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עמוד בית
Sat, 25.05.24

Search results


November 2023
Ibrahim Osman MD, Alaa Atamna MD, Avishay Elis MD

Background: Low-risk venous thromboembolism (VTE) patients are advised to be discharged from the emergency department (ED) on direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) treatment. There is no data on whether this recommendation is followed in Israel.

Objectives: To characterize newly diagnosed VTE patients who were discharged from the ED, their anticoagulation treatment at the ED, the recommended discharge protocol, and patient adherence.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study, which included all newly diagnosed VTE patients who were discharged from the ED. Collected data included demographic and clinical background; anticoagulation treatment at the ED, recommended discharge protocol and its subsequent adherence, patient subsequent, recommended hematological evaluation, and adverse events.

Results: The study group included 443 patients, 89% with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Approximately three-quarters were treated with anticoagulants in the ED, 98% with enoxaparin. At discharge, anticoagulants were recommended for all; 49% continued enoxaparin, 47% DOACs, and 4% warfarin. After 4 weeks, 67% were treated with DOACs, 22% with enoxaparin, 5% with warfarin. Approximately 6% discontinued all treatment. After 12 weeks, 90% of the patients who were taking DOACs adhered to the protocol, whereas only 70% and 50% among the enoxaparin and warfarin users, respectively, did. Only 56% were referred for hematological evaluation. The 12-week rate of adverse reactions was approximately 2%. The use of DOACs and the recommendation for further hematological evaluation increased over time.

Conclusions: Clinician training regarding discharge of VTE patients from the ED should continue.

June 2023
Jonathan Abraham Demma MD, Lisandro Luques MD PhD, Lior Cohen MD, Uri P. Dior MD, Gad Marom MD, Asaf Kedar MD, Naama Lev Cohain MD, Alon Pikarsky MD, Gidon Almogy MD, Liat Appelbaum MD

Background: Abdominal pathology in pregnant patients is a frequent challenge for emergency department physicians. Ultrasound is the imaging modality of choice but is inconclusive in approximately one-third of cases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is becoming increasingly available, even in acute settings. Multiple studies have defined the sensitivity and specificity of MRI in this population.

Objectives: To evaluate the use of MRI findings in pregnant patients presenting with acute abdominal complaints to the emergency department.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted at a single institution. Data were collected on pregnant patients who underwent an MRI for acute abdominal complaints between 2010 and 2019 at a university center. Patient demographics, diagnosis at admission, ultrasound and MRI findings, and discharge diagnosis were recorded and evaluated.

Results: In total, 203 pregnant patients underwent an MRI for acute abdominal complaints during the study period. MRI was found without pathology in 138 cases (68%). In 65 cases (32%), the MRI showed findings that could explain the patient's clinical presentation. Patients presenting with long-standing abdominal pain (> 24 hours), fever, leukocytosis, or elevated C-reactive protein values were at a significantly increased risk of having an acute pathology. In 46 patients (22.6%), MRI findings changed the primary diagnosis and management while in 45 patients (22.1%) MRI findings improved characterization of the suspected pathology.

Conclusions: MRI is helpful when clinical and sonographic findings are inconclusive, leading to changes in patient management in more than one-fifth of patients.

September 2020
Anna Shklovsky-Kordi MD, Renana Gelernter MD, Matitiahu Berkovitch MD, Zahi Dagan MD and Eran Kozer MD

Background: Acetaminophen is the most common drug involved in pediatric poisonings, both intentionally and accidentally, and is the leading cause of acute liver failure among all age groups.

Objectives: To define the characteristics of patients admitted to a pediatric emergency department (ED) where serum acetaminophen concentrations were measured, and to determine which variables are associated with significant risk of acetaminophen toxicity.

Methods: Acetaminophen serum concentrations were measured, in a retrospective case series, of patients younger than 18 years who had been admitted to the ED at Shamir Medical Center between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2015.

Results: During the study period 180,174 children were admitted to the ED. Acetaminophen serum concentrations were measured in 209 (0.12%) patients. Mean age was 12.4 ± 5.9 years. Elevated liver enzymes were found in 12 patients, 5 of whom had documented acute liver injury. All five were older than 11years.Two cases of acute liver injury were attributable to acetaminophen ingestion. In both cases the cause was intentional overdose. Univariate analysis showed a significant (P < 0.05) correlation between detectable acetaminophen blood level and a positive history of drug or acetaminophen ingestion, and suicide attempt. Not all children with non-severe acetaminophen poisoning had been diagnosed during the study period. A positive history of acetaminophen ingestion was associated with a 28-fold higher risk for detectable acetaminophen blood level.

