UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Trauma

Title: Are anti-coagulated elderly head injured patients at risk for delayed intracranial hemorrhage?

Keywords: head injury, anticoagulation, delayed, intracranial, warfarin, DOAC, risk (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/18/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 2/19/2023) (Updated: 4/12/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

This study looked at 69,321 head injured patients over age 65 in a health care database for delayed intracranial hemorrhage (within 90 days of visit). 58,233 patients were not on oral anticoagulants, 3081 (4.4%) were on warfarin and 8007 (11.6%) were on direct oral anticoagulants. One percent of patients not on anticoagulation and those on oral direct anticoagulation had a delayed hemorrhage while those on warfarin had a 1.8% delayed hemorrhage rate.

 

Bottom Line: Direct oral anticoagulants do not increase the risk of delayed intracranial hemorrhage in patients over age 65 from baseline but warfarin does. 

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: Does purulent eye discharge need to be treated topically in pediatrics?

Keywords: conjunctivitis, pink eye, eye drops (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/17/2023 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 4/12/2024)
Click here to contact Jenny Guyther, MD

It is often difficult to clinically differentiate between viral and bacterial conjunctivitis, but previous studies have shown that the vast majority of the discharge is bacterial. Topical antibiotics are often prescribed, but the efficacy of these antibiotics compared to no treatment has not been well studied.
This study included 88 children aged 6 months to 7 years with acute infective conjunctivitis who were randomized to receive moxifloxacin eye drops, placebo eye drops or no intervention.  Acute infective conjunctivitis was defined as conjunctival inflammation, discharge, soreness or swelling of the eyelids.  The clinical cure was significantly shorter in the moxifloxacin group compared to the no intervention group (3.8 vs 5.7 days).  Both moxifloxacin and placebo eye drops had a shorter time to clinical cure compared to placebo suggesting that placebo eye drops may be beneficial due to their washout effect.
Bottom line: Topical antibiotics for acute infective conjunctivitis were associated with significantly shorter recovery times from acute infective conjunctivitis.

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Category: Critical Care

Title: High-dose Nitroglycerine in Sympathetic Crashing Acute Pulmonary Edema

Keywords: high dose, nitroglycerine, SCAPE, Sympathetic Crashing Acute Pulmonary Edema, flash pulmonary edema (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/14/2023 by Zach Rogers, MD
Click here to contact Zach Rogers, MD

Sympathetic Crashing Acute Pulmonary Edema (SCAPE) (also known as flash pulmonary edema) is an extreme form of hypertensive acute heart failure where a surge of high blood pressure from catecholamine surge and sudden vascular redistribution causes sudden onset decompensated heart failure hallmarked by rapid pulmonary edema and symptoms of hypoxia and dyspnea.

This is treated by systolic blood pressure control and venous vasodilation with IV nitroglycerine, bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP), and diuretics if needed. A common error in treatment is administration of the traditional IV nitroglycerine infusion dosing protocol in which the nitroglycerine infusion is started at 5 mcg/min and slowly increased by 5 mcg/min increments until the clinical response is seen. However, in this syndrome, rapid blood pressure control and correction of vascular redistribution is critically important to reverse the central factor for patient decompensation. Lack of blood pressure control places the patient at risk of further cardiac decompensation or respiratory failure ultimately requiring intubation.

Increasing literature has been published on the concept of high dose or push dose IV nitroglycerine for the treatment of this syndrome. Many of these studies show decreased rates of intubation, decreased ICU admissions, and shorter hospital length of stays with high dose or push dose nitroglycerine, while also demonstrating low risk of hypotension.

The actual dose of the high-dose nitroglycerine administered in these trials is variable, with some trials administering nitroglycerine 1-2 mg IV pushes every 3-5 minutes, and other trials using a nitroglycerine infusion at a much higher starting rate (between 200-400 mcg/min) with rapid down-titration as blood pressure is controlled.

