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THE UNIT: The Official Newsletter of the ACEP Critical Care Section - Winter 2016

ACEP Wrap up, New Leadership, PE Response Teams and the Next Two Years


Scientific Assembly Wrap Up and Sepsis Panel Discussion

Joseph Tonna 2016For those of you who weren’t able to attend the ACEP Critical Care Section Meeting, you missed a great example of the rich history and membership of our section—and a wonderful educational discussion. As we have done for a few years now, our section meeting Tuesday afternoon covered the business happenings over the previous year, including introductions, updates from the Chairs, representatives, elections, and a discussion of issues related to boarding. For those of us who remember, the discussions from not many years back revolved around whether we as emergency physicians would ever have a path to legitimate board certification within the house of medicine. This year, the discussions were entirely around when emergency medicine would form an autonomous independent pathway to board certification. How far we’ve come in such a short time!

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AyanSenA 56 yr old patient was seen in the ED with a HR of 115, RR of 24; BP of 120/65 and complaints of not feeling well, malaise and upper respiratory symptoms. Patient’s lactate was 4.5. The ED physician called the intensivist for admission within 30 mins of patient arrival as the ED was busy and he had concerns that the patient showed signs of septic shock; he wanted to avoid over-crowding and improve patient throughput. The intensivist was none too happy as the ICU had several sick patients and he thought that this patient could be resuscitated in the ED and admitted to the floor/ intermediate care unit.

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Dates to Remember

RaghuSeethala2015For candidates seeking an upcoming board exam, click 'Read More' for the application deadlines.  

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PE Response Teams

Susan Wilcox 2016Pulmonary emboli (PE) are one of the most challenging entities to diagnose and treat in the emergency department (ED) and throughout the hospital. PEs are common, with over half a million cases annually in the United States, and they can be deadly with a reported mortality of up to 26%.1 Yet the diagnosis is often challenging to make, and the management is complex, varying by the patient’s presentation, hemodynamics, comorbidities and contraindications to anticoagulation or lysis. These challenges have led to the creation of PE Response Teams (PERTs) at many hospitals.2 The role of PERTs is similar to other rapid response teams, such as trauma teams or sepsis teams, bringing a multidisciplinary team to the complex patient situation to facilitate prompt development of an individualized treatment plan.

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The Use of Lung Ultrasound in the Critical Care and Emergency Settings to Identify Pleural Effusions

Vi Am Dinh 2016Keywords: Critical Care, Lung Ultrasound, Pleural Effusions

Lung ultrasonography is a sensitive and specific bedside test to detect pleural effusions in critically ill patients. The technique to detect pleural effusions, as well as terminology of common findings within pleural effusions is discussed. One method of measuring and quantifying pleural effusions is provided.

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