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Piloting a novel medical student virtual discharge counseling process in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic

Leybov, Victoria; Ross, Joshua; Smith, Silas W.; Ciardiello, Amber; Maheshwari, Sana; Caspers, Christopher; Wittman, Ian; Kuhner, Christopher; Stark, Stephen; Conroy, Nancy
Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we identified a gap in adequate discharge counseling for COVID-19 patients in the Emergency Department. This was due to high patient volumes and lack of patient education regarding a novel disease. Medical students were also restricted from clinical areas due to safety concerns, compromising their clinical experience. We piloted a novel program in which medical students served as virtual discharge counselors for COVID-19 patients via teleconference. We aimed to demonstrate an impact on patient care by examining the patient bounce back rate as well as assessing medical student education and experience. Methods: This program was piloted in a tertiary care Emergency Department. Medical student volunteers served as virtual discharge counselors. Students were trained in discharge counseling with a standardized protocol and a discharge script. Eligible patients for virtual discharge counseling were 18 years old or greater with a diagnosis of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and no impediment precluding them from participating in a telemedicine encounter. Counseling was provided via secure teleconference in the patient's preferred language. Counseling included diagnosis, supportive care with medication dosing, quarantine instructions, return precautions, follow up, and time to ask questions. Duration of counseling was recorded and medical students were anonymously surveyed regarding their experience. Results: Over an 18-week period, 45 patients were counseled for a median of 20"…min. The 72-hr ED revisit rate was 0%, versus 4.2% in similarly-matched, not counseled COVID-19 patients. 90% of medical students believed this project increased their confidence when speaking with patients while 80% indicated this was their first telemedicine experience. Conclusion: Our pilot discharge program provided patients with an extensive discharge counseling experience that would not otherwise be possible in an urban ED setting and demonstrated benefit to patient care. Medical students received a safe clinical experience that improved their communication skills.
ISSN: 1357-633x
CID: 5408582

Modeling Diagnostic Expertise in Cases of Irreducible Uncertainty: The Decision-Aligned Response Model

Pusic, Martin V; Cook, David A; Friedman, Julie L; Lorin, Jeffrey D; Rosenzweig, Barry P; Tong, Calvin K W; Smith, Silas; Lineberry, Matthew; Hatala, Rose
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Assessing expertise using psychometric models usually yields a measure of ability that is difficult to generalize to the complexity of diagnoses in clinical practice. However, using an item response modeling framework, it is possible to create a decision-aligned response model that captures a clinician's decision-making behavior on a continuous scale that fully represents competing diagnostic possibilities. In this proof-of-concept study, the authors demonstrate the necessary statistical conceptualization of this model using a specific electrocardiogram (ECG) example. METHOD/METHODS:The authors collected a range of ECGs with elevated ST segments due to either ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) or pericarditis. Based on pilot data, 20 ECGs were chosen to represent a continuum from "definitely STEMI" to "definitely pericarditis," including intermediate cases in which the diagnosis was intentionally unclear. Emergency medicine and cardiology physicians rated these ECGs on a 5-point scale ("definitely STEMI" to "definitely pericarditis"). The authors analyzed these ratings using a graded response model showing the degree to which each participant could separate the ECGs along the diagnostic continuum. The authors compared these metrics with the discharge diagnoses noted on chart review. RESULTS:Thirty-seven participants rated the ECGs. As desired, the ECGs represented a range of phenotypes, including cases where participants were uncertain in their diagnosis. The response model showed that participants varied both in their propensity to diagnose one condition over another and in where they placed the thresholds between the 5 diagnostic categories. The most capable participants were able to meaningfully use all categories, with precise thresholds between categories. CONCLUSIONS:The authors present a decision-aligned response model that demonstrates the confusability of a particular ECG and the skill with which a clinician can distinguish 2 diagnoses along a continuum of confusability. These results have broad implications for testing and for learning to manage uncertainty in diagnosis.
PMID: 36576770
ISSN: 1938-808x
CID: 5409622