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Category: Trauma

Title: Trauma Patients and Substance Use Disorders

Keywords: substance abuse, alcohol abuse, SBIRT, intervention, FACS (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/10/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 2/12/2023)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

In December 2022, The American College of Surgeons released a practice guidine discussing screening trauma patients for mental health disorders and substance use disorders. There is a very high likelihood that your acute trauma patient has a pre-existing disorder.

"Over 50% of hospitalized trauma patients report an alcohol and/or drug use diagnosis during their lifetime. At the time of admission, one in four trauma victims meet diagnostic criteria for an active alcohol use problem and 18% meet diagnostic criteria for a drug use problem".

Screening, Brief Intervention and Referal to Treatment (SBIRT) programs have a major impact on injury recidivism and future mortality. Trauma patients should be screened for mental health disorders and substance use disorders. 

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Category: Orthopedics

Title: Prolonged recovery from concussion

Keywords: concussion recovery, head injury, post concussive syndrome (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/11/2023 by Brian Corwell, MD (Updated: 4/12/2024)
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

 

Prolonged post-concussion symptoms are loosely defined as those lasting more than three or four weeks versus typical recovery, typically between 10-14 days. 

Athletes who take longer than "typical” to recover have a challenging road of uncertainty. Medical providers are asked to make informed decisions about “normal” and expected return based on limited information. 

Evaluating both athlete and parental expectations is challenging, especially when navigating difficult conversations about medical disqualification and permanently discontinuing their sport. 

A 2016 study of approximately 50 patients with sports-associated concussion who had persistent symptoms lasting greater than one-month found that a collaborative multidisciplinary treatment approach was associated with significant reduction in post concussive symptoms at six months versus usual treatment. 

A recent 2023 study in Neurology provides additional good news for athletes who are slow to recover from sports associated concussion. Approximately 1750 concussed collegiate athletes (diagnosed by team physician) were enrolled. In this study, slow recovery was defined as taking more than 14 days for symptoms to resolve OR taking more than 24 days to return to sport.  

Approximately 400 athletes met the criteria for slow recovery (23%).  

Male athletes participated primarily in football, soccer, and basketball.  

Female athletes participated primarily in soccer, basketball, and volleyball. 

Of the athletes who took longer than 24 days to return to play: 

77.6% were able to return to play within 60 days of injury, 

83.4% returned to play within 90 days, and 

10.6% did not return to play at 6 months. 

 

Slow to recover athletes averaged 35 days after injury for return to play. 

This study provides valuable information for medical providers: There is an overall favorable prognosis for slow to recover concussed athletes for return to school and sport. 

 

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Sodium Bicarbonate for Nonshockable OHCA

Keywords: sodium bicarbonate, bicarb, OHCA, cardiac arrest, CPR, resuscitation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/8/2023 by Kami Windsor, MD
Click here to contact Kami Windsor, MD

Question

 

Background: The use of sodium bicarbonate in the treatment of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) has been longstanding despite conflicting data regarding its benefit, outside of clear indications such as toxic ingestion or hyperkalemic arrest.

Study: A recent retrospective cross-sectional study by Niederberger et al.1 examined prehospital EHR data for ALS units responding to nonpregnant adults with nontraumatic OHCA, noting use of prehospital bicarb and the outcomes of 1) ROSC in the prehospital encounter and 2) survival to hospital discharge. They created propensity-matched pairs of bicarb and control patients, with a priori confounders: age, sex, race, witnessed status, bystander CPR, prearrival instructions, any defibrillation attempt, use of CPR feedback devices, any attempted ventilation, length of resuscitation, number of epi doses.

There were 23,567 arrests (67.4% asystole, 16.6% PEA, 15.1% VT/VF), 28.3% overall received sodium bicarb. 

Results: 

In the propensity-matched sample, survival was higher in bicarb group (5.3% vs. 4.3%; p=0.019).

  • Asystole (bicarb 3.3 vs 2.4%; p = 0.020)
  • PEA (bicarb 8.1% vs 5.4%; p=0.034)

There were no differences in rate of ROSC overall, but looking at the different rhythms, ROSC was higher in the bicarb group with asystole as the presenting rhythm (bicarb 10.6 vs 8.8%; p=0.013) but not PEA or VT/VF.

