95%CI: 1.4–18.2), and not receiving dialysis (OR = 8.0, CI: 2.7–23.5). Female sex had a lower risk of dying (OR = 0.13, CI: 0.03–0.5). Conclusions In this ED in LIC, acute complications of renal failure created a need for ED stabilization and emergent dialysis. Overall in-hospital mortality was high; significantly higher in undialysed patients. Future studies in LICs should focus on identification of categories of patients that will do well with conservative therapy.
The substantial increase in cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in China over the last three decades warrants comprehensive preventive primary and secondary strategies. Prolonged prehospital delay (PHD) has been identified as a substantial barrier to timely therapeutic interventions for acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Despite worldwide efforts to decrease the patient's decision-making time, minimal change has been achieved so far. Here, we aim to describe the conceptual framework and methods and outline key data of the MEDEA FAR-EAST Study, which aimed to elucidate in-depth barriers contributing to delay in Chinese AMI-patients. Data sources of this multicenter cross-sectional observational study are a standardized bedside interview, a self-administered tailored questionnaire tool and the patient chart. PHD was defined as the main outcome and triangulated at bedside. Standard operation procedures ensured uniform data collection by trained study personnel. The study was ethically approved by Tongji-Hospital and applied to all participating hospitals. Among 379 consecutively screened patients, 296 (78.1%) fulfilled eligibility criteria. A total of 241 (81.4%) AMI-patients were male and 55 (18.6%) female. Mean age was 62.9 years. Prehospital delay time was assessed for 294 (99.3%) patients. Overall median PHD was 151 min with no significant sex difference. Symptom mismatch was present in 200 (69.7%) patients and 106 (39.0%) patients did not attribute their symptoms to cardiac origin. A total of 33 (12.4%) patients suffered from depression, 31 (11.7%) from anxiety and 141 (53.2%) patients employed denial as their major coping style. This is the first study on prehospital delay with emphasis on psychological variables in Chinese AMI-patients. A comprehensive assessment tool to measure clinical and psychological factors was successfully implemented. Socio-demographic key data proved a good fit into preexisting Chinese literature. Potential barriers including cardiac denial and symptom-mismatch were assessed for the first time in Chinese AMI-patients. The pretested selection of instruments allows future in depth investigations into barriers to delay of Chinese AMI-patients and enables inter-cultural comparisons.
Background The aim of the present review is to assess the effectiveness of ultrasound (US) in the detection of upper and lower limb bone fractures in adults compared to a diagnostic gold standard available in secondary and tertiary care centres (e.g. radiography, CT scan or MRI). Methods The review followed PRISMA guidelines and used a database-specific search strategy with Medline, EMBASE and The Cochrane Library plus secondary sources (see supplementary material for completed PRISMA checklist). Diagnostic performance of ultrasound was assessed with a qualitative synthesis and a meta-analysis of two data subgroups. Results Twenty-six studies were included (n = 2360; fracture prevalence =5.3 % to 75.0%); data were organised into anatomical subgroups, two of which were subjected to meta-analysis. Sensitivity and specificity ranged from 42.11 − 100% and 65.0 − 100%, with the highest diagnostic accuracy in fractures of the foot and ankle. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of US was 0.93 and 0.92 for upper limb fractures (I2 = 54.7 % ; 66.3%), and 0.83 and 0.93 for lower limb fractures (I2 = 90.1 % ; 83.5%). Conclusion Ultrasonography demonstrates good diagnostic accuracy in the detection of upper and lower limb bone fractures in adults, especially in fractures of the foot and ankle. This is supported by pooled analysis of upper and lower limb fracture subgroups. Further research in larger populations is necessary to validate and strengthen the quality of the available evidence prior to recommending US as a first-line imaging modality for prehospital use. Trial registration The protocol is registered with the PROSPERO International register of systematic reviews: ID = CRD42017053640.
