UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Orthopedics

Title: Concussion & Screen Time

Keywords: Concussion, head injury, recovery, cognitive rest (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/27/2022 by Brian Corwell, MD
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

Limited data are available to guide recommendations re screen time after concussion.

A recent ED study looked at screen time effects on concussion recovery.

Population:  125 patients aged 12 to 25 years presenting to the ED <24h after injury. Mean age 17. Approximately 51% male.

Intervention:  Patients were placed in a screen time allowed group and a screen time not allowed group for the first 48 hours. Total minutes reported after the study were 630 minutes vs 130 minutes.

Outcome:  Time to symptom resolution. Patients took daily symptom scoring tests for 10 days.

Result: Screen time allowed group had a significantly longer time to recovery (8 days) vs screen time not allowed (3.5 days).

Strength: Good attempt at quantifying effects on early screen time exposure on symptom recovery in an ED population.

Weakness:  This was a small study. Many patients (>25%) were lost to follow-up and it relies on symptom self-reporting.

 

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Avoid Over-Sedation of Intubated ED Patients

Keywords: analgosedation, sedation, intubation, (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/23/2022 by Kami Windsor, MD
Click here to contact Kami Windsor, MD

 

Deep sedation in the ED has previously been associated with longer duration of mechanical ventilation, longer lengths of stay, and higher mortality.1 Current guidelines recommend light sedation, consistent with a goal RASS of -2 to 0, for most critically-ill patients in the ICU.2

The ED-SED3 multicenter, pragmatic, before-and-after feasibility study implemented an educational initiative (inservices, regular reminders, laminated sedation charts) to help target lighter sedation depths in newly-intubated adult patients without acute neurologic injury or need for prolonged neuromuscular blockade.

  • 415 patients (196 pre-, 219 post-intervention), majority white (50%) and black (40%)
  • Main reasons for intubation: sepsis, trauma, airway protection
  • Majority of patients on fentanyl (85%) and propofol (76%), midazolam (20%)

After educational intervention:

  • 21% fewer patients with deep sedation & 20% more patients achieving light sedation
    • 10% decrease in comatose levels of sedation (RASS -4 to -5)
  • Lower hospital mortality (20.4 vs 10%, p < 0.01)
  • Similar rates of self-extubation and paralysis awareness
  • More patients extubated in the ED, downgraded from ICU admission, and discharged from the ED

Even with the caveats of the confounding and bias that can exist in before-and-after studies, these results are consistent with prior sedation-related studies and offer more evidence to support for avoiding deep sedation in our ED patients. The study also demonstrates the importance of nurse-driven sedation in achieving sedation goals.

Bottom Line: Our initial care in the ED matters beyond initial stabilization and compliance with measures and bundles. Avoid oversedating intubated ED patients, aiming for a goal RASS of -2 to 0. 

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: Secondary Transmission of SARS-CoV2 with regards to Masking in Schools

Keywords: COVID, kids, masking, school (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/19/2022 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 11/30/2022)
Click here to contact Jenny Guyther, MD

This was a multistate, prospective, observational cohort of children and teachers attending in person schools in kindergarden through 12th grade where the school districs had the ability to perform contact tracing and determine primary vs secondary infections.  During the study period (6/21-12/21) 46 districts had universal masking policies and 6 districts had optional masking policies.  

Districts that optionally masked had 3.6x the rate of secondary transmission compared to universally masked school districts.  Optionally masked districts had 26.4 cases of secondary transmission per 100 community acquired cases compared to only 7.3 cases in universally masked districts.

Bottom line: Universial masking was associated with reduced secondary transmission of SARS-CoV2 compared with optional masking policies. 

