Deep Venous Thrombosis in Trauma: Implications for Hospitals and Patients.

The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of chronic DVT in hospitalized trauma patients | Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery

B0008083 Blood clot in a vein

Image source: Annie Cavanagh – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC 4.0

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is considered a preventable complication in trauma patients. Hospitals risk financial penalties for DVT rates above accepted benchmarks. These penalties do not apply to chronic DVT which develop prior to admission. Lower-extremity duplex ultrasound (LEDUS) can detect characteristics of thrombus chronicity, allowing differentiation of chronic from acute DVT.

LEDUS can identify chronic DVT, which represents nearly 30% of all DVT found on initial screening LEDUS in trauma patients. Those with chronic DVT should receive pharmacologic and mechanical prophylaxis because of the incidence of progression and new acute DVT. They should also be counseled regarding the possibilities of recurrence and chronic venous insufficiency.

Full reference:Cannon, K.A. et al. (2017) The Prevalence of Chronic Deep Venous Thrombosis in Trauma: Implications for Hospitals and Patients. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery: Post Acceptance: 31 August 2017

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Recognition and treatment of severe sepsis in the emergency department

Retrospective study in two French teaching hospitals | BMC Emergency Medicine

Sepsis management in the Emergency Department remains a daily challenge. The Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) has released three-hour bundle. The implementation of these bundles in European Emergency Departments remains poorly described.

The main objective was to assess the compliance with the Severe Sepsis Campaign 3-h bundle (blood culture, lactate dosage, first dose of antibiotics and 30 ml/kg fluid challenge). Secondary objectives were the analysis of the delay of severe sepsis recognition and description of the population.

Full reference: , P. et al. (2017) Recognition and treatment of severe sepsis in the emergency department: retrospective study in two French teaching hospitals. BMC Emergency Medicine. Published online: 30 August 2017

Factors influencing admission to hospital from the emergency department

The number of emergency admissions to hospital in England and Wales has risen sharply in recent years and is a matter of concern to clinicians, policy makers and patients alike. However, the factors that influence this decision are poorly understood | BMJ Open

Findings: Departmental factors such as busyness, time of day and levels of senior support were identified as non-clinical influences on a decision to admit rather than discharge patients. The 4-hour waiting time target, while overall seen as positive, was described as influencing decisions around patient admission, independent of clinical need. Factors external to the hospital such as a patient’s social support and community follow-up were universally considered powerful influences on admission. Lastly, the culture within the ED was described as having a strong influence (either negatively or positively) on the decision to admit patients.

Conclusion: Multiple factors were identified which go some way to explaining marked variation in admission rates observed between different EDs. Many of these factors require further inquiry through quantitative research in order to understand their influence further.

Full reference: Pope, I. et al. (2017) A qualitative study exploring the factors influencing admission to hospital from the emergency department. BMJ Open. 7:e011543.

The growing evidence on high-intensity hospital care

Despite wide variation in the amount we spend on care, patients’ outcomes are often the same. So clearly, we should just do less. Indeed, given the growing problems of overdiagnosis and overtreatment, less is more | Emergency Medicine Journal

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As emergency physicians, we deliver a fair amount of high-intensity care. Yes, good care can sometimes be as simple as an astute diagnosis or a kind word. But it can also involve cross-sectional imaging, invasive procedures and hospital admission. At the right time and for the right patient, we believe, this care can be the difference between life and death.

And yet this care is coming under increasing scrutiny from payers and policy makers.

While emergency care accounts for a small fraction of direct health system costs, the decision to admit a patient to the hospital is an expensive one indeed. There are many good reasons to send patients home—reducing crowding, avoiding hospital-acquired infections and more. But the driving force behind efforts to reduce admissions today is simple: to reduce costs. As a result, physicians everywhere face increasing pressure to discharge patients to home.

This poses a particular dilemma for emergency physicians. On one hand, the rest of the world seems very certain we should be sending more patients home. On the other, our experience suggests that failures of risk stratification and mistriage to home can have terrible consequences.

Full reference: Obermeyer, Z. (2017) Is less more, or is it less? The growing evidence on high-intensity hospital care. Emergency Medicine Journal. Published Online First: 18 August 2017. 

Emergency department care

Emergency department care – best practice guideline

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has published a Best Practice Guideline Emergency department care.   Developed to help medical staff within Emergency Departments provide better care for patients, this publication is a fifty-point checklist that covers all aspects of emergency care including the patient environment and pathway; education about care; care of elderly patients, children and those with complex needs; team working and leadership.

International comparison of emergency hospital use for infants: data linkage cohort study in Canada and England

Harron K, Gilbert R, Cromwell D, et al.   International comparison of emergency hospital use for infants: data linkage cohort study in Canada and England
BMJ Qual Saf Published Online First: 12 June 2017. doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2016-006253

Abstract
Objectives  To compare emergency hospital use for infants in Ontario (Canada) and England.
Methods We conducted a population-based data linkage study in infants born ≥34 weeks’ gestation between 2010 and 2013 in Ontario (n=253 930) and England (n=1 361 128). Outcomes within 12 months of postnatal discharge were captured in hospital records. The primary outcome was all-cause unplanned admissions. Secondary outcomes included emergency department (ED) visits, any unplanned hospital contact (either ED or admission) and mortality. Multivariable regression was used to evaluate risk factors for infant admission.
Results The percentage of infants with ≥1 unplanned admission was substantially lower in Ontario (7.9% vs 19.6% in England) while the percentage attending ED but not admitted was higher (39.8% vs 29.9% in England). The percentage of infants with any unplanned hospital contact was similar between countries (42.9% in Ontario, 41.6% in England) as was mortality (0.05% in Ontario, 0.06% in England). Infants attending ED were less likely to be admitted in Ontario (7.3% vs 26.2%), but those who were admitted were more likely to stay for ≥1 night (94.0% vs 55.2%). The strongest risk factors for admission were completed weeks of gestation (adjusted OR for 34–36 weeks vs 39+ weeks: 2.44; 95% CI 2.29 to 2.61 in Ontario and 1.66; 95% CI 1.62 to 1.70 in England) and young maternal age.
Conclusions Children attending ED in England were much more likely to be admitted than those in Ontario. The tendency towards more frequent, shorter admissions in England could be due to more pressure to admit within waiting time targets, or less availability of paediatric expertise in ED. Further evaluations should consider where best to focus resources, including in-hospital, primary care and paediatric care in the community.

Full text is available here

Violence against nurses working in the emergency department

Workplace violence (WPV) in healthcare organizations can lead to serious consequences that negatively affect nurses’ lives and patient care | International Emergency Nursing

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Highlights:

  • Nurses who experience WPV complain of mental and physical health problems.
  • Nurses’ social and professional lives were affected negatively after facing WPV.
  • WPV consequences negatively impact nurses and the entire healthcare organization.
  • The serious consequences of WPV ultimately harm patient care.
  • Preventing violence will ensure a safe workplace and safer patient care.

Full reference: Hassankhani, H. et al. (2017) The consequences of violence against nurses working in the emergency department: A qualitative study. International Emergency Nursing. Published online: 31 July 2017