Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Family-witnessed Resuscitation of Emergency Department Patients
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Family presence during emergency resuscitations is increasingly common, but the question remains whether the practice results in psychological harm to the witness. We examine whether family members who witness resuscitations have increased post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms at one month following the event. METHODS:We identified family members of critically ill patients via our emergency department (ED) electronic health record. Patients were selected based on their geographic triage to an ED critical care room. Family members were called a median of one month post-event and administered the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), a 22-item validated scale that measures post-traumatic distress symptoms and correlates closely with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Family members were placed into two groups based on whether they stated they had witnessed the resuscitation (FWR group) or not witnessed the resuscitation (FNWR group). Data analyses included chi-square test, independent sample t-test, and linear regression controlling for gender and age. RESULTS:A convenience sample of 423 family members responded to the phone interview: 250 FWR and 173 FNWR. The FWR group had significantly higher mean total IES-R scores: 30.4 vs 25.6 (95% confidence interval [CI], -8.73 to -0.75; P<.05). Additionally, the FWR group had significantly higher mean score for the subscales of avoidance (10.6 vs 8.1; 95% CI, -4.25 to -0.94; P<.005) and a trend toward higher score for the subscale of intrusion (13.0 vs 11.4; 95% CI, -3.38 to .028; P = .054). No statistical significant difference was noted between the groups in the subscale of hyperarousal (6.95 vs 6.02; 95% CI, -2.08 to 0.22; P=.121). All findings were consistent after controlling for age, gender, and immediate family member (spouse, parent, children, and grandchildren). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that family members who witness ED resuscitations may be at increased risk of PTSD symptoms at one month. This is the first study that examines the effects of family visitation for an unsorted population of very sick patients who would typically be seen in the critical care section of a busy ED.
A Knotted Urethral Catheter in the Emergency Department [Case Report]
Inadvertent knotting of urethral catheters and enteric feeding tubes is a rare complication in pediatric patients. If a small flexible tube is used and advanced too far, upon withdrawal, the catheter may knot in the bladder. Surgical intervention for retrieval is required in most cases. We present a case of a 26-day-old female neonate who was catheterized with a 5 French enteric feeding tube, which was later removed in the emergency department with gentle traction alone. After removal, a knot was noted at the tip. It is important for emergency physicians to be aware of this complication, because this particular size feeding tube is most susceptible to kinking inside of the urinary tract.
Extension of the Thoracic Spine Sign: A New Sonographic Marker of Pleural Effusion
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Dyspnea is a common emergency department (ED) condition, which may be caused by pleural effusion and other thoracic diseases. We present data on a new sonographic marker, the extension of the thoracic spine sign, for diagnosis of pleural effusion. METHODS:In this prospective study, we enrolled a convenience sample of undifferentiated patients who underwent computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen or chest, which was performed as part of their emergency department evaluations. Patients underwent chest sonography to assess the utility of the extension of the thoracic spine sign for diagnosing pleural effusion. The point-of-care sonographic examinations were performed and interpreted by emergency physicians who were blinded to information in the medical records. Sonographic results were compared to radiologists' interpretations of the CT results, which were considered the criterion standard. RESULTS:Forty-one patients were enrolled, accounting for 82 hemithoraces. Seven hemithoraces were excluded from the analysis due to various limitations, leaving 75 hemithoraces for the final analysis. The median time for completion of the sonographic examination was 3 minutes. The sensitivity and specificity for extension of the thoracic spine were 73.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 48.6%-89.9%) and 92.9% (95%CI, 81.9%-97.7%), respectively. Overall, there were 5 hemithoraces with false-negative results when using the extension sign. Of those 5 cases, 4 were found to have trace pleural effusions on CT. When trace pleural effusions were excluded in a subgroup analysis, the sensitivity and specificity of extension of the thoracic spine were 92.9% (95% CI, 64.2%-99.6%) and 92.9% (95% CI, 81.9%-97.7%). CONCLUSIONS:We found the extension of the thoracic spine sign to be an excellent diagnostic tool for clinically relevant pleural effusion.
Intravenous Subdissociative-Dose Ketamine Versus Morphine for Analgesia in the Emergency Department: A Randomized Controlled Trial
STUDY OBJECTIVE/OBJECTIVE:We assess and compare the analgesic efficacy and safety of subdissociative intravenous-dose ketamine with morphine in emergency department (ED) patients. METHODS:This was a prospective, randomized, double-blind trial evaluating ED patients aged 18 to 55 years and experiencing moderate to severe acute abdominal, flank, or musculoskeletal pain, defined as a numeric rating scale score greater than or equal to 5. Patients were randomized to receive ketamine at 0.3 mg/kg or morphine at 0.1 mg/kg by intravenous push during 3 to 5 minutes. Evaluations occurred at 15, 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes. Primary outcome was reduction in pain at 30 minutes. Secondary outcome was the incidence of rescue analgesia at 30 and 60 minutes. RESULTS:Forty-five patients per group were enrolled in the study. The primary change in mean pain scores was not significantly different in the ketamine and morphine groups: 8.6 versus 8.5 at baseline (mean difference 0.1; 95% confidence interval -0.46 to 0.77) and 4.1 versus 3.9 at 30 minutes (mean difference 0.2; 95% confidence interval -1.19 to 1.46; P=.97). There was no difference in the incidence of rescue fentanyl analgesia at 30 or 60 minutes. No statistically significant or clinically concerning changes in vital signs were observed. No serious adverse events occurred in either group. Patients in the ketamine group reported increased minor adverse effects at 15 minutes post-drug administration. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Subdissociative intravenous ketamine administered at 0.3 mg/kg provides analgesic effectiveness and apparent safety comparable to that of intravenous morphine for short-term treatment of acute pain in the ED.
Idiopathic infant pyocele: a case report and review of the literature [Case Report]
BACKGROUND:Pyocele is a rare emergent urologic condition that requires rapid recognition and treatment to prevent testicular loss. Cases of pediatric pyocele have not been previously reported in the emergency medicine literature. CASE REPORT/METHODS:We describe a case of a 6-week-old male who presented to the emergency department for a sepsis evaluation. The patient displayed subtle scrotal findings but had an otherwise benign physical examination. Subsequent sonographic imaging suggested a possible scrotal abscess and surgical exploration revealed a pyocele. A literature review of previously reported cases of patients with pyocele is also presented. WHY SHOULD AN EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN BE AWARE OF THIS?: A pyocele is a rare cause of both an acute scrotum and neonatal fever. It is important for emergency physicians to consider this entity when evaluating pediatric patients with fever, particularly those with symptoms related to the scrotum.
An ultrasound training program's effect on central venous catheter locations and complications [Letter]