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Category: Critical Care

Title: We should give some calcium... right??? ---- Part 2

Keywords: Calcium, Cardiac Arrest, ACLS, Code Blue (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/16/2022 by Mark Sutherland, MD
Click here to contact Mark Sutherland, MD

We previously posted on the COCA trial, which looked at empiric calcium administration in cardiac arrest.  They studied 391 adult Danish cardiac arrest patients.  The immediate and 30 day outcomes showed no benefit, and in fact strongly trended towards calcium being WORSE than placebo.  This article provides the 6 month and 1 year follow up data.  Surprise, surprise... calcium is still not looking good.  

At 6 months survival non-significantly favored the placebo group, and at 1 year it significantly favored the placebo group.  Neurologic outcome for those who survived was also no better, and perhaps slightly worse, in the calcium group. 

Importantly, the trial excluded patients with "traumatic cardiac arrest, known or suspected pregnancy, prior enrollment in the trial, adrenaline prior to possible enrollment, and clinical indication for calcium at the time of randomization."

Bottom Line:  The evidence continues to not support the routine empiric administration of calcium in cardiac arrest.  Patients in whom there is an indication to give calcium (e.g. known ESRD, suspected hyperkalemia, etc) are excluded from these trials, and should likely still receive empiric calcium, but in undifferentiated cardiac arrest you can probably skip the calcium.

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Category: Orthopedics

Title: Posterior Hip Dislocation

Keywords: Dislocation, reduction, AVN (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/13/2022 by Brian Corwell, MD
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

The hip joint is a very strong and stable structure requiring great force to produce a dislocation

Most hip dislocations are posterior (80-90%)

Mechanism:  MVC generating force onto an adducted flexed hip (most commonly)

Associated injuries occur both locally (acetabular fx) and distant (knee bone and ligamentous)

                Significant associated injuries in >70%

The hip joint has a very precarious blood supply.

One of the risk factors for AVN is total dislocation time

                <6 hours - 5% incidence

                >6 hours – up to 53% incidence

Examine the sciatic nerve carefully with posterior dislocations (10% incidence)

                Motor – EHL/ankle dorsiflexion

                Sensory – sensation dorsum of foot

 

There are many reduction maneuvers including the East Baltimore Lift technique

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zvelGbVn04

Demonstrated at 30 seconds in above video

Place patient supine with affected leg flexed to 90 degrees at knee and hip. 2 providers position themselves on opposite sides of the patient and each places their arm under the patient’s calf/popliteal region and their hand on the opposite providers shoulder. A 3rd person is required to stabilize the pelvis. Axial traction is generated by the providers slowly standing up. Gentle internal and external rotation can facilitate successful reduction

 


Diastolic Blood Pressure

  • The diastolic blood pressure (DBP) is determined by vascular tone and remains relativley constant throughout the arterial system.
  • A low DBP (< 50 mm Hg) suggests vasodilation and may be associated with an increased risk of myocardial ischemia and left ventricular dysfunction.
  • In a recent trial, Ospina-Tascon and colleagues described the diastolic shock index (heart rate/DBP) and found that a DSI > 2.2 was associated with higher mortality in patients with septic shock.
  • Take Home Point: pay attention to the DBP and, when low, consider initiation of vasopressors concomitant with fluid resuscitation.

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  • TXA has been used for pediatric non-traumatic (surgical) bleeding with good evidence
  • Currently used in around 1/3 of pediatric trauma centers based on survey data
  • PED-TRAX (retrospective review of pediatric trauma admissions in a combat zone) showed an association between use of TXA and decreased mortality, with no increase in thromboembolic events
  • Dosing strategies in the literature and in practice have been variable (bolus at variable dosing versus bolus + infusion)
  • The TIC TOC trial was recently completed - a multicenter randomized pilot study looking at 2 dosing strategies of TXA versus placebo which demonstrated feasibility of a larger study and will hopefully serve as a model for further research to determine efficacy as well as ideal dosing

 

Bottom line: There is not clear evidence for efficacy, but trends are positive and the documented rates of adverse effects in this population are low. It is reasonable to give, especially in patients requiring massive transfusion or who are critically ill.

