In the Spring of 2011, surgeon Cristiana Bertocchi finished a stint in
Côte d’Ivoire–Ivory Coast–working with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
She served in the Abobo Sud neighborhood of Abidjan, one of the main
flash points in the country’s widespread violence. At the time of her
visit, the Ministry of Health hospital in Abobo Sud was the area’s only
fully-functioning hospital and one of the few in the city. Medical teams
there treated hundreds of emergency patients, most of whom had bullet
When emergency physician Ken Mwatha fell asleep after a shift, he
set in motion a chain of events that would change his life – and his
practice of emergency medicine – forever.
I want to save victims from cardiac arrest. I want to apply good CPR,
use the right tools to improve outcomes, and use only the medications
and processes that improve long-term restoration of neurologic function.
Unfortunately, as Jimmy Buffett would say, “I arrived a little too
Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is a well-recognized, severe
complication in cirrhotic patients presenting to the emergency
department (ED) with ascites. The prevalence of this disease varies
widely among study populations, with a range of 10% to 30% in
hospitalized patients with ascites, compared to 0% to 3.5% among
asymptomatic outpatient clinic populations.
Should the Joint Commission mandate all hospital employees get the flu shot?
With or without fiberoptic assistance, nasal intubation remains a
valuable technique in some emergency airway situations, despite its
overall decline in use. It is best in patients who are not critically
hypoxic and in whom there is obvious oral pathology making intubation
and ventilation through the mouth problematic.
In this series, much space has been dedicated to explaining the changes
coming to emergency medicine as hospitals try to qualify for federal
stimulus dollars, by demonstrating meaningful use of electronic health
records. But as these changes unfold, another tech revolution is taking
place in health care – the way patients interact with each other, and
with health organizations, using social media.
“It’s like a drug. First, it makes you feel better even though your
situation isn’t any different. Second, and worse, it’s addicting.” Chuck Shufflebarger, MD, said this to me about ambulance
diversion last summer as I was preparing a talk about concepts in
The emergency department is undoubtedly the area of the hospital that most frequently requires the services of interpreters. As of January 1, 2011, the Joint Commission requires the use of “qualified translators” in the emergency department 24/7.
In this installment of "Rick's Picks" Rick Bukata discusses a couple law suits resulting from excessive emergency department wait times. Should the Joint Commission step in?