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Critical Care Medicine Section Newsletter - September 2013

PDF version of the September 2013 newsletter available here for download.

‘Sen’timents: The Little Big Things

AyanSen“Every drop makes an ocean” so the saying goes. Even though each drop may look insignificant and meaningless, each drop creates a ripple and each ripple creates a wave. While lecturing to a bunch of grad students of Pitt (Univ of Pittsburgh) Bioengineering on unmet technological needs in Critical Care recently, I was asked a question: ‘Why is it so hard for healthcare providers to wash their hands or follow a checklist; why do we need new technology?'

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Complementary Medicine: In the ED and ICU

OlewiczWhat exactly is CAM or Complementary and Alternative Medicine? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) defines it as “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine as practiced by holders of M.D. (medical doctor) or D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) degrees and by their allied health professionals such as physical therapists, psychologists, and registered nurses.” This can mean any manner of practices from the honey, milk, and garlic concoction that my grandmother used to make when I was sick, to the numerous forms of herbals, music, movement, and meditation utilized by many individuals for healing.

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Some Thoughts on Uncertainty

GillUncertainty – ordinarily just another eleven letter word in the repertoire of a literary, the antonym of confidence or the last word of an obscure title. Yet, in the context of a young medical professional, the same eleven lettered antonym of confidence can be a source of anguish, a reason to try harder and perhaps even the catalyst to transform the perception of medicine itself.


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Insight: Systems Modeling in Critical Illness

Clinicians are trained to recognize deviations in physiological patterns which are associated with a state of illness. Routinely, we use physiologic variables such as blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR) and oxygen saturation (SPO2) to guide resuscitation decisions. However; several studies have demonstrated that the use of individual vital signs is unreliable in alerting physicians to an unstable patient.

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Chair’s Notes

Shiber_smallAs we approach ACEP13 (Scientific Assembly) I want to encourage all of you to attend the CCM Section Meeting on Tuesday 10/15/13 at 1pm in the Sheraton Seattle Hotel: Jefferson A-B. We will have our Business Meeting from 1 - 3 pm which as usual, will include updates on many important topics from section officers and other representatives of associated groups, such as ABEM, SCCM EM Section, EMRA Critical Care Medicine Section, and ACEP Critical Care Ultrasound Subcommittee.


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Evie’s Corner: Points to Ponder

Marcolini_9-13It has been a rough few weeks. No less than three of my colleagues in different areas of the house of medicine have confided in me of their plans to leave because of dissatisfaction and/or burnout. They are not considering this because of a better opportunity that came along, but are considering seeking out other opportunities.

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Becoming a Change Agent

Emlet_2013“All improvements require change, but not all change will result in improvement.”
--The Improvement Guide1

You completed your Emergency Medicine residency and Critical Care fellowship, and have a small but growing CV of book chapters, teaching portfolio, and research or quality improvements projects. You have finally gotten used to being a teaching attending in both the ED and the ICU and are finally relaxing into your role as junior faculty. So now what?

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Kudos to Everyone!

Birth announcement as well as new academic and professional appointments.

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