BNP in the emergency department: The evidence

A review of the BNP literature

In the most recent episode of Emergency Medicine Cases Journal Jam, Rory, Anton, and I cover the evidence for (for against) using BNP in the emergency department. These are my notes.  Continue reading “BNP in the emergency department: The evidence”

Guidelines on intubation in critically ill patients

Some key take home points from a new guidelines on airway management in critically ill patients

Just as I set the last blog post in the airway series to post, a fantastic guideline was published on intubation in critically ill adult patients. It covers most of the content I tried to cover in those posts, and probably does a much better job. I recommend that everyone take the time to read it. I have already covered a lot of this information in the airway series, but as a way of reinforcing the lessons from those posts, I thought I would go through my personal takeaways from this document.

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Emergency Airway Management Part 5: Post intubation care

A guide to managing patients in the immediate post-intubation period


A 55-year-old man was found unconscious in the bathroom by his family. He has a GCS of 7. His vital signs on arrival are a heart rate of 130, a blood pressure of 90/55, a respiratory rate of 28, and an oxygen saturation of 89% on room air. After using basic airway maneuvers to temporarily stabilize his airway, you were able to take the time to appropriately resuscitate and pre-oxygenate him, prior to proceeding with intubation. You pass the tube easily on the first attempt. Looking around the room for someone to high-five, you realize your team is waiting for your instructions for the ongoing care of this sick patient…

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Articles of the Month (January 2018)

A monthly compilation of critical appraisals of the emergency medicine literature.

Welcome to another addition of the Articles of the Month. And yes, I know this is no longer a monthly publication, but it is always published in A month and you get what you pay for. The podcast version can be found over on Broome Docs. Enjoy. Continue reading “Articles of the Month (January 2018)”

Idarucizumab: Plenty of optimism, not enough science

A critique of the current science supporting idarucizumab

Optimism is essential. Few things are as powerful as hope for the future. When facing an onslaught of critically ill patients, optimism allows emergency physicians to persist. Optimism, however, can cloud also cloud our judgement; allow us to focus only on the good, not the bad. As physicians, we cannot afford optimism blindness. We need to be objective. We need to be scientists.

This month I was distressed to hear overly-optimistic, unscientific statements about idarucizumab on two of my favourite emergency medicine education programs: EM:RAP and EM Cases. I have incredible respect for these sources. EM:RAP has been irreplaceable in my emergency medicine education. On EM Cases, the statements were made by Dr. Walter Himmel, who is one of the smartest individuals I have ever had the opportunity to meet. But in this instance, I think that they were both wrong.

Continue reading “Idarucizumab: Plenty of optimism, not enough science”

Evidence Based Medicine is Easy

A simplified guide to approaching the medical literature

Evidence based medicine is easy.

I know that evidence based medicine scares people. That stats seem complicated. Papers are often full of obtuse language. People are constantly debating small details at journal clubs, which can leave many physicians feeling inadequate.

But I can assure you, evidence based medicine is easy. If I can do it, anyone can. The only difficult part is getting into the habit of actually picking up a paper and starting to read.

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Emergency Airway Management Part 4: Cricothyroidotomy (surgical front of neck access)

An approach to managing the emergency department patient in a can’t intubate can’t oxygenate scenario


A 55 year old man was found unconscious in the bathroom by his family. After appropriate resuscitation and pre-oxygenation, you determine that there are no major predictors of difficulty, and so proceed with RSI. On 2 attempts at laryngoscopy, both direct and video, you cannot visualize the cords. The LMA won’t sit properly, and now his oxygen saturation is 70% despite your best attempt at bag valve mask ventilation…

Continue reading “Emergency Airway Management Part 4: Cricothyroidotomy (surgical front of neck access)”