Skip to main content


Pediatric Airway Management in the Emergency Department

Pediatric endotracheal intubation is an uncommon procedure in the Emergency Department (ED); even in high volume tertiary pediatric centres the incidence has been reported at 8-10/10,000 patients. While infrequent, pediatric airway management is an essential and life-saving skill that all ER physicians must be prepared for.  Much of the knowledge and skill set from the adult world is applicable here, however there are several important differences that are unique to the pediatric population.

Recent posts

Effect of Noninvasive Ventilation Delivered by Helmet vs. Facemask on the Rate of Endotracheal Intubation in Patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

SummaryMethodology Score: 4/5
Usefulness Score: 3.5/5

Patel BK, et al. JAMA. 2016 Jun 14;315(22):2435-41
Full Article

Editorial: Unmasking a Role for Noninvasive Ventilation in Early Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Beitler JR, et al. JAMA. 2016 Jun 14;315(22):2401-3.

This single-centre, non-blinded RCT of ICU ARDS patients, found that NIV delivered by a novel helmet, as compared to a standard NIV facemask, reduced intubations (18.2% vs. 61.5%; P <0.001) and hospital mortality (27.3% vs. 48.7%; P= 0.04). Despite its few methodological flaws, this study supports the existing literature on the advantage of oxygen delivered via helmet over facemask in avoiding intubation in ARDS, and future studies should focus on its impact in heart failure or hypercapneic respiratory failure.
By: Dr. Shannon Fernando 
Epi lesson:
Interim Analyses and Stopping Rules
In clinical trials, an interim analysis is one that is conducted before data collection has been completed to determin…

Focus on POCUS: Subacute, Progressive Dyspnea while Swimming

A male in his 60’s presents with progressive dyspnea on exertion x 1 month starting while he was swimming in the ocean. He had not been diving.  He has no significant medical history and takes no medications.

Diagnosis of Acute Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema (ACPE) with Point-of-Care Ultrasound

Point-of-Care Ultrasonography (POCUS) is a valuable tool in the diagnostic armamentarium of the emergency physician. We have been successfully using it to the place lines, diagnose AAAs and assess the cardiac function of our dyspnea patients for awhile now. But what about the lungs? Typically air is thought of as the enemy of ultrasound, but can we successfully use it to diagnose acute respiratory conditions despite this? In this Grand Rounds review, Dr. Elizabeth Lalande goes through the use of POCUS in the diagnosis of Acute Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema in the undifferentiated, dyspneic patient. 

Clindamycin versus trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole for uncomplicated skin infections

Journal Club SummaryMethodology Score: 4/5                    Usefulness Score: 2/5
Miller LG, et al. N Engl J Med.2015Mar 19;372(12):1093-103. Full Article

Focus on POCUS: Palpitations and Dyspnea Post-AVR

This case is brought to you by Dr. Robert Ohle, PGY5 in emergency medicine, who assessed the patient and captured all of the ultrasound images! Case Vignette: A female in her 20's presents to the emergency department 15 days after major cardiac surgery to repair a congenital aortic valve defect. Her chief complaint is palpitations and shortness of breath, which have been constant and ongoing for the last 4 days. She has no PND or orthopnea, no calf swelling, or history of DVT/PE. She has no past medical history other than the aortic valve defect and is on no medications. Her exam shows a well looking young female in no acute distress. Her vitals are BP 110/40, HR 110, afebrile, O2 99% on room air, RR 18. Her sternotomy incision site looks healthy. Her lungs are clear and there is a loud cardiac murmur, but both the senior resident and staff are unable to tell if it is systolic or diastolic because of the patient’s tachycardia. There are no signs of DVT. Routine bloodwork including car…

Propofol or Ketofol for Procedural Sedation and Analgesia in Emergency Medicine - The POKER Study: A Randomized Double-Blind Clinical Trial

Journal Club SummaryMethodology Score: 4/5
Usefulness Score:  3.5/5

Ferguson I, et al.
Ann Emerg Med. 2016 Nov;68(5):574-582.
Abstract Link

SIRS? No SIRS? Understanding Sepsis in the Emergency Department after Sepsis-3.

Use of the term “sepsis” continues to be controversial. We understand that patients with infection can manifest an immune-mediated systemic response, and are at risk of deterioration, organ dysfunction, and death. At what point in that cascade the patient is termed “septic” remains the centre of ongoing debate. In 2016, under the coordination of Drs. Mervyn Singer and Cliff Deutschman, a task force of experts in sepsis research were assembled to create The Third International Consensus Definitions and Clinical Criteria of Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3)[1]. Prior to this, the most recent set of definitions were released in 2001[2], and our understanding of sepsis has since changed. Thus, the definition of sepsis required an update. These definitions have been a source of major disagreement, but their major tenets must be known and understood by Emergency Department (ED) physicians, in order to apply them correctly.

Effect of Hydrocortisone on Development of Shock Among Patients With Severe Sepsis: The HYPRESS Randomized Clinical Trial

Journal Club Summary
Methodology Score: 3/5                    Usefulness Score:  2.5/5
KehD, et al. JAMA.2016Nov 1;316(17):1775-1785 Abstract Link In this multicenter placebo-controlled double-blind RCT, the authors concluded that in adults with severe sepsis, hydrocortisone IV infusion does not prevent progression of severe sepsis to septic shock. While this study was well done overall, the group had concerns about the removal of patients with adverse events from the modified intention-to-treat analysis, the lack of reporting of time to antibiotics, powering the study to detect a very high (15%) difference between groups. This not being an ED study the results are not applicable to our population. By: Dr. Stephanie Barnes
EDITORIAL: Yende S,et al. Evaluating Glucocorticoids for Sepsis: Time to Change Course.  JAMA.2016Nov 1;316(17):1769-1771.
Epi lessonRandomization by Pocock minimization algorithmFebruary 2017
A random allocation of …

REBOA: Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta

The use of Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA) has become a topic of considerable interest as of late, primarily to treat non-compressible truncal hemorrhage (NCTH). However, it is beginning to expand into other causes of non-compressible bleeding.  Why do we care? Bleeding is the 2nd leading cause of traumatic death behind only traumatic brain injury (TBI). Additionally, it is the number one cause of preventable death in trauma, causing 85% of all preventable trauma deaths.  Furthermore, 35% of all pre-hospital deaths and over 40% of deaths within the first 24 hours following trauma are attributed to bleeding (Kauvar, Lefering, & Wade, 2006).  One article states that there are around 60 000 civilian deaths per year in the US secondary to traumatic bleeding (Sauaia et al., 1995). Is this REBOA thing new?! Nope. 
The concept and use of REBOA has been around since at least 1954, when Lieutenant Colonel Carl Hughes of the US military published an article desc…