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Why? How? What? Big Questions for Prehospital Simulation

Originally posted on The Collective:

At CareFlight another round of training many people is about to come up so it seemed like a good chance to ask Dr Sam Bendall for her first contribution. 

Sam is an Emergency Physician who is passionate about education, particularly all things simulation. She works half-time at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney in the Emergency Department where she helped develop and teaches the RPA Trauma Team Training program, teaches on the CIN nurses programs and helped develop the ED Essentials program. 

At CareFlight she is a retrieval doc (the other half-time) and the Deputy Director of Education. The CareFlight Education Team are always up to interesting things – from training the Australian Defence Force medical on how to look after all things ballistic, medical, surgical and paediatric, to running the Pre-Hospital Trauma Course both in Sydney and other locations (Malaysia, anyone?), to running Trauma Care Workshops all over the country. Oh…

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A Short Video About Bleeding Airways

Originally posted on The Collective:

Managing the airway in prehospital and retrieval medicine is a challenge and has inspired many a discussion in many a setting. And anyone working in the area would appreciate the additional challenge when there’s lots of blood getting in the way.  As a result everyone has tips and and tricks to try and manage things.

This is by no means the first time people have come up with an approach (or shared an approach) but in the spirit of wide-ranging discussion, here’s a suggestion from Dr Alan Garner recorded for posterity in video.

It runs for about 10 minutes and you’ll note that at the end there’s an update as the approach evolved.

All thoughts, feedback and experience very welcome.

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Keeping Things Calm: Remote Retrieval of the Psychiatric Patient

Originally posted on The Collective:

Jodie Mills, RN works with CareFlight’s Top End Medical Retrieval Service, flying out of Darwin across vast stretches of the Northern Territory. She grew up in the Royal Melbourne Hospital ICU before moving to Darwin 8 years ago where she completed midwifery studies.  She joined CareFlight 4 years ago and slightly pities all those who don’t get to fly in the top end. 

When asked to contribute to a blog and write about psychiatric aeromedical retrieval all I heard was my colleagues’ collective signs of “not another psych job!!”

The thing is, I’ve developed a bit of an interest in these patients after closely looking at the psychiatric retrievals in NT for the last 3 years. This specialised patient group presents a huge challenge to both the flight crew and our remote colleagues when presenting acutely unwell in our communities.

By the Numbers

I recently presented at the ASA/FNA/ASAM Aeromedical Retrieval Conference…

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Prehospital anaesthesia

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MEDEST Review 30. One year in Review.

Originally posted on MEDEST:

MEDEST-review

 

 

 

DISCLOSURE: MEDEST strongly encourage AWARNESS reading the propoused articles.
Abstracts are often misleading and articles potentially biased. Even this selection is not immune from potential bias (just human factors not commercial interests).
So download the full text and read it carefully to have a clear and complete opinion of the related topics.

The latest Review of the year is dedicated to a collection of the most important (for us) articles of this 2014.

This is MEDEST way to wish you all Merry Xmas.

Logo MEDEST xmas

Enjoy the reading:

Cardiac Arrest

Chest compression

Mechanical Devices

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DIY to Stop the Blood

Originally posted on The Collective:

This thing comes from Dr Andrew Weatherall, paediatric anaesthetist and prehospital doc. He also blogs over at www.theflyingphd.wordpress.com

I don’t do DIY. This is partly because in the same way I wouldn’t expect a carpenter to have a crack at fixing their kids’ bones in preference to seeing an orthopod, I think it makes sense to use professionals.

It’s also because I’m just not that great at it. Anything I did make would end up looking like something trying to squeeze itself into the shape of the thing it is sort of supposed to be. And I’m fond enough of my family to want to protect them from the risks of my own handiwork.

Anyway, I do paediatric anaesthesia. I get to spend more than enough time trying to make things that aren’t quite right for the situation fit in with what I need. Why DIY at home when you…

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The “3 SIMPLE Rules”: an easy and accurate tool for recognizing VT

Originally posted on MEDEST:

Following the discussion on ectopy and aberrancy (view Ectopy or aberrancy? Google Ecg+ community comments on a clinical case.)  Ken Grauer, EKG master and author of many EKG books, gave us the permission to share his “3 SIMPLE Rules” to recognize VT in a simple ad accurate way.
 
  • Rule #1 Is there extreme axis deviation during WCT

Extreme axis deviation is easy to recognize. The QRS complex will be entirely negative in either lead I or lead aVF. The presence of extreme axis deviation during a WCT rhythm is virtually diagnostic of VT.
  • Rule #2 Is lead V6 all (or almost all) negative?

IF ever the QRS in lead V6 is either all negative (or almost all negative)  then VT is highly likely.
  • Rule #3 Is the QRS during WCT “ugly”?

The “uglier” the QRS the more likely the rhythm is. VT originates from a ventricular…

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The Bind When It Comes to a Binder (Part 3)

Originally posted on The Collective:

There’s been a lot of stimulating discussion after parts 1 and 2 of this series from Dr Alan Garner (you can check those here and here). Here’s part 3. 

Thanks for sticking with the discussion so far. In part 2 we had a look at AP compression injuries and lateral compression injuries. Short summary is binders make sense and there is some observational evidence of benefit in AP compression injuries. However in lateral compression, binders make no biomechanical sense and there is definite evidence they increase fracture displacement both in cadavers and real live trauma patients.