*There is no indication by the authors as to the dosing of bicarb most associated with survival to hospital discharge (or ROSC in asystole) in the study, however a previous study has indicated that a single amp of bicarb is unlikely to significantly improve severe metabolic acidosis (pH <7.1),2 so the general recommendation of at least 1-2mEq/kg should be employed.

Bottom Line: The use of sodium bicarb may increase survival in OHCA with initial PEA/asystole. The recommended initial dose is 1-2mEq/kg; giving at least 2 amps of bicarb (rather than the standard 1) should achieve this in many patients.

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Category: Trauma

Title: Zone Out! Penetrating neck trauma

Keywords: penetrating neck trauma, zones, hard signs, operative management (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/5/2023 by Robert Flint, MD
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

Question

The classic teaching regarding penetrating neck trauma is violation of the platysma muscle in zones 1 and 3 requires angiography, endoscopy and bronchoscopy.  Injury to zone 2 is an automatic operative evaluation. Now, more anatomic and physiologic signs dictate operative management and those not meeting these hard signs get evaluated with Ct angiography. 

 

Neck zones and hard vs soft signs available by clicking link

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Category: Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Title: C1-Esterase Inhibitor for ACE-Inhibitor Induced Angioedema

Keywords: Angioedema, ACE-inhibitor, C1-Esterase Inhibitor, ACEi, C1INH, Berinert (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/3/2023 by Wesley Oliver (Emailed: 2/4/2023) (Updated: 2/4/2023)
Click here to contact Wesley Oliver

ACE-inhibitor (ACEi) induced angioedema is mediated by bradykinin and there are no proven medications for the treatment of this disease. Theoretically, a C1-esterase inhibitor (C1INH) could be beneficial; however, data has not demonstrated any efficacy for these agents.  

Strassen et al. recently published a double-blind, randomized, controlled, multicenter trial of 30 patients comparing C1NH (Brand Name: Berinert) to placebo. In addition to standard treatment, a dose of C1INH (Berinert) 20 IU/kg or placebo (0.95% NaCl) was administered intravenously.

The primary endpoint was the time to complete resolution of signs and symptoms of edema (TCER). When compared to placebo, the original primary analysis demonstrated that the placebo arm (15 hours) resolved faster than the C1INH arm (24 hours, p=0.046).

This study is further evidence against the use of C1INH for ACE-inhibitor induced angioedema. The primary focus in the treatment of ACEi induced angioedema should continue to be airway management.

For reference, at our institution we have both C1INH (Berinert) and icatibant on formulary and they are restricted to only being used for acute hereditary angioedema attacks and cannot be used for ACEi induced angioedema.

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Otitis media is a common pediatric complaint seen in the primary care, urgent care, and ED settings. Recommendations for timing of treatment and deferral of treatment have emerged over the last several years, as have recommendations for regimens for recurrent infections in the age of resistant organisms.

When to consider observation over antibiotics:

  • If symptoms <48 hours, no severe pain, and fever < 39C and child is 2 years or older (either unilateral or bilateral AOM) OR unilateral AOM with symptoms <48 hours, no severe pain, and fever < 39C and child is 6 months to 2 years
  • If observing, consider either a prescription that parents can fill if symptoms persist or ensure prompt primary care follow up

Initial treatment

High dose amoxicillin (90 mg/kg/day divided BID)

  • If true penicillin allergy, can use cefdinir or cefpodoxime if tolerated or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or a macrolide (e.g. azithromycin) but rates of resistance are higher
  • Cefdinir and azithromycin are the most commonly used  
  • Levofloxacin is also an option for age >8 years

Recurrent Otitis Media

If less than 30 days from initial treatment, presumed to be persistent

  • If previously on amoxicillin, start amoxicillin-clavulanate (extra strength suspension has highest amoxicillin to clavulanate ratio and should be used)
  • If previously on amoxicillin-clavulanate, ceftriaxone either for 3 days or 2 doses 36 hours apart