Background This descriptive study compared 2014–15 to 2005–06 data on the quality of mental health services (MHS) in relation to emergency room (ER) use to assess the impact of the 2005 Quebec MH reform regarding access, continuity and appropriateness of care for patients with mental illnesses (PMI). Methods Data emanated from the Quebec Integrated Chronic Disease Surveillance System (Quebec/Canada). Participants (865,255 for 2014–15; 817,395 for 2005–06) were age 12 or over, with at least one MI, including substance use disorders (SUD), diagnosed during an ER visit, outpatient treatment or hospitalization. Variables included: access (ER use/frequency, hospitalization rates, outpatient consultations preceding an ER visit), care continuity (outpatient consultations following an ER visit/hospitalization, consecutive returns to the ERs), and care appropriateness (high ER use, recurrence of yearly ER visits, length of hospitalization). Frequency distributions were calculated on sex, age and geographic area for ER visits/hospitalizations in 2014–15, and between 2014 and 15 and 2005–06. Results PMI accounted for 12 % of the Quebec population in 2014–15 (n = 865,255), of whom 39% visited an ER for any reason. Amount and frequency of ER use and number/length of hospitalizations were almost twice as high for PMI versus patients without MI; 17% of PMI were also high/very high ER users and were frequently hospitalized. Among PMI, ER users were also frequent users of outpatient services despite a lack of follow-up appointments after ER visits or hospitalizations. Findings revealed some positive changes over time, such as decreased ER and hospitalization rates; yet overall access, continuity and appropriateness of care, as measured in this study, remained low. Conclusions This study demonstrated that the Quebec reform did not produce a substantial impact on ER use or substantially improved care, as hypothesized. Better access and continuity of care should be promoted to reduce the high prevalence of ER use among PMI. Quality improvement in MHS may be realized if ERs are supported by substantial and well-integrated community MH networks.
Background Given the higher incidence of emergency conditions in older inhabitants, the global increase in aged population will pose a challenge for emergency services. In this study we examined the burden caused to emergency health care by the aged population. Methods Consecutive patients aged 80 years or over visiting a high-volume, collaborative emergency department (ED) between 2015 and 2016 were included. The key factors under analysis were the incidence of emergency conditions and costs associated with emergency care. Results A total of 6944 patients (median age 85 years, range 80–104 years; 67% female) aged ≥80 years representing 1.5% of the local population, made 17,769 ED visits during the two-year observation period accounting for 15% of all ED visits. Forty-two percent (n = 2884) of patients had a single ED visit, whereas 8.2% (n = 570) made ≥5 ED visits/year for a total of 1400 visits (7.9%). Thirty-two percent of those aged ≥80 years required ED services each year. The number of ED visits increased with age (p < 0.001); and was 768/1000 person-years among octogenarians and 1007/1000 among nonagenarians, in comparison to 233/1000 among those aged < 80 years. One in five of the study population were discharged with non-specific diagnoses. Typical diagnoses included pneumonia (4.8%), malaise and fatigue (4.5%) and heart failure (4.3%). Non-specific diagnoses were frequent, and examination of patients with non-specific diagnoses incurred costs similar to or higher than those of other patients. The mean cost per ED visit in older patients was 422 €. Conclusions We demonstrated a high incidence of emergency department visits in older patients. While our aim was not to solve how the growing demand should be met, it seems unlikely that increasing ED resources is feasible. Instead, the focus should be on chronic care of the aged and prevention of potentially avoidable ED visits.
