Rank #1: Ep 128 Low Risk Chest Pain and High Sensitivity Troponin – A Paradigm Shift
In the age of high sensitivity troponins and the HEART pathway, which patients are safe to discharge home from the ED? What are the most useful historical factors to increase and decrease your pretest probability for ACS? Which cardiac risk factors have predictive value for ACS? Why should the words "troponitis" and "troponemia" be banned? How should high sensitivity troponin be interpreted differently than conventional troponin? Which is better for delta troponin interpretation - an absolute change in troponin or a percentage change? Which delta troponin is best - 1hr, 2hr or 3hr? What are the limitations of the HEART pathway? and many more....
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Rank #2: Episode 71 ACLS Guidelines 2015 – Cardiac Arrest Controversies Part 1
A lot has changed over the years when it comes to managing the adult in cardiac arrest. As a result, survival rates after cardiac arrest have risen steadily over the last decade. With the release of the 2015 American Heart Association ACLS Guidelines 2015 online on Oct 16th, while there aren’t a lot a big changes, there are many small but important changes we need to be aware of, and there still remains a lot of controversy. In light of knowing how to provide optimal cardio-cerebral resuscitation and improving patient outcomes, in this episode we’ll ask two Canadian co-authors of The Guidelines, Dr. Laurie Morrison and Dr. Steve Lin some of the most practice-changing and controversial questions.
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Rank #3: Episode 1: Occult Fractures and Dislocations
Dr. Arun Sayal and Dr. Natalie Mamen discuss the key diagnostic considerations in commonly missed occult fractures and dislocations. They review the indications and controversies for the use of Bone Scan, CT and MRI in occult fractures and dislocations and give you some great clinical pearls to use on your next shift.
Missed occult fractures and dislocations, in general, may result in significant morbidity for the patient and law suites for you. Six cases are presented in this episode, ranging from common scaphoid fractures to rarer dislocations. Dr. Sayal & Dr. Mamen answer questions such as: Which fractures can mimic ankle sprains and how do you avoid missing them? What are the most reliable signs of scaphoid fracture? In which occult orthopaedic injuries should we anticipate limb threatening ischemia? Which is better to diagnose occult fractures - MRI or CT? Which calcaneus fractures require surgery and which ones can be managed conservatively? and many more......
Rank #4: Episode 55: Fluids in Sepsis, Post-intubation Analgesia and Sedation
In this second part of the Weingart-Himmel Sessions on critical care pearls for the community ED on the EM Cases podcast, we discuss the many controversies and recent changes in fluid management in severe sepsis and septic shock. With the recently published ARISE trial, and some deviations from Early Goal Directed Therapy, we are changing the way we think about fluids in sepsis: the type of fluid, the volume of fluid, the rate of fluid administration, the timing of introducing vasopressors and the goals of fluid resuscitation. In the next section of the podcast we discuss the PAD mnemonic for post-intubation analgesia and sedation, the prevention of delirium, and medication choices to minimize time on the ventilator, and improve prognosis.
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Rank #5: Episode 101 GI Bleed Emergencies Part 1
In this Part 1 of our two part podcast on GI bleed emergencies we answer questions such as: How do you distinguish between an upper vs lower GI bleed when it's not so obvious clinically? What alterations to airway management are necessary for the GI bleed patient? What do we need to know about the value of fecal occult blood in determining whether or not a patient has a GI bleed? Which patients require red cell transfusions? Massive transfusion? Why is it important to get a fibrinogen level in the sick GI bleed patient? What are the goals of resuscitation in a massive GI bleed? What's the evidence for using an NG tube for diagnosis and management of upper GI bleeds? In which patients should we give tranexamic acid and which patients should we avoid it in? How are the indications for massive transfusion in GI bleed different to the trauma patient? What are your options if the bleeding can't be stopped on endoscopy? and many more...
