The Current State of Refractory VF

The following guest post is written by MD candidate Joseph N. Ponce at McGovern Medical School, Houston TX, and describes the current state of evidence with adjunctive techniques to treat refractory VF.

Refractory ventricular fibrillation (RVF) is a life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia unresponsive to traditional methods of defibrillation and advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS). Current literature lacks a uniform definition for RVF, however, some studies provide more specific clinical definitions of refractory ventricular fibrillation such as ventricular fibrillation that is resistant to at least three defibrillation attempts, 300 mg of amiodarone, and does not exhibit return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) after > 10 min of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).… Read more

How to dose sugammadex

One of the newest drugs available to some EM provider is Sugammadex.  Trade name, Bridion, the drug functions as a reversal agent for Rocuronium.  An IV bolus of 16 mg/kg over 10 seconds via a central or peripheral line will reverse a single 1.2 mg/kg dose of rocuronium in approximately 3 minutes.  Although rarely used in the emergent setting, keep the dose in the back of your mind or reference on the WikEM app just incase you need to order it.… Read more

Neonatal Jaundice

Neonatal jaundice is one of the most common reason for newborns to return the hospital.  There are many risk factors and causes, with the most important piece of the workup being distinguishing direct vs indirect hyperbilirubinemia. Indirect hyperbilirubinemia can point towards a usually benign cause with breast feeding, breast milk and physiologic jaundice being the most common causes and present within the first 4-7 days of life.  Useful tools for risk stratification include the Bilitool for evaluating need for phototherapy.… Read more

Cerebral Venous Thrombosis

Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) is a rare disorder involving occlusion of the venous sinus (most commonly superior sagittal and lateral sinuses) .  CVT is a very difficult diagnosis with a highly variable onset that may include visual, neurologic or even infectious like symptoms.  Predisposing factors include:

  • Cancer
  • Pregnancy
  • Local infections (otitis media, sinusitis, cellulitis)
  • Hypercoagulable states
  • Trauma
  • Drugs (ecstasy, androgens, OCPs)
  • Compression of venous sinus (tumor, abscess)

Suspect CVT in patients presenting with headache, signs of increased ICP, or focal neurologic deficits, especially if any of above predisposing factors are present.  Do not use a D-dimer to rule out CVT. The workup includes, an MRI and MRV unless there is a contraindication, then… Read more

Pepper Spray Review

Pepper (oleoresin capsicum) spray is a commonly used riot-control and violence suppressive agent. It was first used by Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel in the US in 1973.  Commonly encountered effects include conjunctivitis, blepharospasm, and self induced corneal abrasions. Early decontamination minimizes the irritant effects.  Although the majority of the uses do not cause life threatening clinical effects many patients in custody or after exposure present to the Emergency Room. This wiki page will help you navigate the patient who just got Maced!Read more