Conclusions: In the absence of a positive history of acetaminophen ingestion and in young children with accidental intoxication, the risk of hepatotoxicity is relatively low.

 

August 2020
Yuval Levy MD MHA, Yael Frenkel Nir MD, Avinoah Ironi MD, Hindy Englard RN MSc, Gili Regev-Yochay MD, Galia Rahav MD, Arnon Afek MD and Ehud Grossman MD

Background: Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, is a tertiary hospital located in the center of Israel. It is the largest hospital in Israel and was the first to face coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients in the country at the beginning of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic.

Objectives: To describe our experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on our triage method in the emergency department (ED). Our goal was to keep the main hospitalization buildings clean of infection by separating COVID-19 positive patients from COVID-19 negative patients.

Methods: We divided our ED into two separate sections: a regular non-COVID-19 ED and an advanced biological ED. We created clear protocols of triage for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients. We reviewed the data of patients admitted to our ED during the month of March and analyzed the results of our triage method in separating COVID-19 positive from negative patients.

Results: During the month of March 2020, 7957 patients were referred to our ED. Among them 2004 were referred to the biological ED and 5953 were referred to the regular ED. Of the 2004 patients referred to the biological ED, 1641 (81.8%) were sampled for SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction of whom 143 (8.7%) were positive. Only two COVID-19 positive patients unintentionally entered the main clean hospital, making our triage almost full proof.

Conclusions: Our triage method was successful in separating COVID-19 positive from negative patients and maintained the regular hospital clean of COVID-19 allowing treatment continuation of regular non-COVID-19 patients.

July 2020
Ilan Merdler MD MHA, Aviram Hochstadt, Amichai Sheffy MD, Sharon Ohayon MD MHA, Itamar Loewenstein MD and Daniel Trotzky MD

Background: Emergency department (ED) overcrowding is associated with worse patient outcomes.

Objectives: To determine whether physician assistants (PAs), fairly recently integrated into the Israeli healthcare system, improve patient outcomes and ED timings.

Methods: We compared patients seen by physicians with patients seen by PAs and then by physicians between January and December 2018 using propensity matching. Patients were matched for age, gender, triage level, and decision to hospitalize. Primary endpoints included patient mortality, re-admittance. and leaving on own accord rates. Secondary endpoints were ED timing landmarks.

Results: Patients first seen by PAs were less likely to leave on their own accord (MD1 1.5%, PA 1.0%, P = 0.015), had lower rates of readmission within 48 hours (MD1 2.1%, PA 1.5%, P= 0.028), and were quicker to be seen, to have medications prescribed, and to undergo imaging without differences in timings until decisions were made or total length of stay. Patients seen by a physician with the assistance of a PA were attended to quicker (MD2 47.79 minutes, range 27.70–78.82 vs. MD + PA 30.59 minutes, range 15.77–54.85; P < 0.001) without statistically significant differences in primary outcomes. Mortality rates were similar for all comparisons.

Conclusions: Patients first seen by PAs had lower rates of re-admittance or leaving on their own accord and enjoyed shorter waiting times. Pending proper integration into healthcare teams, PAs can further improve outcomes in EDs and patient satisfaction.

August 2018
Salim Halabi MD, Awny Elias MD, Michael Goldberg MD, Hilal Hurani MD, Husein Darawsha MD, Sharon Shachar MA and Miti Ashkenazi RN MPH

Background: Door-to-balloon time (DTBT) ≤ 90 minutes has become an important quality indicator in the management of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). We identified three specific problems in the course from arrival of STEMI patients at our emergency department to initiation of balloon inflation and determined an intervention comprised of specific administrative and professional steps. The focus of the intervention was on triage within the emergency department (ED) and on increasing the efficiency and accuracy of electrocardiography interpretation.

Objectives: To examine whether our intervention reduced the proportion of patients with DTBT > 90 minutes.

Methods: We compared DTBT of patients admitted to the ED with STEMI during the year preceding and the year following implementation of the intervention.

Results: Demographic and clinical characteristics at presentation to the ED were similar for patients admitted to the ED in the year preceding and the year following intervention. The year preceding intervention, DTBT was > 90 minutes for 19/78 patients (24%). The year after intervention, DTBT was > 90 minutes for 17/102 patients (17%). For both years, the median DTBT was 1 hour. Patients with DTBT > 90 minutes tended to be older and more often female. Diagnoses in the ED were similar between those with DTBT ≤ 90 minutes and > 90 minutes. In-hospital mortality was 17% (13/78) and 14% (14/102) for the respective time periods.