Rank #6: Ep 109 Skin and Soft Tissue Infections – Cellulitis, Skin Abscesses and Necrotizing Fasciitis
How do you distinguish cellulitis from the myriad of cellulitis mimics? At what point do we consider treatment failure for cellulitis? What is the best antibiotic choice for patients who are allergic to cephalosporins? Which patients with cellulitis or skin abscess require IV antibiotics? Coverage for MRSA? What is the best and most resource wise method for analgesia before I&D of a skin abscess? What is the best method for drainage of a skin abscess? Which patients with skin abscess require a swab? Irrigation? Packing? Antibiotics? With the goal of sharpening your diagnostic skills when it comes to skin and soft tissue infections – there are lots of cellulitis mimics - and choosing wisely when it comes to treatment, we’ll be discussing best practices for management of cellulitis and skin abscesses, when to cover for MRSA, how to pick up nec fasc before it’s too late and a lot more…
Rank #7: Episode 48 – Pediatric Fever Without A Source
Have you ever seen a child in your emergency department with a fever - he asks sarcastically? At the ginormous community hospital where I work, we see about 25,000 kids each year in our ED and about half of them present with fever. Yes, there still exists fever phobia in our society, which brings hoards of worried parents into the ED with their febrile kids. For most of these kids it's relatively straight forward: Most kids with fever have clinical evidence of an identifiable source of infection – a viral respiratory infection, acute otitis media, gastro, or a viral exanthem. However, about 20% have Fever Without a Source despite your thorough history and physical exam.
A small but significant number of this 20% without an identifiable source of fever will have an occult bacterial infection - UTI, bacteremia, pneumonia, or even the dreaded early bacterial meningitis. These are all defined as Serious Bacterial Infections (SBI), with occult UTI being the most common SBI especially in children under the age of 2 years.
In the old days we used to do a full septic work-up including LP for all infants under the age of 3 months, but thankfully, times have changed in the post-Hib and pneumoccocal vaccine age, and we aren’t quite so aggressive any more with our work-ups. Nonetheless, it's still controversial as to which kids need a full septic workup, which kids need a partial septic workup, which kids need just a urine dip and which kids need little except to reassure the parents.
In this episode, with the help of Dr. Sarah Reid and Dr. Gina Neto from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, we will elucidate how to deal with fever phobia, when a rectal temp is necessary, how to pick out the kids with fever that we need to worry about, how to work up kids with fever depending on their age, risk factors and clinical picture, who needs a urinalysis, who needs a CXR, who needs blood cultures and who needs an LP, and much more....
Rank #8: Episode 60: Emergency Management of Hyponatremia
In this EM Cases episode Dr. Melanie Baimel and Dr. Ed Etchells discuss a simple and practical step-wise approach to the emergency management of hyponatremia:
1. Assess and treat neurologic emergencies related to hyponatremia with hypertonic saline
2. Defend the intravascular volume
3. Prevent further exacerbation of hyponatremia
4. Prevent rapid overcorrection
5. Ascertain a cause
Dr. Etchells and Dr. Baimel answer questions such as: What are the indications for giving DDAVP in the emergency management of hyponatremia? What is a simple and practical approach to determining the cause of hyponatremia in the ED? How fast should we aim to correct hyponatremia? What is the best fluid for resuscitating the patient in shock who has a low serum sodium? Why is the management of the marathon runner with hyponatremia counter-intuitive? What strategies can we employ to minimize the risk of Osmotic Demyelination Syndrome (OSD) and cerebral edema in the emergency management of hyponatremia? and many more...
Rank #9: Episode 50 Recognition and Management of Pediatric Sepsis and Septic Shock
Kids aren't little adults. Pediatric sepsis and septic shock usually presents as 'cold shock' where as adult septic shock usually presents as 'warm shock', for example. In this episode, a continuation of our discussion on Fever from with Ottawa PEM experts, Sarah Reid and Gina Neto, we discuss the pearls and pitfalls in the recognition and management of pediatric sepsis and septic shock. We review the subtle clinical findings that will help you pick up septic shock before it's too late as well as key maneuvers and algorithms to stabilize these patients. We cover tips for using IO in children, induction agents of choice, timing of intubation, ionotropes of choice, the indications for steroids in septic shock, and much more.....