Hyperoxia following out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is associated with a poor outcome. Animal data suggest the first hour post resuscitation may be the most important. In the UK the first hour usually occurs in the prehospital environment. A prospective controlled trial, cluster randomised by paramedic, comparing titrated oxygen with 100% oxygen for the first hour after return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) following OHCA. The trial was done in a single emergency medical services (EMS) system in the United Kingdom (UK) admitting patients to three emergency departments. This was a feasibility trial to determine whether EMS staff (UK paramedics) can be successfully recruited and deliver the intervention. One hundred and fifty seven paramedics were approached and 46 (29%) were consented, randomised and trained. During the study period 624 patients received a resuscitation attempt. A study paramedic was in attendance at 73 (12%) of these active resuscitations. Thirty-five patients were recruited to the trial, 32 (91%) were transported to hospital and 13 (37%) survived to 90 days. The intervention was initiated in 27/35 (77%) of enrolled patients. A reliable oxygen saturation trace was obtained in 22/35 (69%) of patients. Data collection was complete in 33/35 (94%) of patients. It may be feasible to complete a randomised trial of titrated versus unrestricted oxygen in the first hour after ROSC following OHCA in the UK. However, the relatively few eligible patients and incomplete initiation of the allocated intervention are challenges to future research. ISRCTN 49548506 retrospectively registered on 24.11.2016.
Background In low- and middle-income countries emergency surgery represents a higher proportion of the total number of surgeries and is associated with greater morbidity/mortality. Study aims were to determine if emergency department length of stay (ED-LOS) was associated with adverse perioperative outcomes and if such association varied across patient’s risk categories. Methods A retrospective cohort study was conducted of adult patients who underwent orthopedic or abdominal emergency surgery at two Colombian University hospitals. The population comprised a mix of a representative sample of eligible cases, with unselected patients (2/3), enriched with a high-risk subset (1/3). ED-LOS was defined as the interval between emergency department arrival and surgery start time. Our primary outcome was an adverse perioperative outcome during hospitalization, which was a composite of in-hospital mortality or severe complications such as major cardiovascular adverse events, infection, renal failure and bleeding. Results Among 1487 patients analyzed, there were 519 adverse perioperative outcomes including 150 deaths. In the unselected sample (n = 998) 17.9% of patients presented an adverse perioperative outcome with a mortality of 4.9%. The median ED-LOS was 24.6 (IQR 12.5–53.2) hours. ED-LOS was associated with age, comorbidities and known risk factors for 30-day mortality. Patients developing an adverse perioperative outcome started surgery 27.1 h later than their counterparts. Prolonged ED-LOS increased the risk of an adverse perioperative outcome in patients without risk factors (covariate-adjusted OR = 2.52), while having 1–2 or 3+ risk factors was negatively associated (OR = 0.87 and 0.72, respectively, p < 0.001 for the interaction). Conclusion Prolonged ED-LOS is associated with increased adverse perioperative outcome for patients without risk factors for mortality, but seems protective and medically justified for more complex cases.
Background Creating a patent airway by cricothyrotomy is the ultimate maneuver to allow oxygenation (and ventilation) of the patient. Given the rarity of airway management catastrophes necessitating cricothyrotomy, sufficiently sized prospective randomized trials are difficult to perform. Our Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) documents all cases electronically, allowing a retrospective analysis of a larger database for all cases of prehospital cricothyrotomy. Methods We analyzed all 19,382 dispatches of our HEMS ‘Lifeliner 1’, since set-up of a searchable digital database. This HEMS operates 24/7, covering ~ 4.5 million inhabitants of The Netherlands. The potential cases were searched and cross-checked in two independent databases. Results We recorded n = 18 cases of prehospital cricothyrotomy. In all 18 cases, less invasive airway techniques, e.g., supraglottic devices, were attempted before cricothyrotomy. With exception of 2 cases, at least one attempt of orotracheal intubation had been performed before cricothyrotomy. Out of the 18 cases, 4 were performed by puncture-based technique (Melker), the remaining 14 cases by surgical technique. Indications for cricothyrotomy were diverse, dividable into 9 trauma cases and 9 medical cases. The procedure was successful in all but one case (17/18, i.e., 94%; with a 95% confidence interval of 72.7–99.9%). Outcome was such that 6/18 patients arrived at the hospital alive. Long term outcome was poor, with only 2/18 patients discharged from hospital alive. Conclusions Cricothyrotomy remains, although rare, a regularly occurring requirement in (H)EMS. Our finding of a convincingly high success rate of 94% in trained hands encourages training and a timely performance of cricothyrotomy.