The final group that we have not yet considered in the Young and Burgess classification is the vertical shear group. These patients are complex because the injuries are both horizontally and vertically unstable. You will see what I mean if you have a look at this Xray:

Pelvic Xray copy

Is putting a binder around the…

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Fluid resuscitation in bleeding trauma patient: are you aware of wich is the right fluid and the right strategy?

Originally posted on MEDEST:

DCR copy

The fluids of choice in prehospital field are, in most cases, cristalloids (Norma Saline or Lactate Ringer).

But what is the physiological impact of saline solutions when administered in large amounts (as the latest ATLS guidelines indicates) to hypotensive trauma patients?

Is aggressive Fluid resuscitation the right strategy to be pursued?

The triad of post-trauma lethal evolution is:

  • Hypotermia
  • Acidosis
  • Coagulopathy

Aggressive fluid resuscitation with cristalloids, and saline solutions in particular, can be detrimental in many ways:

  1. Cristalloids tend to displace the already formed clots and improves bleeding
  2. Normal Saline produce hypercloremic acidosis worsening coagulation and precipitating renal and immune dysfunction
  3. Cristalloids diluts the coagulation factors and precipitate the coagulation system (dilution coagulopathy)
  4. Cristalloids rapidilly shift in intercellular space worsening SIRS process and interstitial edema (brain edema, bowel wall edema) with consequent compartment hypertension

So wich is the perfect fluid to infuse in trauma?

The perfect fluid doesn’t exists.

Balanced saline…

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Scary Little Creatures

Originally posted on The Collective:

Dr Andrew Weatherall does prehospital doctor stuff but spends lots of time serving the somnolent god of anaesthesia  in a tertiary paediatric hospital. He has particular interests in cardiac, thoracic, trauma and liver transplant anaesthesia and is trying to be a PhD student in his spare time.  You can also find him as @doc_andy_w 

Little creatures have the potential to cause significant stress. It’s true of spiders. It’s true of parasites. And for many medicos, it’s true of paediatric patients. All too often, the experienced clinician confronted with the alien life-form of a kid goes through a rapid medical devolution, retreating to the almost foetal uselessness of a medical student confronted for the first time by having to do a procedure they’ve only read about.

It’s entirely reasonable to feel less comfortable with stuff you don’t do all the time. In fact, it’s healthy to step up a level of vigilance…

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Bougie aided video assisted intubation through King Laryngeal Tube

Originally posted on MEDEST:

If you have a patient with a King LT in place and want to intubate him use the Bougie and the videolaryngoscope. It works perfectly.

Here is the video tutorial.

Logo MEDEST2

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The Bind About Pelvic Binders (Part 2)

Originally posted on The Collective:

This is part 2 in Dr Alan Garner’s series on pelvic fractures and the approach to binders. You can find part 1 here

In part one we had a look at the evidence for benefit from pelvic binders. In short there is no study yet published showing a significant improvement in mortality. Not even a cohort study.

Of course, it still might be OK to use them if they possibly help as long as there is no evidence of harm either (and they don’t cost too much). The probability of good has to outweigh the probability of evil. It is the potential for evil that I want to examine now so we can see where the balance lies.

Before we can do that though we need to have a quick look at the types of pelvic ring fractures (no one is suggesting that non-pelvic ring fractures of the pelvis…

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The Bind When it Comes to Using a Binder

Originally posted on The Collective:

This post by Dr Alan Garner is the first of a trio on the topic of pelvic fractures and the evidence for what to do. Alan is an emergency physician at Nepean Hospital in Sydney and the Medical Director of CareFlight, having started in prehospital medicine in 1996. He has a bunch of other interests but there’s not enough space for that here.

Unfortunately I am old enough to remember when MAST suits were considered standard of care. In many states of the US it was law that ambulances had to carry them – that is how convinced everyone was that the things were doing good, not evil. We were all misled by measuring surrogates of outcome such as blood pressure rather than the outcomes that really matter, morbidity and mortality. Of course when good studies evaluating mortality were eventually done we discovered the evil side of the device and…

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Mechanical CPR: Three CHEERS or a big thumbs down?

Originally posted on AmboFOAM:

There has been a fair bit about mechanical CPR devices floating around the FOAMasphere lately, so I thought I should probably do a post.

These devices are not exactly new (check out the Thumper, in use in Victoria in the 70s) However, there seems to be a surge in interest in these devices, and I must say there seems to me to have been a largely positive buzz about them in spite of the evidence for their effectiveness being somewhat lacking to say the least.

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Auckland HEMS Checklist Reference Manual

Originally posted on Auckland HEMS:

Dear colleagues,

In June of this year our Canadian HEMS Fellow Dr. Robert Gooch shared one of our emergency checklists with the Prehospital and Retrieval Medicine (PHARM) community. Thank you to those of you who provided feedback on this initiative. We continue to draw inspiration from the work of Dr. Atul Gawande. http://atulgawande.com/

Now, in the spirit of Free Open Access Medicine, we are keen to share our complete Auckland HEMS Checklist Reference Manual with the PHARM community. At the start of September we made this manual operational within our service.

Innovation is one element of success; implementation is another core element.  http://www.sjtrem.com/content/19/1/53/abstract This article emphasizes the importance of end-users ‘the sharp end’ being involved throughout the checklist development process. We are fortunate to have input into this checklist from our pilots, crewmen, paramedics and doctors. Even our CEO (who is also a pilot) has shared his experience.

We see…

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