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Rank #10: Episode 58: Tendons and Ligaments – Commonly Missed Uncommon Orthopedic Injuries Part 2
In part 2 of our round-table discussion on EM Cases with sports medicine guru Dr. Ivy Cheng and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Hossein Mehdian we elucidate some key commonly missed uncommon orthopedic injuries that if mismanaged, carry significant long term morbidity. Injuries of the tendons and ligaments are often overlooked by emergency providers as relatively benign injuries and generally are not well understood.
Syndesmosis Injuries typically occur in impact sports. They are missed in about 20% of cases, as x-rays findings are often subtle or absent. The mechanism, physical exam findings, such as the Hopkin's Test, and associated injuries are important to understand to help make the diagnosis and provide appropriate ED care.
Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture is almost exclusively a male injury and occurs in a younger age group compared to the Proximal Biceps Rupture. It is important to distinguish these injuries as their management and outcomes are different. The mechanism and physical exam findings of Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture, such as the Hook Test, are key in this respect.
Quadriceps Tendon Rupture is often misdiagnosed as a simple ‘knee sprain’, but should be consideration for surgical intervention. Quadriceps tendon ruptures are more commonly seen in patients older than 40 years and are more common than patella tendon ruptures which are more commonly seen in patients under 40 years of age. Interestingly, up to 1/3 of patients present with bilateral quadriceps tendon ruptures, so comparing to the contralateral knee may be misleading. There is a spectrum of knee extensor injuries that should be understood in order to provide proper care, with the Straight-Leg-Raise Test being abnormal in all of them. This is of the most important physical exam maneuvers to perform on every ED patient with a knee injury. The x-ray findings of these injuries may be subtle or absent, and proper immobilization of these injuries is important to prevent recoil of the tendon.
Patients with calf pain and Gastrocnemius Tears are often misdiagnosed as having a DVT. In fact, one small study showed that gastrocnemius tears were misattributed to DVT in 29% of patients. This confusion occurs because sometimes patients who suffer a gastrocnemius tear report a prodrome of calf tightness several days before the injury, suggesting a potential chronic predisposition. With a good history and physical, and POCUS if you’re skilled at it, needless work-ups for DVT can be avoided.
For well thought out approaches, pearls and pitfalls, to these 4 Commonly Missed Uncommon Orthopedic Injuries, listen to the podcast and read the rest of this blog post....
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Rank #11: Episode 4: Acute Congestive Heart Failure
Dr. Eric Letovsky and Dr. Brian Steinhart describe a practical way to approach patients with undifferentiated SOB and acute congestive heart failure, the utility of various symptoms and signs in the diagnosis of CHF, as well as the controversies surrounding the best use of BNP and Troponin in the ED. A discussion of the use of ultrasound for patients with SOB as well as the indications for formal Echo are reviewed. In the second part of the episode they discuss the management of acute congestive heart failure based on a practical EM model, as well as the difficulties surrounding disposition of patients with CHF.
Rank #12: EM Quick Hits 6 Blunt Cardiac Trauma, Atrial Fibrillation Anticoagulation, Hydromorphone vs Morphine, Myasthenia Gravis, Venous Access
In this EM Quick Hits episode: Andrew Petrosoniak on diagnosis and risk stratification of blunt cardiac trauma, Clare Atzema on latest guidelines for anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation, Maria Ivankovic on hydromorphone vs morphine for acute pain, Brit Long on clinical pearls in the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis, Anand Swaminathan on venous access tips and tricks, and bonus material from EM Cases Course June 2018 with Walter Himmel and Barbara Tatham on Physician Compassion and tools to prevent burnout...