Background Globally, about 1.25 million people die annually from road trafficcollisions. Evidence from global safety report shows a decreasing trend of road traffic injury indeveloped countries while there is an increasing trend in many developing countriesincluding Ethiopia. This study is aimed at assessing factors affecting injury severity levels of road traffic collision victims referred to selected public hospitals in Addis Ababa based on the Haddon Matrix. Methods Ahospital-based cross-sectional study designwas implemented to randomly select a total of 363 road traffic collision victims. The collected data was cleaned andentered into Epidata version 3.1 and exported to SPSS Version 21 for analysis. Bivariate and multivariate logisticregression models were used to examine the association between explanatory and outcome variables. Results A total of 363 individual sustained road traffic injuries were included to the study. Theprevalence of severe injury among road traffic accident victims was 36.4%. The following variables were significantly associated with increased injury severity: motorbike rider or motorbike passenger without helmet, adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 4.7(95% CI: 1.04–21.09); driving under the influence of alcohol, crude odds ratio (COR) 2.64(95% CI;1.23–5.64); victim with multiple injuries, AOR 3.88(95% CI: 2.26–6.65); vehicle size, AOR 2.14(95% CI: 1.01–4.52); collision in dark lighting condition, AOR 1.93(95% CI: 1.01–3.65); collision in cross city/rural, AOR 1.95(95% CI: 1.18–3.24) and vehicle occupant travelling unrestrained on the back of a truck, AOR3.9 (95% CI: 1.18–12.080). On the other hand, victims extricated at the scene by health care professional, AOR 0.33(95% CI: 0.13–0.83); victims extricated at the scene by police AOR 0.47(95% CI: 0.24–0.94); strict traffic police control at the scene of the collision, AOR 0.49(95% CI: 0.27–0.88) were significantly associated with less severe injuries. Conclusions Findings reported in this paper suggest the need forimmediate and pragmatic steps to be taken to curb the unnecessary loss of livesoccurring on the roads. In particular, there is urgent need to introduce road safety interventions.
Background Prehospital emergency care has developed rapidly during the past decades. The care is given in a complex context which makes prehospital care a potential high-risk activity when it comes to patient safety. Patient safety in the prehospital setting has been only sparsely investigated. The aims of the present study were 1) To investigate the incidence of adverse events (AEs) in prehospital care and 2) To investigate the factors contributing to AEs in prehospital care. Methods We used a retrospective study design where 30 randomly selected prehospital medical records were screened for AEs each month in three prehospital organizations in Sweden during a period of one year. A total of 1080 prehospital medical records were included. The record review was based on the use of 11 screening criteria. Results The reviewers identified 46 AEs in 46 of 1080 (4.3%) prehospital medical records. Of the 46 AEs, 43 were classified as potential for harm (AE1) (4.0, 95% CI = 2.9–5.4) and three as harm identified (AE2) (0.3, 95% CI = 0.1–0.9). However, among patients with a life-threatening condition (priority 1), the risk of AE was higher (16.5%). The most common factors contributing to AEs were deviations from standard of care and missing, incomplete, or unclear documentation. The most common cause of AEs was the result of action(s) or inaction(s) by the emergency medical service (EMS) crew. Conclusions There were 4.3 AEs per 100 ambulance missions in Swedish prehospital care. The majority of AEs originated from deviations from standard of care and incomplete documentation. There was an increase in the risk of AE among patients who the EMS team assessed as having a life-threatening condition. Most AEs were possible to avoid.
