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Bringing you Canada's brightest minds in Emergency Medicine

Episodes

Best Case Ever 52 – Pediatric Hypothermia Cardiac Arrest  

In anticipation of EM Cases Episode 90 on the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) guidelines with the lead author Dr. Allan DeCaen and Dr. Anthony Crocco, Dr. DeCaen tells his Best Case Ever showing us the value of orchestrated team work and a great example of the saying, "they're not dead until they're warm and dead"...

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Episode 89 – DOACs Part 2: Bleeding and Reversal Agents  

In this Part 2, DOACs Bleeding and Reversal we discuss the management of bleeding in patients taking DOACs with minor risk bleeds, like epistaxis where local control is easy to access, moderate risk bleeds, like stable GI bleeds and high risk bleeds, like intracranial hemorrhage. We answer questions such as: How do we weigh the risks and benefits of stopping the DOAC? When is reversal of the DOAC is advised? How best do we accomplish the reversal of DOACs? Is there any good evidence for the newest reversal agent? When should we stop DOACs for different procedures, and when should we delay the procedure?

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Episode 88 – DOACs Part 1: Use and Misuse  

As we get better at picking up thromboembolic disease, and the indications for Direct Oral Anticoagulants (DOACs) widen, we're faced with increasingly complex decisions about when to start these medications, how to start them, when to stop them and how to manage bleeding associated with them. There’s a lot that we need to know about these drugs to minimize the risk of thromboembolism in our patients while at the same time minimizing their risk of bleeding...

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Journal Jam 8 – Dilute Apple Juice for Pediatric Gastroenteritis  

This is EM Cases Journal Jam podcast on a randomized control trial of dilute apple juice vs PediaLyte for mild pediatric gastroenteritis. While IV rehydration is required in cases of severe gastroenteritis (which we rarely see in North America) and oral rehydration with electrolyte maintenance solutions is still the mainstay in treating moderate gastroenteritis, could better-tasting, more cost-effective fluids such as diluted apple juice be just as effective as traditional electrolyte solutions in milder cases? Listen to Dr. Justin Morgenstern (@First10EM) interviewing Dr. Stephen Freedman, the world-renowned pediatric EM researcher who put ondansetron for pediatric gastroenteritis on the map and who was one of our guest experts on our main episode on Pediatric Gastroenteritis, Constipation and Bowel Obstruction, about this practice-changing paper. This is followed by a hilarious rant on the topic from Dr. Anthony Crocco ("Ranthony"), the Division head and medical director of pediatric EM at Hamilton Health Sciences.

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Best Case Ever 51 – Anticoagulants and GI Bleed with Walter Himmel  

In anticipation of Episode 88 and 89: DOACs Use, Misuse and Reversal with the president of Thrombosis Canada and world renowned thrombosis researcher Dr. Jim Douketis, internist and thrombosis expert Dr. Benjamin Bell and 'The Walking Encyclopedia of EM' Dr. Walter Himmel, we have Dr. Himmel telling us the story of his Best Case Ever on anticoagulants and GI bleed. He discusses the most important contraindication to DOACs, the importance of not only attempting to reverse the effects of anticoagulants in a bleeding patient but managing the bleed itself as well as more great pearls. In the upcoming episodes we'll run through 6 cases and cover the clinical use of DOACs, how they work, safety, indications, contraindications, management of minor, moderate and severe bleeding, the new DOAC reversal agents, management of DVT with DOAC anticoagulants, stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation with DOACs and much more...

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Episode 87 – Alcohol Withdrawal and Delerium Tremens: Diagnosis and Management  

Alcohol withdrawal is everywhere. We see over half a million patients in U.S. EDs for alcohol withdrawal every year. Despite these huge volumes of patients and the diagnosis of alcohol withdrawal seeming relatively straightforward, it’s actually missed more often than we’d like to admit, being confused with things like drug intoxication or sepsis. Or it’s not even on our radar when an older patient presents with delirium. What’s even more surprising is that even if we do nail the diagnosis, observational studies show that in general, alcohol withdrawal is poorly treated. So, to help you become masters of alcohol withdrawal management, our guest experts on this podcast are Dr. Bjug Borgundvaag, an ED doc and researcher with a special interest in emergency alcohol related illness and the director of Schwartz-Reismann Emergency Medicine Institute, Dr. Mel Kahan, an addictions specialist for more than 20 years who’s written hundreds of papers and books on alcohol related illness, and the medical director of the substance use service at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, and Dr. Sara Gray, ED-intensivist at St. Michael's Hospital...