Rank #13: Ep 112 Tachydysrhythmias with Amal Mattu and Paul Dorion
In this EM Cases main Episode 112 Tachydysrhythmias with Amal Mattu and Paul Dorion we discuss a potpurri of clinical goodies for the recognition and management of both wide and narrow complex tachydysrhythmias and answer questions such as: Which patients with stable Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) require immediate electrical cardioversion, chemical cardioversion or no cardioversion at all? Are there any algorithms that can reliably distinguish VT from SVT with aberrancy? What is the "verapamil death test"? While procainamide may be the first line medication for stable VT based on the PROCAMIO study, what are the indications for IV amiodarone for VT? How should we best manage patients with VT who have an ICD? How can the Bix Rule help distinguish Atrial Flutter from SVT? What is the preferred medication for conversion of SVT to sinus rhythm, Adenosine or Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs)? Why is amiodarone contraindicated in patients with WPW associated with atrial fibrillation? What are the important differences in the approach and treatment of atrial fibrillation vs. atrial flutter? How can we safely curb the high bounce-back rate of patients with atrial fibrillation who present to the ED? and many more...
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Rank #14: Ep 122 Sepsis and Septic Shock – What Matters from EM Cases Course
In this podcast Dr. Sara Gray, intensivist and emergency physician, co-author of The CAEP Sepsis Guidelines, answers questions such as: How does one best recognize occult septic shock? How does SIRS, qSOFA and NEWS compare in predicting poor outcomes in septic patients? Which fluid and how much fluid is best for resuscitation of the septic shock patients? What are the indications for norepinephrine, and when in the resuscitation should it be given, in light of the CENSER trial? What are the goals of resuscitation in the patient with sepsis or septic shock? When should antibiotics administered, given that the latest Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines recommend that antibiotics be administered within one hour of arrival for all patients suspected of sepsis or septic shock? What are the indications for a second vasopressor after norepinephrine? Given the conflicting evidence for steroids in sepsis, what are the indications for steroids? Should we be considering steroids with Vitamin C and thiamine for patients in septic shock? What are the pitfalls of lactate interpretation, and how do serial lactates compare to capillary refill in predicting poor outcomes in light of the ANDROMEDA trial? Is procalcitonin a valuable prognostic indicator in septic patients? and many more...
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Rank #15: Episode 20: Atrial Fibrillation
In this episode Dr. Clare Atzema, Dr. Nazanin Meshkat and Dr. Bryan Au discuss the presentation, etiology, precipitants, management and disposition of Atrial Fibrillation in the Emergency Department. The pros and cons of rate and rhythm control are debated, what you need to know about rate and rhythm control medications reviewed, and the strength of the Ottawa Aggressive Protocol discussed. The importance of appropriate anticoagulation is detailed, with a review of the CHADS-VASc score and whether to use Warfarin, Dabigatran or ASA for stroke prevention for patient with Atrial Fibrillation. We end off with a discussion on how to recognize and treat Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome in the setting of Atrial Fibrillation.
Rank #16: Episode 41: Hypertensive Emergencies
In this episode on Hypertensive Emergencies, Dr. Joel Yaphe, EM residency program director at the University of Toronto & Dr. Clare Atzema, one of Canada's leading cardiovascular EM researchers will discuss the controversies of how to manage patients who present to the ED with high blood pressure and evidence of end organ damage related to the high blood pressure. Hypertensive emergencies are a grab bag of diagnoses that all need to be treated differently. Hypertensive Encephalopathy, Aortic Dissection, Acute Pulmonary Edema, Pre-eclampsia & Eclampsia, Acute Renal Failure, Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and Intracranial Hemorrhage all need individualized blood pressure management.