Background Management of spontaneous pneumothorax (SP) is still subject to debate. Although encouraging results of recent studies about outpatient management with chest drains fitted with a one-way valve, no data exist concerning application of this strategy in real life conditions. We assessed how SP are managed in Emergency departments (EDs), in particular the role of outpatient management, the types of interventions and the specialty of the physicians who perform these interventions. Methods From June 2009 to May 2013, all cases of spontaneous primary (PSP) and spontaneous secondary pneumothorax (SSP) from EDs of 14 hospitals in France were retrospectively included. First line treatment (observation, aspiration, thoracic drainage or surgery), type of management (admitted, discharged to home directly from the ED, outpatient management) and the specialty of the physicians were collected from the medical files of the ED. Results Among 1868 SP included, an outpatient management strategy was chosen in 179 PSP (10%) and 38 SSP (2%), mostly when no intervention was performed. Only 25 PSP (1%) were treated by aspiration and discharged to home after ED admission. Observation was the chosen strategy for 985 patients (53%). In 883 patients with an intervention (47%), it was performed by emergency physicians in 71% of cases and thoracic drainage was the most frequent choice (670 patients, 76%). Conclusions Our study showed the low level of implementation of outpatient management for PS in France. Despite encouraging results of studies concerning outpatient management, chest tube drainage and hospitalization remain preponderant in the treatment of SP.
Background Decision-making concerning the limitation of potentially life-prolonging treatments is often challenging, particularly in the Emergency Department (ED). Current literature in this area of Emergency Medicine is limited and heterogeneous. We seek to determine the factors that influence ceiling of treatment institution in the ED. Methods We conducted a phenomenological qualitative study employing semi-structured interviews. Emergency Medicine Consultants were recruited via a sample of convenience from 5 hospitals in the West of Scotland. Data saturation was achieved after 15 interviews. Interviews were recorded, anonymised, transcribed, coded, and an iterative thematic analysis was carried out. Results A model was created to illustrate the identified themes. Patient wishes are central to decision-making. Acute clinical factors and patient-specific factors lay the foundations of ceiling of treatment decisions. This is heavily contextualised by family input, collateral information, anticipated outcome, and whether the patient is accepted for higher care. This decision-making process flows through a ‘filter’ of cultural and environmental factors. The overarching nature of patient benefit was found to be of key importance, framing all aspects of ceiling of treatment institution. Ultimately, all ceiling of treatment decisions result in one of three common patient pathways: full escalation, limited escalation, and maintenance of current care with the option of palliative care initiation. Conclusions We present a conceptual model composed of 10 major thematic factors that influence Consultant ceiling of treatment decision-making in the ED. Clinicians should be cognizant of influential factors and associated biases when making these important and challenging decisions.
Community Paramedics (CPs) require access to timely blood analysis in the field to guide treatment and transport decisions. Point of care testing (POCT), as opposed to laboratory analysis, may offer a solution, but limited research exists on CP POCT. The purpose of this study was to compare the validity of two devices (Abbott i-STAT® and Alere epoc®) by CPs in the community. In a CP programme responding to 6000 annual patient care events, a split sample validation of POCT against traditional laboratory analysis for seven analytes (sodium, potassium, chloride, creatinine, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and glucose) was conducted on a consecutive sample of patients. The difference of proportion of discrepant results between POCT and laboratory was compared using a two sample proportion test. Usability was analysed by survey of CP experience, a linear mixed effects model of Systems Usability Scale (SUS) adjusted for CP clinical and POCT experience, an expert heuristic evaluation of devices, a review of device-logged errors, and coded observations of POCT use during quality control testing. Of 1649 episodes of care screened for enrollment, 174 required a blood draw, with 108 episodes (62.1%) enrolled from 73 participants. Participants had a mean age of 58.7 years (SD16.3); 49% were female. In 4 of 646 (0.6%) comparisons, POCT reported a critical value but the laboratory did not; with no statistically significant (p = 0.323) difference between i-STAT® (0.9%;95%CI:0.0,1.9%) compared with epoc® (0.3%;95%CI:0.0,0.9%). There were no instances of the laboratory reporting a critical value when POCT did not. In 88 of 1046 (8.4%) comparisons the a priori defined acceptable difference between POCT and the laboratory was exceeded; occurring more often in epoc® (10.7%;95%CI:8.1,13.3%) compared with i-STAT® (6.1%;95%CI:4.1,8.2%)(p = 0.007). Eighteen of 19 CP surveys were returned, with 11/18 (61.1%) preferring i-STAT® over epoc®. The i-STAT® had a higher mean SUS score (higher usability) compared with epoc® (84.0/100 vs. 59.6/100; p = 0.011). There were no statistically significant differences in device logged errors between i-STAT® and epoc® (p = 0.063). CP programmes can expect clinically valid results from POCT. Device usability assessments should be considered with any local implementation as the two POCT systems have different strengths.