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Best Case Ever 50 – Delirium Tremens  

In anticipation of EM Cases Episode 87 on Alcohol Withdrawal Dr. Sara Gray describes her Best Case Ever of severe alcohol withdrawal and Delirium Tremens from Janus General.

Also on this podcast Dr. Anand Swaminathan reacts to Episode 86 Emergency Management of Hyperkalemia and discusses the use of calcium in the setting of digoxin toxicity.

Early recognition and treatment of Delirium Tremens - a rapid onset of severe alcohol withdrawal accompanied by delirium and autonomic instability about 3-10 days after the appearance of withdrawal symptoms - is key to preventing long term morbidity and mortality...

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Episode 86 – Emergency Management of Hypekalemia  

This is 'A Nuanced Approach to Emergency Management of Hyperkalemia' on EM Cases.
Of all the electrolyte emergencies, hyperkalemia is the one that has the greatest potential to lead to cardiac arrest. And so, early in my EM training I learned to get the patient on a monitor, ensure IV access, order up an ECG, bombard the patient with a cocktail of kayexalate, calcium, insulin, B-agonists, bicarb, fluids and furosemide, and get the patient admitted, maybe with some dialysis to boot. Little did I know that some of these therapies were based on theory alone while others were based on a few small poorly done studies. It turns out that some of these therapies may cause more harm than good, and that precisely when and how to give these therapies to optimize patient outcomes is still not really known...

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Best Case Ever 49 – Post-Arrest Hyperkalemia  

Melanie Baimel's Best Case Ever on Post-Arrest Hyperkalemia on EM Cases.
Post arrest patients can sometimes be challenging. We need to think of a variety of underlying causes of the arrest, antiarrhythmics, possible cath lab activation, targeted temperature management, sedation and more. To add to this, many post arrest patients do not have ideal vital signs that require attention. In this Best Case Ever, in anticipation of our upcoming episode on A Rational Approach to Hyperkalemia Dr. Melanie Baimel describes a post arrest patient who remains bradycardic and hypotensive despite multiple pressors....

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Episode 85 – Medical Clearance of the Psychiatric Patient  

Psychiatric chief complaints comprise about 6 or 7% of all ED visits, with the numbers of psychiatric patients we see increasing every year. The ED serves as both the lifeline and the gateway to psychiatric care for millions of patients suffering from acute behavioural or psychiatric emergencies. As ED docs, besides assessing the risk of suicide and homicide, one of the most important jobs we have is to determine whether the patient’s psychiatric or behavioral emergency is the result of an organic disease process, as opposed to a psychological one. There is no standard process for this. With the main objective in mind of picking up and appropriately managing organic disease while improving flow, decreasing cost and maintaining good relationships with our psychiatry colleagues, we have Dr. Howard Ovens, Dr. Brian Steinhart and Dr. Ian Dawe discuss this controversial topic...

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Best Case Ever 48 – Organic vs Psychiatric Illness  

Sometimes what initially appears to be a psychiatric illness turns out to be an organic illness, and vise versa. In our assessment of the patient with altered behaviour, it is critical to drill down and dissect apart the type of hallucinations a patient might be displaying, whether the demented patient is simply suffering from worsening dementia or alternatively has acute delirium (which carries a high mortality rate), and whether their somatic complaints might be due to depression or a psychotic psychiatric illness. In anticipation of our upcoming episode on Medical Clearance of the Psychiatric Patient Dr. Brian Steinhart tells the story of his Best Case Ever, reminding us of some of the clinical clues that can help us in our approach to the patient with altered behaviour, so that we avoid misdiagnosing a psychiatric illness with an organic one, or even worse, an organic illness with a psychiatric one...

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Episode 84 – Congenital Heart Disease Emergencies  

Congenital Heart Disease Emergencies on EM cases with Gary Joubert and Ashley Strobel.

