Patients diagnosed with cirrhosis are regularly admitted and readmitted to the hospital. Statistics show that the 90-day readmission rate is approximately 50%. A recent study analyzed the rate of readmission at 30-days and 90-days and the relevant causes among patients…
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How to Differentiate Pleural Effusion Exudates from Transudates   Historically, Light’s criteria have been used to classify pleural effusions into transudates or exudates.  Light’s criteria were established by Dr. Richard Light in 1972.[1]  These criteria maximize sensitivity but have a…
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Where to place a central venous catheter is a decision driven mainly by individual preference. The limited evidence available has not established any site as superior; the subclavian position has been reported as being less infection-prone, but more likely to cause…
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A study from an urban EM residency program determined that in-plane ultrasound-guided central venous catheterization is superior to out-of-plane ultrasound-guided central line placement. This study was only a single center study that was a randomized crossover study of ER residents…
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How do we assess a cirrhotic patients bleed risk prior to a planned bedside procedure?  Can our standard platelet count and coagulation studies, prothrombin time (PT/INR) and partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), accurately predict bleed risk in cirrhotic patients?  The quick…
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Video Laryngoscopy Is Superior to Direct Laryngoscopy for Failed Intubation Attempts in the ER Although video laryngoscopy has repeatedly been shown to be superior to direct laryngoscopy, there has not yet been any specific directive instructing emergency department (ED) intubators…
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According to AASLD Practice Guidelines, all patients with cirrhotic ascites admitted to the hospital should have a diagnostic paracentesis to rule out spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP). Treatment of SBP requires cefotaxime plus albumin 1.5 gm/kg on the first day and…
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The traditional landmark-guided needle lumbar puncture technique was first described by Heinrich Quincke in 1891[1]This technique utilizes the iliac crest and the posterior lumbar spinous processes to determine the optimal sites for spinal needle introduction in either the L3-4 or…
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Point-of-care ultrasound is one of the most rapidly evolving areas of medicine.  In addition to becoming the “stethoscope of the future” for bedside diagnostic evaluations, ultrasound has improved the safety and efficiency of a wide range of procedures.  The use…
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Emergency department (ED) intubation is constantly evolving, with new devices, techniques, and medications being frequently adopted. To evaluate temporal trends, National Emergency Airway Registry (NEAR) investigators analyzed registry data on ED intubations at 13 large hospitals in the U.S., Canada,…
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Traditional teaching is that chest tubes placed to evacuate a pneumothorax should be directed anterior and superior and to evacuate fluid should be directed posterior and inferior. A recent study examined the effect of specific chest tube position on chest…
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Simulation-based procedural training has been shown to improve procedural competence, safety, operator confidence and most importantly patient safety for every bedside procedure studied.  Now, a new systematic review and meta-analysis confirms that simulation-based training in airway management improves procedural competence…
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Does Simulation Based Training Improve Central Line Success Rates? Simulation-based procedural training has become increasingly popular in academic medical centers and among medical trainees.  Limited data has suggested that simulation based training improves success rates and safety, but evidence has…
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Over the past several years, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of the new oral anticoagulants (Dabigatran, Rivaroxaban, and Apixaban).  The popularity of these medications stems not only from aggressive pharmaceutical monitoring to physicians and to the…
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Diagnostic lumbar punctures aid in the diagnosis of infections and diseases of the central nervous system. Life-threatening events from lumbar punctures are rare, but post–lumbar (dural) puncture headaches (PDPH) occur in 1% to 36% of patients, depending on the needle…
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