Background Acute abdominal pain accounts for about 10% of emergency department visits and has progressively become the primary indication for CT scanning in most centers. The goal of our study is to identify biological or clinical variables able to predict or rule out significant pathology (conditions requiring urgent medical or surgical treatment) on abdominal CT in patients presenting to an emergency department with acute abdominal pain. Methods This was a retrospective cohort study performed in the emergency department of an academic center with an annual census of 60′000 patients. One hundred and-nine consecutive patients presenting with an acute non-traumatic abdominal pain, not suspected of appendicitis or renal colic, during the first semester of 2013, who underwent an abdominal CT were included. Two medical students, completing their last year of medical school, extracted the data from patients’ electronic health record. Ambiguities in the formulations of clinical symptoms and signs in the patients’ records were solved by consulting a board certified emergency physician. Nine clinical and biological variables were extracted: shock index, peritonism, abnormal bowel sounds, fever (> 38 °C), intensity and duration of the pain, leukocytosis (white blood cell count >11G/L), relative lymphopenia (< 15% of total leukocytes), and C-reactive Protein (CRP). These variables were compared to the CT results (reference standard) to determine their ability to predict a significant pathology. Results Significant pathology was detected on CT in 71 (65%) patients. Only leukocytosis (odds ratio 3.3, p = 0.008) and relative lymphopenia (odds ratio 3.8, p = 0.002) were associated with significant pathology on CT. The joint presence of these two anomalies was strongly associated with significant pathology on CT (odds ratio 8.2, p = 0.033). Leukocytosis with relative lymphopenia had a specificity of 89% (33/37) and sensitivity of 48% (33/69) for the detection of significant pathology on CT. Conclusion The high specificity of the association between leukocytosis and relative lymphopenia amongst the study population suggests that these parameters would be sufficient to justify an emergency CT. However, none of the parameters could be used to rule out a significant pathology.
Background Pregnancy constitutes a significant factor in thyroid hypertrophy and can rarely progress to respiratory distress. We describe case of pregnant woman with acute respiratory distress following a tracheal compression due to goiter, quickly resulting in respiratory arrest, requiring emergency orotracheal intubation and thyroidectomy. Case presentation A pregnant woman with a growing goiter was referred to the hospital with a respiratory difficulty. During the examination, we found a large homogeneous goiter. The patient showed signs of respiratory exhaustion with bradypnea and pulmonary auscultation revealing decreased ventilation of the two pulmonary fields. The evolution quick led to respiratory arrest. The patient was rapidly intubated, which saved her. A thoracic computed tomography was performed and revealed a large goiter, compressing the trachea in its thoracic area and oppressing the vascular structures. Obstetrical ultrasound was normal. Thyroidectomy was decided after the patient’s preparation. After 24 h, the patient was successfully extubated without incident and the postoperative period was uneventful. Conclusion Airway obstruction during pregnancy secondary to goiter is rare but can be fatal. Early diagnosis might have avoided the evolution towards the respiratory failure. Prevention requires early surgery preferably before pregnancy or in our case a surgery in the second trimester.