You might be surprised to learn that the prevalence of critical cardiac disease in infants is almost as high as the prevalence of infant sepsis. And if you’re like me, you don’t feel quite as confident managing sick infants with critical heart disease as you do managing sepsis. Critical congenital heart defects are often missed in the ED. For a variety of reasons, there are currently more children with congenital heart disease presenting to the ED than ever before and these numbers will continue to grow in the future. When I was in medical school I vaguely remember learning the complex physiology and long lists of congenital heart diseases, which I’ve now all but forgotten. What we really need to know about congenital heart disease emergencies is what actions to take in the ED when we have a cyanotic or shocky baby in front of us in the resuscitation room. So with the goal of learning a practical approach to congenital heart disease emergencies using the child’s age, colour and few simple tests, Dr. Strobel and Dr. Joubert will discuss some key actions, pearls and pitfalls so that the next time you’re faced with that crashing baby in the resuscitation room, you’ll know exactly what to do.

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Journal Jam 7 – Amiodarone vs Lidocaine vs Placebo in Cardiac Arrest: The ALPS Trial  

Journal Jam 7 - Amiodarone vs Lidocaine vs Placebo in Cardiac Arrest: The ALPS Trial.

In our most popular EM Cases episode to date - ACLS Guidelines Cardiac Arrest Controversies, we boldly stated, that there has never been an antiarrhythmic medication that has shown any long term survival benefit in cardiac arrest. The use of medications in cardiac arrest has been one of those things that we all do, but that we know the evidence isn’t great for. Yet Amiodarone is still in the newest AHA adult cardiac arrest algorithm for ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycarida – 300mg IV after the 3rd shock with the option to give it again at 150mg after that. Anti-arrhythmics have been shown in previous RCTs to increase the rate of return of spontaneous circulation and even increased survival to hospital admission, however none of them have been able to show a decrease in mortality or a favourable neurological outcome at hospital discharge. In other words, there has never been shown a long term survival or functional benefit - which is a bit disconcerting.

But now, we have a recent large randomized, controlled trial that shines some new light on the role of anti-arrythmics in cardiac arrest - The ALPS trial: Amiodarone vs Lidocaine vs placebo in out of hospital cardiac arrest. In this Journal Jam podcast, Justin Morgenstern and Anton Helman interview two authors of the ALPS trial, Dr. Laurie Morrison a world-renowned researcher in cardiac arrest and Dr. Paul Dorian, a cardiac electrophysiologist and one of Canada's leading authorities on arrhythmias about what we should take away from the ALPS trial. It turns out, it's not so simple. We also discuss the value of dual shock therapy for shock resistant ventricular fibrillation and the future of cardiac arrest care.

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Best Case Ever 48 – Cyanotic Infant  

In anticipation of EM Cases' upcoming episode, Congenital Heart Disease Emergencies we have Dr. Gary Joubert a double certified Pediatric EM and Pediatric Cardiology expert telling his Best Case Ever of a four month old infant who presents with intermittent cyanosis. The Cyanotic Infant can present a significant challenge to the EM provider as the differential is wide, ranging from benign causes such as GERD to life threatening heart disease that may present atypically in a well-appearing child. Dr. Joubert gives us some simple sweet clinical pearls to help us along the way...

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Episode 83 – 5 Critical Care Controversies from SMACC Dublin  

EM Cases Episode 83 - 5 Critical Care Controversies from SMACC Dublin: I had the great opportunity to gather some of the brightest minds in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care from around the world (Mark Forrest from U.K., Chris Nickson from Australia, Chris Hicks from Canada and Scott Weingart from U.S.) at the SMACC Dublin Conference and ask them about 5 Critical Care Controversies and concepts:

How to best prepare your team for a resuscitation
Optimum fluid management in sepsis
Direct vs. video laryngoscopy as first line tool for endotracheal intubation
Early vs. late trauma intubation
Whether or not to attempt a thoracotomy in non-trauma centres

The discussion that ensued was enlightening...

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Best Case Ever 46 – Chris Nickson on Hickam’s Dictum  

EM Cases Best Case Ever - Chris Nickson on Hickam's Dictum.