If greater than 30 days from initial treatment can treat as new episode (so amoxicillin unless previous documented resistant infections)

Duration of Antibiotics

  • Less than 2 years, 10 days
  • 2 years and up, 5-7 days

Other Considerations

  • Amoxicillin-clavulanate should be used as an initial agent if there is concurrent purulent conjunctivitis
  • Children with tympanostomy tubes and purulent otorrhea may be treated with otic fluoroquinolones (with or without dexamethasone), as long as debris does not obstruct entry of antibiotic drops
  • Remember that the otic canal and TM can become red with fever and non-purulent effusion is common with URI
  • Remember to treat pain and fever!

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Norepinephrine + Dobutamine vs Epinephrine

Keywords: Vasopressors, Vasoactive agents, Norepinephrine, Dobutamine, Shock (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/31/2023 by Mark Sutherland, MD (Updated: 4/12/2024)
Click here to contact Mark Sutherland, MD

When managing a hypotensive patient who may have some element of cardiogenic shock, it has long been debated whether it is better to start an inodilator like dobutamine, and use a true vasopressor like norepinephrine to offset the vasodilation, or start an inopressor like epinephrine.  Currently, this is largely a practice pattern issue, with different providers and specialties tending to make different choices (in my anecdotal experience, medical intensivists tend to do norepi+dobutamine, whereas cardiac surgeons and intensivists tend to use epi).  

Banothu et al recently studied this question in children with "cold" septic shock (they do not specify how this was defined) and found quicker time to resolution of shock with norepi+dobutamine vs epinephrine.  It should be noted that this was a secondary outcome, was a small study, was in children (who I'm told are not just little adults), and no difference in mortality or patient oriented outcomes was found.  However, this is a good opportunity to review what is known on this topic:

-A small RCT in Lancet 2007 by Annane et al found no difference

-A very small RCT in Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 2002 by Zhou et al suggested norepi-dobutamine has favorable effects on gastric mucosa and tissue oxygenation relative to epi or dopamine

-A small RCT in Intensive Care Medicine 1997 similarly suggested that oxygenation in the splanchnic circulation may be better with norepi+dobut than epi.

 

Take Home: There is very limited evidence in either direction when choosing between an inodilator + vasopressor (e.g. norepi + dobutamine) vs single inopressor (e.g. epi) strategy for a hypotensive patient in which inotropy is desired.  There is some weak evidence that norepi + dobutamine may be better for maintaing gut oxygenation and may resolve shock faster.  Personally, I would weakly recommend norepi + dobutamine over epinephrine, but continuing to follow provider preference and go with the agent(s) you're most comfortable with is also very reasonable.  If using the inodilator/vasopressor combination, it is recommended to titrate the vasopressor (e.g. norepi) to MAP and inodilator (e.g. dobutamine) to a measure of cardiac function such as CO/CI.  

 

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Category: Trauma

Title: How to identify blunt cervical vascular injuries

Keywords: Blunt neck trauma, Denver criteria, expanded Denver Criteria, cervical trauma (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/29/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Updated: 4/12/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

Missing blunt cervical vascular injuries can lead to delayed catastrophic sequela such as stroke. Usie the epanded Denver criteria to help you identify these injuries.

 

Expanded Denver criteria for BCVI

-Signs/symptoms of BCVI

Potential arterial hemorrhage from neck/nose/mouth
Cervical bruit in patient less than 50 years old
Expanding cervical hematoma
Focal neurologic defect: TIA, hemiparesis, vertebrobasilar symptoms, Horner's syndrome
Neurologic deficit inconsistent with head CT
Stroke on CT or MRI


-Risk factors for BCVI

High-energy transfer mechanism
Displaced midface fracture (LeFort II or III)
Mandible fracture
Complex skull fracture/basilar skull fracture/occipital condyle fracture
Severe TBI with GCS less than 6
Cervical spine fracture, subluxation, or ligamentous injury at any level
Near hanging with anoxic brain injury
Clothesline type injury or seat belt abrasion with significant swelling, pain, or altered mental status
TBI with thoracic injuries
Scalp degloving
Thoracic vascular injuries
Blunt cardiac rupture
Upper rib fractures

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Category: Misc

Title: Hydration, aging and mortality

Keywords: hydration, mortality (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/28/2023 by Brian Corwell, MD
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

In a recent study in The Lancet, researchers at NIH attempted to test the hypothesis that optimal hydration may slow down the aging process. 

