UMEM Educational Pearls

Running a successful resuscitation not only means doing everything right, but also remembering all the things that can go wrong. A.E.I.O.U. is a simple mnemonic that can help you remember the simple things that are sometimes forgotten during a medical resuscitation.

AAdvanced airway equipment to bedside, as well as checking the correct placement of the Airway if a patient is intubated in the field. Also consider adding another A, for Arterial line; early placement can help with pulse checks and an accurate assessment of blood pressure should there be return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC); the femoral site is fast and accurate.

EEnd-tidal CO2 (ETCO2) helps detect ROSC. Ask for the ETCO2 monitor to be set up right after you receive notification of an arrest in transit; ETCO2 requires time to set-up / calibrate

IIntraosseous line(s); compared to peripheral or central venous access, IO’s are faster, safer, and any medication can be administered through it, including vasopressors / inotropes.

OOrder (i.e., “who’s who in the Resus room?); You may be the team leader or you may be assisting, but it is important that you, and everyone else in the room, know their role prior patient arrival. If you are leading the resus, be sure everyone knows who you are, and assign everyone in the room a specific task (e.g., chest compressions, IO placement, etc.). If you are assisting and have not been assigned a task, ask the resus leader what you can do to help. If there is nothing immediate for you to do then take the initiative to de-clutter the room and step outside; be nearby and ready to help, if needed.

UUltrasound; can help prognosticate and detect reversible causes (e.g., pericardial tamponade). Have the ultrasound machine in the room prior to patient arrival. It should be powered on, with the proper probe connected, and in the proper mode. The most experienced ultrasonographer should scan the patient during a pulse check; experience is vital because hands-off time should be minimized.


*Tips for the Resuscitationist (#TFTR) is a new series to help you to better manage your critically ill patients. Do you have an idea for a topic or do you have a tip you would like to share? Send it to us via twitter @criticalcarenow (use (#TFTR)). You can also email us here


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