Usually we use the heuristic of Occam's razor to help us arrive at one diagnosis that makes sense of all the data points that a particular patient presents to us. However sometimes it's not so straight forward and we need to think about multiple diagnoses that explain a patient's condition - Hickam's Dictum. Dr. Chris Nickson, the brains behind the Life in the Fast Lane blog tells his Best Case Ever from the SMACC Conference in Dublin, in which a patient thrombolysed for massive pulmonary embolism suffers a cardiac arrest, and the thought process he went through to discover the surprising complicating diagnoses that ensue...

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Episode 82 –  Emergency Radiology Controversies  

EM Cases Episode 82 Emergency Radiology Controversies, pearls and pitfalls: Which patients with chest pain suspected of ACS require a CXR? What CXR findings do ED docs tend to miss? How should we workup solitary pulmonary nodules found on CXR or CT? Is the abdominal x-ray dead or are there still indications for it's use? Which x-ray views are preferred for detecting pneumoperitoneum? When should we consider ultrasound as a screening test instead of, or before, CT? What are the indications for contrast in abdominal and head CT? How should we manage the patient who has had a previous CT contrast reaction who really needs a CT with contrast? What is the truth about CT radiation for shared decision making? And much more...

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Episode 81 – A Balanced View on Recent EM Literature with Joel Yaphe  

EM Cases - A Balanced View on recent EM Literature with Joel Yaphe

Being an optimist, I'm constantly searching for EM literature that will change my practice in a positive way and ultimately improve the care that I deliver. The past year was filled with promising papers, some of which received a lot of attention. I'm not the only one who is biased towards craving a positive paper - so are the researchers, the journal editors and the public. We all want our field to mightily move forward!

Enter Dr. Joel Yaphe. An EM Residency Program Director at University of Toronto and an ED doc who I admire for his balanced, sensible and practical approach to appraising the literature. In this episode Dr. Yaphe, at University of Toronto's Update in EM Conference - Whistler, leads us through a few key articles from the past year including the REVERT trial to convert SVT, medical expulsive therapy for urolithiasis, steroids in anaphylaxis, and analgesics for low back pain, and discusses whether they should (or rather, should not) change our practice. He challenges authors' conclusions and questions whether the findings are relevant to our patients....

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Best Case Ever 45 – Mike Winters on Cardiac Arrest  

I had the great pleasure of meeting Dr. Mike Winters on his first ever visit to Canada at North York General's Emergency Medicine Update Conference, where he gave two fantastic presentations. His credentials are impressive: He is the Medical Director of the Emergency Department, Associate Professor in both EM and IM, EM-IM-Critical Care Program co-director and Residency Program Director of EM-IM at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

Sometimes we are so caught up with the job we need to get done during cardiac arrest that we forget about the important and profound effect that this event has on patients' families. On this Best Case Ever Dr. Winters tells the story of witnessing his grandfather's cardiac arrest, being present in the ED during the resuscitation attempts, and how that experience has coloured his practice. We discuss some pearls on communication with patients' families after death, colour-coded cardiac arrest teams and how to integrate POCUS into cardiac arrest care while minimizing chest compressions.

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Episode 80 – Presentation Skills  

Whether you’re a first year resident or a veteran of EM, you’ve probably given, or will be giving at least one presentation at some point in your career. On the one hand, presentations can be intimidating, time consuming to prepare for and frightening to perform, but on the other hand, if you’re well-prepared and know the tricks of the trade, they can be fun, educational and hugely rewarding. Giving a memorable and educational talk requires skill. It requires serious thoughtful planning, dedicated practice and creativity. The good news is that these skills can be easily taught.

What we know about giving great talks comes from non-medical fields. We can learn about how to use our voices, eyes and body language effectively during a presentation from stage actors. We can learn how to build great slides from experts in design. We can learn how to use stories to help engage an audience and improve their retention of the material from writers, broadcasters and storytellers. We can learn how to inspire people from professional speech writers, and we can employ strategies to help improve retention of the material from cognitive neuroscientists and educators.

As EM providers, we’re much too busy to read dozens of books on effective presenting, so with the help of two EM physicians and master educators, Dr. Eric Letovsky who has studied the art of public speaking and has been giving presentations for more than 30 years, and Dr. Rick Penciner who has been scouring the world’s literature on this topic for 20 years, we’ll distill down for you the key secrets, tips and tricks, theories and approaches, pearls and pitfalls of presentation skills so that the next time you get up in front of your colleagues to give a talk, you’ll blow their minds...

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