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Hemodynamic instability and cardiac arrest are major complications following endotracheal intubation.  The mantra “resuscitate before you intubate” has prompted several studies of how to prevent this.

The PREPARE II trial is a multicenter ICU-based trial studying the effect of 500cc of crystalloid versus no crystalloid pre-emptively to prevent hypotension following endotracheal intubation. The study enrolled 1067 critically ill patients in United States ICUs. Some 60% of patient were intubated for respiratory failure and 20% were already on vasopressor.  The primary induction drugs we etomidate and rocuronium. Importantly, urgent intubation was an exclusion. There were no differences in multiple endpoints including hypotension, new need for vasopressors, cardiac arrest, or 28-day mortality. 

This was in some ways this in not unexpected and patients already in an ICU setting have typically received some form of fluid loading already. Being ICU based and primarily a more smoldering medical population this has limited application to more emergent and undifferentiated settings, but study underscores the need for a broad and nuanced view of what “resuscitate” means. Positive pressure may exacerbate hypovolemia, but the patient’s underlying disease, the effect of anesthetic drugs both by direct action via relief of pain, discomfort, or dyspnea may predominate if you think the patient is euvolemic.

Remember to dose anesthetics/sedatives/RSI drugs with an eye toward hemodynamics and consider starting vasopressors prior to intubation

Bottom Line:

-In a broad well-conducted ICU-based study a 500cc peri-intubation bolus doesn’t prevent hypotension

-Have a broad view of what resuscitation for intubation might entail

-Having fluid ready for intubation is helpful, hemodynamic dosing of drugs and having a plan for vasopressors might be even more helpful

-Applicability to ED environments is limited in this ICU-based trial

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Awareness With Paralysis Among Critically Ill Emergency Department Patients: A Prospective Cohort Study

Keywords: Awareness, mechanical ventilation, Emergency Department, Rocuronium (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/26/2022 by Quincy Tran, MD (Updated: 11/30/2022)
Click here to contact Quincy Tran, MD

Have you ever wonder what patients feel after being intubated in the ED?

The study " Awareness With Paralysis Among Critically Ill Emergency Department Patients: A Prospective Cohort Study" aimed at answering just that.

Settings: Emergency Departments from 3 hospitals; This was a secondary analysis of a prospective trial.

Patients:

Patients who received neuromuscular blockade in ED

Intervention: None.

Comparison: None.

Outcome: Primary outcome was Awareness while paralyzed, secondary outcome was Perceived threat, which is considered the pathway for PTSD.

Study Results:

The study evaluated 388 patients.  There were 230 (59%) patients who received rocuronium.

Patients who received rocuronium (5.5%, 12/230) were more likely to experience awareness than patients receiving other neuromuscular blockade (0.6%, 1/158).

Patients who experienced awareness during paralysis had a higher threat perception score that those who did not have awareness (15.6 [5.8] vs. 7.7 [6.0], P<0.01).

A multivariable logistic regression, after adjustment for small sample size, showed that Rocuronium in the ED was significantly associated with awareness (OR 7.2 [1.39-37.58], P = 0.02). 

Discussion:

With the increasing use of rocuronium for rapid sequence intubation in the ED, clinicians should start to pay more attention to the prevalence of awareness during paralysis.  According to the study, patients reported pain from procedures, being restrained, and worst of all feelings of impending death.

One of the risk factors for awareness during paralysis would be the long half-life of rocuronium, compared to that of succinylcholine.  Therefore, clinicians should consider prompt and appropriate dosage of sedatives for post-intubation sedation.  Previous studies showed that a mean time from intubation till sedatives was 27 minutes (2), and propofol was started at a low dose of 30 mcg/kg/min for ED intubation (3). 

 

Conclusion:

Approximately 5.5% of all patients or 4% of survivors of patients who had invasive mechanical ventilation in the ED experienced awareness during paralysis.  They also were at high risk for PTSD.