Rank #17: Episode 63 – Pediatric DKA
Pediatric DKA was identified as one of key diagnoses that we need to get better at managing in a massive national needs assessment conducted by the fine folks at TREKK – Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids – one of EM Cases’ partners who’s mission is to improve the care of children in non-pediatric emergency departments across the country. You might be wondering - why was DKA singled out in this needs assessment?
It turns out that kids who present to the ED in DKA without a known history of diabetes, can sometimes be tricky to diagnose, as they often present with vague symptoms. When a child does have a known history of diabetes, and the diagnosis of DKA is obvious, the challenge turns to managing severe, life-threatening DKA, so that we avoid the many potential complications of the DKA itself as well as the complications of treatment - cerebral edema being the big bad one.
The approach to these patients has evolved over the years, even since I started practicing, from bolusing insulin and super aggressive fluid resuscitation to more gentle fluid management and delayed insulin drips, as examples. There are subtleties and controversies in the management of DKA when it comes to fluid management, correcting serum potassium and acidosis, preventing cerebral edema, as well as airway management for the really sick kids. In this episode we‘ll be asking our guest pediatric emergency medicine experts Dr. Sarah Reid, who you may remember from her powerhouse performance on our recent episodes on pediatric fever and sepsis, and Dr. Sarah Curtis, not only a pediatric emergency physician, but a prominent pediatric emergency researcher in Canada, about the key historical and examination pearls to help pick up this sometimes elusive diagnosis, what the value of serum ketones are in the diagnosis of DKA, how to assess the severity of DKA to guide management, how to avoid the dreaded cerebral edema that all too often complicates DKA, how to best adjust fluids and insulin during treatment, which kids can go home, which kids can go to the floor and which kids need to be transferred to a Pediatric ICU.
Rank #18: Best Case Ever 31: Emergency Pericardiocentesis
On this EM Cases Best Case Ever, Andrew Sloas, the brains behinds the fabulous PEM-ED podcast tells the tale of a pericardiocentesis gone bad and what he learned from it. Emergency pericardicentesis can be life saving, but it also carries risks. Dr. Sloas reviews the steps to take to ensure that the pericardiocentesis needle is the the correct place to minimize the risk of intubating the right ventricle of the heart. A discussion of errors of omission and ones of commission follows....
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Rank #19: Ep 113 Pulmonary Embolism Challenges in Diagnosis Part 1
Dr. Kerstin DeWit and Dr. Eddy Lang answer the questions that plague us on almost every shift: Which patients require any work-up at all for PE? What’s the utility of PERC and Well’s scores? Should the newer YEARS decision tool supplant Well’s? When should we order a D-dimer? What’s the diagnostic role of CXR, ECG, POCUS, CTA and VQ? How should we work up pregnant patients for PE? How can we use shared decision making strategies for PE to help us do what’s best for our patients, and many more...
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Rank #20: Episode 59: Bronchiolitis
This EM Cases episode is on the diagnosis and management of Bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis is one of the most common diagnoses we make in both general and pediatric EDs, and like many pediatric illnesses, there’s a wide spectrum of severity of illness as well as a huge variation in practice in treating these children. Bronchiolitis rarely requires any work up yet a lot of resources are used unnecessarily. We need to know when to worry about these kids, as most of them will improve with simple interventions and can be discharged home, while a few will require complex care. Sometimes it’s difficult to predict which kids will do well and which kids won’t. Not only is it difficult to predict the course of illness in some of these children but the evidence for different treatment modalities for Bronchiolitis is all over the place, and I for one, find it very confusing. Then there’s the sphincter tightening really sick kid in severe respiratory distress who’s tiring with altered LOC. We need to be confident in managing these kids with severe disease.
So, with the help of Dr. Dennis Scolnik, the clinical fellowship program director at Toronto’s only pediatric emergency department and Dr. Sanjay Mehta, an amazing educator who you might remember from his fantastic work on our Pediatric Ortho episode, we’ll sort through how to assess the child with respiratory illness, how to predict which kids might run into trouble, and what the best evidence-based management of these kids is.