Sunday, June 28, 2015

Navigating the Emergency Department Visit – Resources for Patients

Flickr: Photo by Ilmicrofono Oggiono
Author: Katrina A Gipson, MD MPH
Emergency Medicine Resident
University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH
AAEM/RSA Advocacy Committee Member

Originally Published: in Modern Resident June/July 2014

This post was peer reviewed.
Click to learn more.
The practice of medicine involves many players and involves a complex set of rules and bureaucracy. Navigating this bureaucracy is often difficult, and patients require a voice. The American Academy of Emergency Medicine’s Resident and Student Association (AAEM/RSA) seeks to advocate on behalf of both the professionals who practice emergency medicine and those who receive our services. In many ways, health care is a service like many others, with providers and consumers. A well-educated consumer is best able to take advantage of the services being provided. With this in mind, the Patient Advocacy Subcommittee of AAEM/RSA sought to create a set of brochures to act as a roadmap and inform the public of how best to navigate an emergency department visit and the treatments and information provided during a visit.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Resident Rules of the Road: Chapter 1 Summary: "History"

AAEM/RSA is proud to present weekly summaries of our popular publication Rules of the Road for Emergency Medicine Residents. As a multi-part series, these posts address many important topics ranging from the history of emergency medicine to resident wellness and job search suggestions.

Originally Published: AAEM's Rules of the Road for Emergency Medicine Residents, 7th Ed. Chief Editors: Tom Scaletta, MD FAAEM; Michael Ybarra, MD FAAEM; Leana Wen, MD MSc. AAEM and AAEM/RSA. Milwaukee, WI. 2010.

Chapter Summary By: Puja Gopal, MSIV Medical Student, University of Illinois School of Medicine

Summary Series Editors: Muhammad Alghanem, BS, and Andrew W Phillips, MD MEd

The history of emergency medicine is rich and relatively recent. Below is a brief summary of the emergency medicine (EM) specialty broken down by decades.

1960’s: Emergency medicine evolved out of a need to care for a growing population that sought care for emergency conditions. By 1960, emergency department (ED) visits were rising across the country and the demand for emergency care was high. Physicians, however, lacked the appropriate skills, and there was a need for specialized training. In 1967, the American Medical Association (AMA) established a committee on emergency medicine, and in 1968, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) was founded.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

ACE-Inhibitor Induced Angioedema

Author: Kaylinn Dokken, MSIII
Medical Student
Western University of Health Sciences

This post was peer reviewed.
Click to learn more.

ACE inhibitor (ACEi) induced angioedema is a potentially life-threatening complication of a very common class of medications, and is something every emergency physician should be prepared to manage. I personally witnessed three cases on a recent ICU rotation, and in one of the cases the patient required an emergent tracheostomy due to unsuccessful intubation attempts by the EM attending, an ICU attending, and the head of the anesthesia department.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Emergency Contraception in the Emergency Department

Author: Matthew Rosen, MSIV
Medical Student 
Georgetown School of Medicine

This post was peer reviewed.
Click to learn more.

Between the years 2006 and 2010 11% of women reported using emergency contraception at some point in their life; of those, 59% used emergency contraception once and almost a quarter used it twice.[2] Emergency contraception is any contraceptive method used after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure and before embryo implantation. Examples of indications for use are condom breaks or leaks, failure to use additional contraceptives when starting hormonal contraception, or non-consensual sex and sexual assault. In a study of one pediatric emergency department, 88% of patients who presented for emergency contraception had done so after sexual assault.[5]

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Warfarin and Bridging - A Conundrum

Author: Meaghan Mercer, DO
Emergency Medicine Resident
University of Nevada School of Medicine
AAEM/RSA Immediate Past President

This post was peer reviewed.
Click to learn more.

The following blog post appeared initially at and is reproduced with the permission of the author.

A 40-year-old female presents to the emergency department with a chief complaint of three days of palpitations. An EKG is performed and is shown below. Her past medical history includes hypertension and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, but she has never had a thrombotic event. She was taking warfarin 5mg/day but ran out of her medications two days ago. You perform a bedside cardiac ultrasound and do not see any large thrombus. Complete blood count, basic metabolic panel, and troponin are all normal and her international normalized ratio (INR) is 1.5.