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Category: Orthopedics

Title: 25yo with left wrist pain, stiffness and mild swelling

Keywords: AVN, wrist pain, lunate (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/23/2022 by Brian Corwell, MD (Updated: 11/30/2022)
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

Question

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Tachyarrhythmias in the setting of high-dose vasopressors due to septic shock are not uncommon. Aside from amiodarone, some providers may not know of alternative therapeutic options in the setting of septic shock. In addition, some may view the use of a beta-blocker as counter-intuitive or counter-productive in the setting of norepinephrine usage.

However, there have been multiple smaller studies evaluating using esmolol (and other short-acting beta-blockers) in the setting of tachycardia, septic shock and pressors. Outcomes regarding the theoretical benefits of beta-blockade in sepsis (i.e. decreased mortality/morbidity 2/2 decreased sympathetic innervation, inflammation, myocardial demand etc.) have been varied. However, esmolol has been demonstrated multiple times to be effective at reducing heart rate without significant adverse outcomes (i.e. no sig diff in mortality, refractory shock, or time on vasopressors).  

 

Caveats/pitfalls

-most of the studies discuss “adequate resuscitation” prior to initiation of esmolol

-not studied in patients that also had significant cardiac dysfunction 

-be aware that esmolol gtts can be a lot of volume and pts can become volume overloaded if boarding in the ED for an extended period of time

 

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: The Pediatric Pause - Introducing a Trauma Informed Care Protocol

Keywords: trauma informed care, pediatric resuscitation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/15/2022 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 11/30/2022)
Click here to contact Jenny Guyther, MD

Traumatic injuries are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in pediatric patients.  Even in the setting of a full recovery, there can be negative psychological sequelae associated with the traumatic events.  The child's perceived risk of death and parental trauma related distress have both been associated with the development of post traumatic stress.
 
Previous studies have suggested the key components of trauma informed pediatric care include: minimizing potentially traumatic aspects of medical care and procedures, providing children and family with basic support and information, addressing child distress such as pain, fear, and loss,  promoting emotional support, screening children and families who might need support and providing anticipatory guidance about adaptive ways of coping.
 
The Pediatric PAUSE was introduced at a pediatric trauma center to help to reduce post traumatic stress.  
 
PAUSE stands for Pain/Privacy, Anxiety/IV access, Urinary Catheter/Rectal Exam/Genital Exam, Support for family or staff and Explain to patient/Engage the PICU team.  The article contains a table with a more detailed outline of the PAUSE.
 
This study evaluated the pediatric PAUSE to see if its implementation would interfere with the timeliness of the ACS/ATLS evaluation.  The PAUSE was inserted after the primary and ABCDE assessment (except in the unstable patient).  The use of this protocol did not prolong time between trauma bay arrival and critical imaging studies.

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Category: Critical Care Literature Update

Title: Balanced crystalloids: So Hot Right Now

Keywords: balanced crystalloid, saline, resuscitation, kidney injury (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/14/2022 by William Teeter, MD
Click here to contact William Teeter, MD

Balanced crystalloids:  So Hot Right Now

Brief Read:

The use of balanced crystalloids has been the subject of several RCTs with conflicting results. However, recent post-hoc and meta-analyses of these same trials suggest that balanced crystalloids may be the best choice initially. See nice summary at: https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.202203-0611ED.

 

Long Read:

While I had thought about summarizing the recently published data on EPR from the CRITICAL trial in Japan, JournalFeed today covered the recent post-hoc analysis of the BaSICS trial originally seen on CC Pearls back in August 31, 2021 by Dr. Sjelocha. This subject is as important as it is confusing. There are large and relatively well done RCTs that point in opposite and sometimes strange directions. However, as the authors of the SMART trial summarized, even an NNT of 94 in this population could be a huge number of patients!