Unexpected ICU Transfer and Mortality in COVID-19 Related to Hospital Volume

Dahn, Cassidy M; Maheshwari, Sana; Stansky, Danielle; Smith, Silas; Lee, David C
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) illness continues to affect national and global hospital systems, with a particularly high burden to intensive care unit (ICU) beds and resources. It is critical to identify patients who initially do not require ICU resources but subsequently rapidly deteriorate. We investigated patient populations during COVID-19 at times of full or near-full (surge) and non-full (non-surge) hospital capacity to determine the effect on those who may need a higher level of care or deteriorate quickly, defined as requiring a transfer to ICU within 24 hours of admission to a non-ICU level of care, and to provide further knowledge on this high-risk group of patients. METHODS:This was a retrospective cohort study of a single health system comprising four emergency departments and three tertiary hospitals in New York, NY, across two different time periods (during surge and non-surge inpatient volume times during the COVID-19 pandemic). We queried the electronic health record for all patients admitted to a non-ICU setting with unexpected ICU transfer (UIT) within 24 hours of admission. We then made a comparison between adult patients with confirmed coronavirus 2019 and without during surge and non-surge time periods. RESULTS:During the surge period, there was a total of 86 UITs in a one-month period. Of those, 60 were COVID-19 positive patients who had a mortality rate of 63.3%, and 26 were COVID-19 negative with a 30.8 % mortality rate. During the non-surge period, there was a total of 112 UITs; of those, 24 were COVID-19 positive with a 37.5% mortality rate, and 90 were COVID-19 negative with a 11.1% mortality rate. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:During the surge, the mortality rate for both COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 negative patients experiencing an unexpected ICU transfer was significantly higher.
PMID: 36409956
ISSN: 1936-9018
CID: 5372002

Abilifright: A Case Report of Massive Aripiprazole Overdose in a Toddler

Warstadt, Nicholus M; Mohan, Sanjay; Furlano, Emma R; Shenker, Jennifer H; Gibbs, Eric P; Smith, Silas W
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic with unique receptor-binding properties that has a favorable safety profile in therapeutic doses compared to other antipsychotics. Massive aripiprazole overdose in children, however, presents with profound lethargy and may have neurologic, hemodynamic, and cardiac effects, often requiring admission to a high level of care. CASE REPORT/METHODS:We describe a case of a 21-month-old male with a reported 52-milligram aripiprazole ingestion. Initial vital signs were remarkable for tachycardia and hypertension, which rapidly resolved. The patient did not develop hypotension throughout hospitalization. He experienced 60 hours of lethargy. Irritability associated with upper extremity spasms and tremors occurred from 36-72 hours post ingestion, which resolved without intervention. The initial electrocardiogram demonstrated ST-segment depressions in the anteroseptal leads; further cardiac workup was normal. Concurrent medical workup was unrevealing. Aripiprazole and dehydro-aripiprazole serum concentrations sent 46 hours after reported exposure were 266.5 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) and 138.6 ng/mL, respectively. He returned to neurologic baseline and was discharged 72 hours after ingestion. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Antipsychotics, including aripiprazole, should be considered as a potential toxicological cause of persistent central nervous system depression; ingestion of a single dose has the potential to cause significant toxicity.
PMID: 35226844
ISSN: 2474-252x
CID: 5174162


Maheshwari, Sana; Stansky, Danielle; Berkowitz, Justin; Swartz, Jordan; Smith, Silas; Lee, David; Dahn, Cassidy
ISSN: 0090-3493
CID: 5340802

A Case of Massive Diphenhydramine and Naproxen Overdose

Mohan, Sanjay; Backus, Timothy; Furlano, Emma; Howland, Mary Ann; Smith, Silas W; Su, Mark K
BACKGROUND:histamine receptor antagonist, is a commonly used nonprescription medication that is used for the treatment of allergy, as a sleep aid, or combined with cough and cold remedies. Naproxen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), is used commonly for analgesia. Although most cases of diphenhydramine or naproxen overdose require excellent supportive care only, meticulous attention should be given to cardiovascular and neurologic status. CASE REPORT/METHODS:A 22-year-old woman presented with altered mental status secondary to intentional ingestion of 240 combination caplets of naproxen sodium 220 mg and diphenhydramine hydrochloride 25 mg. While in the emergency department, she manifested a wide-complex tachycardia in the setting of hypotension that required repeated administration of sodium bicarbonate to overcome the sodium channel blockade caused by diphenhydramine. Aggressive potassium repletion was performed simultaneously. Her clinical course was complicated by status-epilepticus that required intubation. Orogastric lavage was performed, which returned blue pill slurry consistent with the ingested caplets. The patient was extubated on hospital day 2 and transferred to psychiatry thereafter. WHY SHOULD AN EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN BE AWARE OF THIS?: In light of recent social media trends, such as the "Benadryl challenge" and its widespread availability, emergency providers should be familiar with diphenhydramine toxicity, especially the life-threatening neurologic consequences and risk of cardiovascular collapse. NSAIDs, such as naproxen, and other nonprescription analgesics are becoming more and more important in light of the current opioid crisis. There should be an emphasis on understanding these medications and their potential implications when taken in overdose.
PMID: 34148773
ISSN: 0736-4679
CID: 4918052

Systematic review on the use of activated charcoal for gastrointestinal decontamination following acute oral overdose