A large proportion of people do not consume the recommended fluid amounts. This has likely become worse with our masking during the pandemic.

Previous studies in a mouse model showed that water restriction, increasing serum sodium by 5 mmol/l, shortened the mouse lifespan by 6 months which corresponds to about 15 years of human life.

Population:  Data from Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study: an ongoing population-based prospective cohort study in which 15,792 45-66 year-old black (African American) and white men and women were enrolled from four US communities in 1987–1989 and followed up for more than 25 years.

Variables:  15 biomarkers and serum sodium (as a proxy for the hydration habits of study participants).

They attempted to exclude people whose serum sodium could be affected by factors other than the amount of liquids they consume. After these exclusions, 11,255 participants remained in the datase.

Authors also calculated ones biologic age by sampling 15 biomarkers characterizing performance of multiple organ systems and processes: cardiovascular (systolic blood pressure), renal (eGFR, cystatin-C, urea nitrogen, creatinine, uric acid), respiratory (FEV), metabolic (glucose, cholesterol, HbA1c, glycated albumin, fructosamine), immune/inflammatory (CRP, albumin, beta 2-microglobulin).

Conclusions: The analysis showed that middle age serum sodium >142 mmol/l is associated with a 39% increased risk to develop chronic diseases (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]:1.18–1.63) and >144 mmol/l with 21% elevated risk of premature mortality (HR = 1.21, 95% CI:1.02–1.45). People with serum sodium >142 mmol/l had up to 50% higher odds to be older than their chronological age (OR = 1.50, 95% CI:1.14–1.96).

Limitations:  Observational study. No firm conclusions without intervention studies.

Summary: Serum sodium concentration exceeding 142 mmol/l is associated with increased risk to be biologically older, develop chronic diseases and die at younger age.

Take home:  Drink more water

 

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Uncommon Causes of Shock

Posted: 1/24/2023 by Mike Winters, MD (Updated: 4/12/2024)
Click here to contact Mike Winters, MD

An Uncommon Cause of Shock

  • Sepsis is the most common cause of distributive shock encountered in the emergency department and intensive care unit.
  • Notwithstanding, it is important to consider other etiologies of shock, especially when the patient is not responding to resuscitation.
  • Adrenal crisis is one uncommon etiology of distributive shock whereby the diagnosis is often delayed.
  • Risk factors for adrenal crisis can include recent GI illness, thyrotoxicosis, recent surgery, and physical or psychological stress.
  • Patients often have nonspecific symptoms of generalized weakness, abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, and altered mental status.
  • Current guidelines recommend the administration of 100 mg of hydrocortisone in adults suspected of having adrenal crisis.   

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Category: Trauma

Title: Where and when should we intubate unstable trauma patients?

Keywords: trauma, unstable, intubation, arrest, resuscitate (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/22/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Updated: 4/12/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

At this month’s Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma annual meeting there was a presentation asserting that hemodynamically unstable trauma patients have worse outcomes when intubated in the emergency department vs the operating room. This was not a study diminishing the intubating skills of EM providers but a look at the fact that hemorrhaging patients will crash after intubation and if they are not in a position for immediate surgical intervention they will die. The loss of sympathetic tone, positive inter-thoracic pressure, loss of muscle tone as well as the agents used all contribute to peri-intubation arrest. This month’s EmCrit episode tackled this topic as well. 