The use of balanced crystalloids (e.g. Plasmalyte) has been the subject of several previous RCTs (SMART and SALT-ED) with conflicting results. Recently the PLUS RCT and BaSICS trials seemed to push the literature towards to concluding there was no difference, but there are caveats for both trials now in the literature:

  • While the PLUS RCT found no difference, a concurrently published meta-analysis seemed to conclude the opposite (https://doi.org/10.1056/EVIDoa2100010).
  • Further confusing the issue, apost-hoc analysis of the similarly negative BaSICS RCTcame out in March 2022 suggesting that overall there was a benefit for patients who received balanced crystalloid when they hit the door, but that those who arrived with sepsis and were unplanned admissions benefited most!
    • The authors note that their original analysis is likely affected by the fact that 68% of the original BaSICS study population had already received balanced fluid, saline, or both before randomization.

This paper makes a nice point which I think is important for us in the ED: the evidence is suggesting a commonality in many critical care concepts, which is that decisions made in early resuscitation may have an outsized impact on patient outcomes. However, this will not be the last we hear on this subject, but for the time being, I agree with Dr. Lacy that “It might not matter as much what fluids you choose when patients are on their third, fourth, or fifth liter of fluid – but especially for the sickest patients, it sure seems like the initial resuscitation fluid makes a difference.”

 

BaSICS post hoc: https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.202111-2484OC (See JournalFeed post from today and the accompanying editorial)

  • 68% (10,520) of enrolled patients had balanced crystalloids (3,202), saline (2,096), or both (1,862) prior to enrollment
  • “There was a high probability that balanced solution use was associated with lower 90-day mortality in patients who exclusively received balanced solutions before study enrollment.”

BASICS: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2783039 (summary stolen from Dr. Sjeklocha’s  August 31, 2022 CC Pearl)

  • No difference in 90 days mortality (P-Lyte 26.4% v NS 27.2, aHR p=0.47), AKI or RRT out to 7-days, or in duration of MV, ICU LOS or hospital LOS
  • Signal for possible harm in TBI population with balanced crystalloids compared to normal saline

PLUS: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa2114464

  • 5,037 critically ill patients
  • No statistically significant difference in the primary outcome of death within 90 days of randomization in the BMES group compared to the saline group (21.8% vs 22.0%, 95% CI -3.6 to 3.3; P=0.90).
  • Subgroup analyses were conducted based on illness severity before randomization, presence of sepsis, kidney injury, age, sex, and ICU admission after surgery, and did not show a significant difference between the two groups.

SMART: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa1711584

  • 7942 patients in the balanced-crystalloids group,
  • Balanced: 1139 (14.3%) versus Saline: 1211 of 7860 patients (15.4%) had a major adverse kidney event in the saline group (marginal odds ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.84 to 0.99; conditional odds ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82 to 0.99; P=0.04).
  • “Our results suggest that the use of balanced crystalloids rather than saline might prevent 1 patient among every 94 patients admitted to an ICU from the need for new renal-replacement therapy, from persistent renal dysfunction, or from death.”

SALT-ED: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa1711586

  • 13,347 patients
  • The number of hospital-free days did not differ between the balanced-crystalloids and saline groups (median, 25 days in each group; adj. OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.04; P=0.41).
  • Balanced crystalloids resulted in a lower incidence of major adverse kidney events within 30 days than saline (4.7% vs. 5.6%; adjusted odds ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.95; P=0.01).

https://journalfeed.org/article-a-day/2022/back-to-basics-first-fluid-choice-matters-a-reanalysis-of-the-basics-rct/

 


Question

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Prior studies have found that patients are at an increased risk for hypoglycemia when administered insulin for the acute management of hyperkalemia when they have renal dysfunction.  A new single-center, retrospective study investigated the risk of hypoglycemia and the overall effect of potassium lowering in patients with renal dysfunction and stratified outcomes based on the CKD level.

Patients were included if they were ordered insulin for hyperkalemia using a hospital driven order set and had CKD stages 3a, 3b, and 4.  They were excluded if they had dialysis within 6h of insulin administration, had DKA, or no repeat labs.  The hospital order set encourages 5 units of insulin instead of 10 when “renal failure” is present without clear guidance.