Conclusions: An intervention specifically designed to address problems identified at one medical center was shown to decrease the proportion of patients with DTBT > 90 minutes.

May 2018
Mansour Khoury MD, Sigalit Caspi RN, Ruth Stalnikowics MD, Elad Peless RN, Ela Raiizman RN MA and Shaden Salameh MD MHA

Background: Acute musculoskeletal pain is one of the most commonly reported symptoms among patients visiting the emergency department (ED). Treatment with over-the-counter pain medications, given by nurses, results in improved pain management and reduces the waiting time to drug administration without significant side effects. Opioid analgesics are extensively used for acute pain in the ED. Compared to morphine, oxycodone has a much more specific pharmacological activity, higher analgesic potential, and more tolerable side effects.

Objectives: To assess the degree of pain reduction using different protocols, including dypirone and oxycodone given by nurses, in treating acute musculoskeletal pain in the emergency department (primary outcome) and to evaluate the need for rescue medications (secondary outcome).

Methods: This observational prospective clinical trial compared two groups of 50 patients, each one visiting the ED due to musculoskeletal pain. One group was treated with dipyrone syrup and the other was treated with oxycodone syrup. The primary outcome was pain reduction measured by the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS). The secondary outcome was the difference in need for rescue medications.

Results: The reduction in the NRS was greater in the patients treated with oxycodone. This finding was statistically and clinically significant (P < 0.001). The need for rescue medications was also significantly reduced in this group of patients (P = 0.007).

Conclusions: This study showed that the administration of over-the-counter oxycodone syrup by nurses decreases the post-treatment pain reported by patients, reduces the need for rescue medications, and increases the satisfaction of the medical staff.

November 2016
Ayelet Rimon MD, Shelly Shalom MD, Ido Wolyniez MD, Alejandro Gruber, Schachter-Davidov Anita MD and Miguel Glatstein MD

Background: Medical clowns are increasingly used for diminishing pain and anxiety during painful procedures being performed on children in the hospital setting. Cortisol levels rise as a response to emotional distress. 

Objectives: To investigate whether medical clown-assisted interventions to reduce child's distress during venipuncture have an effect on cortisol levels. 

Methods: During a 1 year period, children requiring blood work or intravenous access in the pediatric emergency department were prospectively randomized to either the presence or absence of a medical clown during the procedure. The child's distress was evaluated using the Faces Pain Scale - revised (FPS-R) for the 4–7 year age group and the visual analog scales (VAS) for those aged 8–15 years. Serum cortisol levels were measured in blood samples obtained by venipuncture. 

Results: Fifty-three children aged 2–15 years were randomly assigned to the study group (with medical clown, n=29) or to the control group (without medical clown, n=24). Combined pain scores of the study group and control group were 2.2 and 7.5 respectively (P < 0.001). No difference in mean cortisol levels was found between the study group and the control group at all ages (16.4 µg/dl vs. 18.3 µg/dl, P = 0.65).

Conclusions: In this pilot study, medical clowns reduced the distress from venipuncture in children. No effect on cortisol levels was observed. 

November 2015
Abdel-Rauf Zeina MD, Mika Shapira-Rootman MD PhD, Ahmad Mahamid MD, Jalal Ashkar MD, Saif Abu-Mouch MD and Alicia Nachtigal MD

Background: Plain abdominal radiographs are still performed as a first imaging examination to evaluate abdominal pain in the emergency department (ED), despite uncertainty regarding their utility.

Objectives: To describe the frequency and outcomes of the use of plain abdominal radiographs in the diagnosis of patients presenting with acute non-traumatic abdominal pain in the ED of a medical center. 

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients presenting to the ED with acute abdominal pain during a 6 month period. Further imaging (computed tomography, ultrasonography), when performed, was compared with the abdominal radiography. 

Results: Of 573 consecutive patients, 300 (52%) underwent abdominal radiography. Findings were normal in 88% (n=264), non-specific in 7.3% (n=22), and abnormal in 4.7% (n=14). For those with normal results, no further imaging was ordered for 43% (114/264). Of the 57% (150/264) who had follow-up imaging, 65% (98/150) showed abnormal findings. In 9 (3%) of the 300 patients, abdominal radiography identified bowel perforations and obstructions, and treatment was provided without the need for further radiologic examination.

Conclusions: The use of plain abdominal radiography is still common despite the high rate of false positive results. Efforts are needed to decrease the indiscriminate use of radiography in patients presenting with abdominal symptoms.

 

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