 

Synthesizing all of the opinion and literature regarding hemodynamically unstable trauma patients requiring operative intervention the take home points are:

 

  1. Resuscitate with mass transfusion and TXA
  2. If the OR is ready, do nothing else but facilitate rapid transfer to the OR
  3. If there is a delay in going to the OR, carefully monitor the patent's work of breathing and CO2. If they are tiring or have normal or rising CO2 then intubate.
    1. Weingart suggests that Ketamine dissociative intubation is the safest and most physiologic neutral way to accomplish airway control in these patients. (A skill that must be practiced!)
    2. Consider push dose pressors at the time of intubation

 

Much of this is counter to historical teaching of early airway management on ED arrival. It certainly fits with recent literature supporting resuscitation prior to airway management whenever feasible. 

 

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Should EMS place an advanced airway in out of hospital cardiac arrests?  Current studies suggest that advanced airway management is not superior to BVM in pediatric out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).  

Pediatric OHCA carries a high mortality rate and those that do survive often have a poor neurologic outcome.  This study evaluated BVM vs supraglottic airway (SGA) placement vs endotracheal intubation (ETI) in relation to one month survival and favorable neurological outcomes.  SGA and ETI were also grouped together and categorized as advanced airway management (AAM).

This study was conducted using the Pan Asian Resuscitation Outcomes Study Clinical Research Network.  3131 pediatric patients were included.  85% received BVM, 11.8% SGA and 2.6 % ETI.  In a matched cohort, one month survival and survival with favorable neurological outcome was higher in the BVM group compared to the AAM group and in the BVM group compared to the SGA group.  There was no significant difference noted between the ETI group and BVM group.

Bottom line: In this study, AAM was associated with decreased one month survival and less favorable neurological status in pediatric OHCA.

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Category: Trauma

Title: Should we be giving antibiotics prior to or after chest tube insertion

Keywords: chest tube, antibiotics, tube thoracotomy, prophylaxis, meta-analysis, EAST (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/15/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Updated: 4/12/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

A systemic review and meta-analysis revealed that the literature and science surrounding timing and effectiveness of prophlactic antibiotic use in tube thoracotomy for trauma is not robust.  The heterogeneity of the antibiotics used, the duration of antibiotics and the nature of the trauma (majority penetrating) make it very difficult to give an iron clad recommendation. The authors conclusion, which is the practice management guideline from the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, ultimately was:

 

“We conditionally recommend that antibiotic prophylaxis be given at the time of insertion to reduce empyema in adult patients who require TT for traumatic hemothorax or pneumothorax.”

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Category: Misc

Title: Dont act your age

Keywords: Aging, mortality, physical activity (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/14/2023 by Brian Corwell, MD
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

Humor me and imagine that your birth certificate vanished, and your age was based on the way you feel inside. How old would you say you are (subjective age) versus your actual age?

In a few studies, those individuals reporting a younger subjective age had a lower risk of depression, greater mental well-being, better physical health, and a lower risk of dementia. These individuals also had improved episodic memory and executive functioning. Subjective age also predicts incident hospitalization.

Three longitudinal studies tracked more than 17,000 middle aged and elderly individuals.

Over a 20-year period, researchers tracked:  Subjective age, demographic factors, disease burden, functional limitations, depressive symptoms, and physical inactivity.

Researchers found that those who felt approximately 8, 11, and 13 years older than their actual age had an 18%, 29%, and 25% higher risk of mortality, respectively. They also had a greater disease burden even after controlling for demographic factors such as education, race and marital status. Multivariable analyses showed that disease burden, physical inactivity, functional limitations, and cognitive problems, but not depressive symptoms, accounted for the associations between subjective age and mortality.

This study provides evidence for an association between an older subjective age and a higher risk of mortality across adulthood. These findings support the role of subjective age as a biopsychosocial marker of aging. This may allow for early intervention for select individuals who may have a higher association with poor health outcomes.

Your subjective age can better predict your overall health than the date on your birth certificate.

 

 

 

 

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Category: Critical Care

Title: How point-of-care Ultrasound would change management of critically ill patients?