377 patients were included: 186 received 5 units and 191 received 10 units.  The average age was 65 years old, predominantly male, weighing 90 kg.  In the 5 unit group, significantly more patients had CKD stage 4 (60% v 30%) and in the 10 unit group, significantly more patients were CKD stage 3a (p<0.001).  The baseline serum potassium was 6 in each group.

The hypoglycemia incidence was not different between groups, with severe hypoglycemia occurring twice per group.  All patients received dextrose according to the protocol.

There was a significant difference in the reduction of serum potassium between the 5 and 10 unit groups: -0.63 mmol/L vs -0.9 mmol/L (p 0.001).

Bottom line:  Hypoglycemia occurred even with insulin dose reduction.  Potassium lowering was higher in patients who received the 10 unit dose.

 

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: Think FAST Utility of Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma in Pediatrics

Keywords: pediatric trauma, ultrasound, FAST (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/1/2022 by Rachel Wiltjer, DO (Updated: 11/30/2022)
Click here to contact Rachel Wiltjer, DO

 

  • Use of FAST is less common in pediatric trauma than in adult trauma
  • FAST in pediatric trauma has a lower negative predictive value than in adults
    • 1/3 of pediatric patients with hemoperitoneum on CT will have a negative FAST
    • Lowest sensitivity and specificity is in the under 2 years age group
  • A 2017 randomized clinical trial of ~900 patients showed no difference in clinical care, use of resources, or length of stay in hemodynamically stable children who received FAST + standard trauma evaluation versus standard trauma evaluation alone
  • There may be a role for FAST as a screening in patients with low suspicion for intraabdominal injury in conjunction with labs and physical exam, but this has not been fully explored

Bottom line: A positive FAST warrants further workup and may be helpful in the hemodynamically unstable pediatric trauma patient, but a negative FAST does not exclude intraabdominal injury and evidence for performing FAST in hemodynamically stable pediatric patients is limited.

 

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Dodging DKA Dogma with Subcutaneous Insulin

Keywords: Insulin infusion, diabetes mellitus, diabetic ketoacidosis, DKA, subcutaneous, long-acting (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/29/2022 by Kami Windsor, MD (Updated: 9/21/2022)
Click here to contact Kami Windsor, MD

Takeaways

 

Background: It is classically taught that the tenets of DKA management are IV fluids, electrolyte repletion, and an insulin infusion that is titrated until approximately 2 hours after anion gap closure, when long-acting subcutaneous insulin is administered if the patient is tolerating oral intake. It has been previously found that earlier administration of subcutaneous long-acting insulin can shorten the time to anion gap closure, while other small studies have noted similar efficacy in subcutaneous insulin compared to IV in mild/moderate DKA. 

A recent JAMA article presents a retrospective evaluation of a prospectively-implemented DKA protocol (see "Full In-Depth" section) utilizing weight-based subcutaneous glargine and lispro, rather than IV regular insulin, as part of initial and ongoing floor-level inpatient treatment.

When compared to the period before the DKA protocol: 

  • ICU admissions decreased (27.9% from 67.8%, p<0.001)
  • There was no difference in overall amount of insulin and time to anion gap closure
  • There was no difference in 30-day mortality
  • There was no difference in incidence of hypoglycemc events.

The only exclusion criteria were age <18 years, pregnancy, and presence of other condition that required ICU admission. 

Bottom Line: Not all DKA requires IV insulin infusion.

At the very least, we should probably be utilizing early appropriate-dose subcutaneous long-acting insulin. With ongoing ICU bed shortages and the importance of decreasing unnecessary resource use and hospital costs, perhaps we should also be incorporating subcutaneous insulin protocols in our hospitals as well.

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Category: Orthopedics

Title: Wrist drop

Keywords: Radial nerve compression, peripheral nerve injury, wrist drop (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/25/2022 by Brian Corwell, MD (Updated: 11/30/2022)
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

The radial nerve is susceptible to compressive neuropathy against the spiral grove of the humerus which can lead to neuropraxia.

