Friday, February 28, 2020

Resident Journal Review: Utility of Ultrasound Measurements in Assessing Fluid Responsiveness

Authors: Samantha J. Yarmis, MD; Robert Brown, MD; Jordan Parker, MD; Caleb Chan, MD; Akilesh Honasoge, MD
Editors: Kami M. Hu, MD FAAEM, Kelly Maurelus, MD FAAEM
Originally published: Common Sense January/February 2020

Clinical Question
How can we utilize ultrasound measurements to accurately determine which patients are fluid responsive? Does any single ultrasound measurement accurately predict fluid responsiveness?

Volume expansion is a cornerstone of resuscitation in the ED and is currently one of the main recommended components of septic shock management. The ability to predict fluid responsiveness has been a highly debated issue within emergency and critical care medicine. Early studies found inferior vena cava (IVC) diameter and variability could predict fluid responsiveness in intubated, mechanically-ventilated septic patients.1,2 The applicability of these findings to other populations is unknown and subsequent studies have called these findings into question.3 At the other end of the spectrum, the existence of a volume overloaded state may be detected by measuring indices in the liver and kidneys such as portal vein pulsatility,4,5 hepatic venous flow velocity,6 and intrarenal venous flow.7 Confirmation of increased stroke volume with passive leg raise or a small fluid challenge is currently one of the better, albeit imperfect, existing methods to ensure true volume responsiveness.8,9,10

Friday, February 21, 2020

Tranexamic Acid (TXA) in Obstetric Hemorrhage

This post was peer reviewed. Click to learn more.
Image Credit: Wikimedia

Authors: Patrick Wallace, DO, MS
Emergency Medicine Resident, PGY-2
University Nevada Las Vegas
AAEM/RSA Publications and Social Media Committee, and AAEM/RSA Education Committee

Laurie Bezjian Wallace, DO
Family Medicine Resident, PGY-2
Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center

Bottom Line Up Front: Tranexamic Acid (TXA) reduces postpartum hemorrhage with no major adverse events. There is some evidence to suggest routine use of TXA in all vaginal deliveries.

Introduction: Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal deaths with over 100,000 deaths per year. It occurs in 3-15% of deliveries, making up about 25% of all maternal deaths worldwide.[1-5] The three most common causes of PPH can be remembered as the three T’s: tone, tissue, and trauma. Tone refers to uterine atony, tissue referrers to retained placental tissue, and trauma refers to cervical or perineal lacerations. Uterine atony is the most common cause of PPH and can be treated with bimanual massage and uterotonics such as oxytocin, methergine, or misoprostol.[2,5] American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommend routine prophylaxis with the administration of oxytocin during the third stage of labor.[2,5]

Friday, February 14, 2020

My First "Sick" Patient

Image credit: Pexels
Author: Alexandria Gregory, MD
AAEM/RSA Publications & Social Media Committee Chair
Originally published: Common Sense January/February 2020

Everyone knows the most fundamental part of emergency medicine residency is learning how to determine “sick versus not sick,” which is often easier said than done. One night, at the end of my shift, a nurse grabbed me, saying the patient in room six needed a doctor now. The patient was a young asthmatic who had apparently walked into the emergency department minutes earlier, but was now unresponsive, gray, and with an oxygen saturation in the 50s. I had no trouble determining she was sick; as a relatively new intern, the bigger problem was figuring out what to do next. To quote Michael Scott from The Office episode “Stress Relief,” in that moment, “I knew exactly what to do, but in a much more real sense I had no idea what to do.” I knew I needed to focus on the ABCs and I knew what medications the patient needed in terms of asthma management, but in the acuity of that moment, it all jumbled together. I quickly grabbed an attending and we worked through the ABCs together as the proper medications were administered and the patient stabilized.

That patient taught me several important lessons about intern year and residency as a whole:

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Sex Sent Her to the Emergency Department: A Rare Case of Postcoital Hemoperitoneum

This post was peer reviewed. Click to learn more.
Image credit: Pxfuel

Author: Christina Schramm, MSIV Medical Student
St. George’s University School of Medicine
AAEM/RSA Social Media Committee

A 31-year-old gravida 0, para 0 female patient presented to the emergency department with lower abdominal pain that started during sexual intercourse three days prior. She presented with abdominal distension, diffuse, constant, and cramping bilateral lower abdominal pain, referred pain to her shoulders, exertional dyspnea, orthostatic hypotension, and near-syncopal episodes. The patient reported constipation that turned to loose stools on day three. The patient denied fevers, vomiting, vaginal discharge or foul odor, vaginal bleeding, and dysuria. The patient had a past medical history of anemia and stated that her hemoglobin was within normal limits during her last routine blood draw. The patient had Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) inserted three years prior, and her last menstrual period was unknown. The patient had been in a mutually monogamous relationship with a male partner and stated no concern for sexually transmitted infection (STI). Differential diagnosis included IUD displacement, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cyst rupture, ovarian torsion, and appendicitis.