Keywords: thoracic ultrasound, critically ill, ICU, clinical management (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/10/2023 by Quincy Tran, MD (Updated: 4/12/2024)
Click here to contact Quincy Tran, MD

Title:

The Impact of Thoracic Ultrasound on Clinical Management of Critically Ill Patients (UltraMan): An International Prospective Observational Study

 

Settings: 4 hospitals (3 in Netherlands and 1 in Italy)

Participants: All adults patients who were admitted to the ICU but patients who died within 8 hours of thoracic ultrasound were excluded.

Thoracic ultrasound procedure: cardiac, lung, diaphragm, inferior vena cava. The main indicators were Respiratory, Cardiac and Volume status.

Study Results:

725 thoracic ultrasound examinations and 534 patients.  Clinical management occurred in 247 (88.5%) patients within 8 hours of ultrasound.

Thoracic ultrasound was performed by 111 operators, ranging from inexperienced to very experienced.

Common findings from thoracic ultrasound among these ICU patients.

  • Atelectasis 233 (32.1%)
  • Pleural effusion 221 (30.5%)
  • Pulmonary edema 120 (16.6%)
  • Pneumonia 107 (14.8%)

 

Discussion:

  • There was a major impact in fluid management.
    • Patients who needed more fluid (N=63) would have a balance of +907 ml within 8 hours.
    • Patients who need euvolemia (N = 28) would have a balance of +80ml within 8 hours.
    • Patients who need less fluid (N=45) would have a balance of -411ml within 8 hours.
  • There was no information regarding management change according the experience of the operators.
  • The authors did not assess patient-centered outcomes from these management changes.

 

Conclusion: Thoracic ultrasound provided a significant change in management of critically ill patients.

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Category: Misc

Title: Stabilizing the healthcare system

Keywords: Health policy, healthcare (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/7/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Updated: 4/12/2024)
Click here to contact Robert Flint, MD

These two pieces from Becker’s Hospital Review demonstrate significant areas of weakness within the American healthcare system. Hospitals that care for underserved as well as medically and socially complicated patients should be afforded protection and financial security. Not only do they care for the most complex patients, they often educate the next generation of health care providers. 

 

The loss of small community or rural hospitals also has a major negative impact on the US health care system. For time sensitive conditions such as trauma, myocardial infarction or stroke these facilities are often the first, closest facility to initiate care or stabilization. The loss of these critical smaller hospitals also adds to the burden at already overwhelmed larger facilities. 

 

As medical providers, we are in a unique position to advocate for our patients, our co-workers and our communities. Join your professional societies (ACEP, AAEM, SAEM etc.), write your local and national representatives, find like minded colleagues, please get involved with the process any way you can.  As a nation we can not afford to lose large essential hospitals or small critical access, rural hospitals.

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Magnesium has been associated with function of serotonin and vascular tone regulation, both of which are mechanisms that implicate there may be a role in treatment of migraine. As this is a well-tolerated medication with a good safety profile, there is interest in utilizing this medication in the treatment of migraines. However, studies comparing magnesium to standard migraine treatments are lacking.

A recent single-center, double-blinded, randomized controlled trial compared magnesium, metoclopramide and prochlorperazine for treatment of migraine in the ED. Patients received either magnesium sulfate 2 grams, metoclopramide 10 mg or prochlorperazine 10 mg intravenously over 20 minutes. Adjunctive and rescue medications could be used at the providers discretion.

Pain was assessed with the 11-point Numeric Rating Scale at baseline and at several timepoints after completion of the infusion. Median change in pain score was found to be -3 in all groups at 30 minutes. Post-hoc analysis found magnesium to be non-inferior to prochlorperazine and metoclopramide at this time point. No difference in ED length of stay was found between groups. Adverse events were reported in 5% of patients receiving magnesium, 4.5% in patients receiving metoclopramide and 11.5% in prochlorperazine patients (p = 0.51). The most common adverse events were dizziness, akathisias, and anxiety.

 

Bottom Line: Magnesium can be used as an adjunctive agent in the treatment of migraines, and may also be considered as an alternative agent when other options such as prochlorperazine and metoclopramide are not appropriate. A reasonable dose would be 2 grams IV infused over 20 minutes. The team should follow-up 30-60 minutes after infusion to assess response to therapy.

 

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