When the upper arm is compressed against a chair back or bar edge sometimes from a lost battle with alcohol:  Saturday night palsy.

When another individual sleeps on someone’s arm overnight compressing the radial nerve:  Honeymoon palsy

From nerve compression from improper technique with crutches:  Crutch palsy

If diagnosis not clear from history, DDx includes other entities that can also present with isolated wrist, thumb/finger drop

Horses:  Radial verve palsy, CVA, C7 compression

  • Most central disorders that cause arm weakness affect extensor muscles to a greater degree than the flexors.

Zebras:  Lead toxicity, acute porphyrias (often polyneuropathy but upper extremity before lower and frequently distal extensors

Careful history and exam important in differentiating

In cases of peripheral compression against the spital groove the triceps maintains strength.

The distal extensors lose strength (wrist and fingers)

Including the thumb abduction (abductor pollicis longus is radial-innervated)

AND so will the brachioradialis

The brachioradialis (despite being a forearm flexor) has dual innervation from the radial nerve in 80% of people.

Brachioradialis strength is often preserved in a central lesion.

            Best tested with arm supported on a surface in mid pronation/supination (hammer curl position) and have patient flex against resistance and evaluate muscle strength and bulk.

 

 


Category: Critical Care

Title: Multimodal strategies for vasopressor administration

Keywords: Vasopressors, Hypotension, Shock, Sepsis (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/21/2022 by Mark Sutherland, MD (Updated: 11/30/2022)
Click here to contact Mark Sutherland, MD

Although it is well-documented that there is no true "maximum" dose of vasopressor medications, further blood pressure support as doses escalate to very high levels tends to be limited.  As such, debate has raged in Critical Care as to when is the "right" time to start a second vasoactive medication.  The VASST trial (Russell et al, NEJM, 2008) is considered to be the landmark trial in this area, and found a trend towards improvement with early addition of vasopressin to norepinephrine, but no statistically significant difference, and may have been underpowered.  

Partly as a result of VASST, the pendulum has tended to swing towards maximizing a single vasoactive before adding a second over the past decade.  The relatively high cost of vasopressin in the US has also driven this for many institutions.  However, more recently a "multi-modal" approach, emphasizing an earlier move to second, or even third, vasoactive medication, is increasingly popular.  Although cost is often prohibitive for angiotensin-2 given controversial benefits, many now advocate for targeting adrenergic receptors (e.g. with norepinephrine or epinephrine), vasopressin receptors (e.g. with vasopressin or terlipressin) and the RAAS system (e.g. with angiotensin 2) simultaneously in patients with refractory shock.  A recent review by Wieruszewski and Khanna in Critical Care (see references) outlines this approach well. 

Bottom Line: When to add a second vasoactive medication (e.g. vasopressin) for patients with refractory shock after a first vasoactive is controversial and not known.  Current practice is trending towards earlier addition of a second (or third) agent, especially if targeting different receptors, but there is limited high-quality evidence to support this approach.  Many practicioners (including this author) still follow VASST and consider vasopressin once doses of around 5-15 micrograms/min (non-weight based) of norepinephrine are reached.

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: What is the ideal length of treatment for pediatric community acquired pneumonia?

Keywords: PNA, pediatrics, duration of treatment (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/17/2022 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 11/30/2022)
Click here to contact Jenny Guyther, MD

This was a randomized placebo controlled trial looking at 380 pediatric patients aged 6 months to 5 years who were diagnosed with nonsevere CAP and who showed early clinical improvement.  On day 6, one patient group was switched to a placebo while the other group continued with the antibiotics.
 
In this small study population, 5 days of a penicillin based antibiotic had a similar clinical response and antibiotic associated adverse effect profile compared to a 10 day course.  A 5 day course also reduced antibiotic exposure resistance compared to a 10 day course.  

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