Hoegberg, Lotte C G; Shepherd, Greene; Wood, David M; Johnson, Jami; Hoffman, Robert S; Caravati, E Martin; Chan, Wui Ling; Smith, Silas W; Olson, Kent R; Gosselin, Sophie
INTRODUCTION/UNASSIGNED:The use of activated charcoal in poisoning remains both a pillar of modern toxicology and a source of debate. Following the publication of the joint position statements on the use of single-dose and multiple-dose activated charcoal by the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology and the European Association of Poison Centres and Clinical Toxicologists, the routine use of activated charcoal declined. Over subsequent years, many new pharmaceuticals became available in modified or alternative-release formulations and additional data on gastric emptying time in poisoning was published, challenging previous assumptions about absorption kinetics. The American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, the European Association of Poison Centres and Clinical Toxicologists and the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Toxicology founded the Clinical Toxicology Recommendations Collaborative to create a framework for evidence-based recommendations for the management of poisoned patients. The activated charcoal workgroup of the Clinical Toxicology Recommendations Collaborative was tasked with reviewing systematically the evidence pertaining to the use of activated charcoal in poisoning in order to update the previous recommendations. OBJECTIVES/UNASSIGNED:The main objective was: Does oral activated charcoal given to adults or children prevent toxicity or improve clinical outcome and survival of poisoned patients compared to those who do not receive charcoal?  Secondary objectives were to evaluate pharmacokinetic outcomes, the role of cathartics, and adverse events to charcoal administration. This systematic review summarizes the available evidence on the efficacy of activated charcoal. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:Ovid), Web of Science, Scopus, and the Cochrane Library/DARE. All databases were searched from inception to December 31, 2019. There were no language limitations.  One author screened all citations identified in the search based on predefined inclusion/exclusion criteria. Excluded citations were confirmed by an additional author and remaining articles were obtained in full text and evaluated by at least two authors for inclusion. All authors cross-referenced full-text articles to identify articles missed in the searches. Data from included articles were extracted by the authors on a standardized spreadsheet and two authors used the GRADE methodology to independently assess the quality and risk of bias of each included study. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED: = 484) of individuals. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:This systematic review found heterogenous data. The higher GRADE data was focused on a few select poisonings, while studies that addressed patients with unknown and or mixed ingestions were hampered by low rates of clinically meaningful toxicity or death.  Despite these limitations, they reported a benefit of activated charcoal beyond one hour in many clinical scenarios.
PMID: 34424785
ISSN: 1556-9519
CID: 5066932

Virtual Urgent Care Quality and Safety in the Time of Coronavirus

Smith, Silas W; Tiu, Janelle; Caspers, Christopher G; Lakdawala, Viraj S; Koziatek, Christian A; Swartz, Jordan L; Lee, David C; Jamin, Catherine T; Femia, Robert J; Haines, Elizabeth J
BACKGROUND:Telemedicine use rapidly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study assessed quality aspects of rapid expansion of a virtual urgent care (VUC) telehealth system and the effects of a secondary telephonic screening initiative during the pandemic. METHODS:A retrospective cohort analysis was performed in a single health care network of VUC patients from March 1, 2020, through April 20, 2020. Researchers abstracted demographic data, comorbidities, VUC return visits, emergency department (ED) referrals and ED visits, dispositions, intubations, and deaths. The team also reviewed incomplete visits. For comparison, the study evaluated outcomes of non-admission dispositions from the ED: return visits with and without admission and deaths. We separately analyzed the effects of enhanced callback system targeting higher-risk patients with COVID-like illness during the last two weeks of the study period. RESULTS:A total of 18,278 unique adult patients completed 22,413 VUC visits. Separately, 718 patient-scheduled visits were incomplete; the majority were no-shows. The study found that 50.9% of all patients and 74.1% of patients aged 60 years or older had comorbidities. Of VUC visits, 6.8% had a subsequent VUC encounter within 72 hours; 1.8% had a subsequent ED visit. Of patients with enhanced follow-up, 4.3% were referred for ED evaluation. Mortality was 0.20% overall; 0.21% initially and 0.16% with enhanced follow-up (p = 0.59). Males and black patients were significantly overrepresented in decedents. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Appropriately deployed VUC services can provide a pragmatic strategy to care for large numbers of patients. Ongoing surveillance of operational, technical, and clinical factors is critical for patient quality and safety with this modality.
PMID: 33358323
ISSN: 1938-131x
CID: 4731212

Availability and supply of novel psychoactive substances

Chapter by: Francis, Arie P.; Smith, Silas W.
in: Novel Psychoactive Substances: Classification, Pharmacology and Toxicology by
[S.l.] : Elsevier, 2021
pp. 57-84
ISBN: 9780128187883
CID: 5189782

Massive aripiprazole overdose in a toddler [Meeting Abstract]

Warstadt, Nicholus; Furlano, Emma; Mohan, Sanjay; Gibbs, Eric; Shenker, Jennifer; Howland, Mary Ann; Chiang, William; Smith, Silas
ISSN: 1556-3650
CID: 5303852