Emergency medicine

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Distinguishing arteriopathies

Deterring paediatric acute stroke

Acute stroke in children has the same incidence as brain tumours and can seriously affect a patient’s life. Two kinds of arteriopathies are common drivers of paediatric acute stroke and radiologists must learn to distinguish their signs as early as possible to improve prognosis, according to Béatrice Husson, a paediatric radiologist at Le Kremlin Bicêtre Hospital in Paris.

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The most compact .55-T full body scanner

Lungs plus A&E MRI scans – no problem

Low, light and with a field strength: 0.55-tesla with added new digital technologies. Indeed, this is a very new class of MRI scanner created by Siemens Healthineers. We interviewed Christiane Bernhardt, Vice President of Magnetic Resonance Marketing & Sales, Business Line MR, at Siemens Healthineers, about the technologies behind this development, plus its advantages and applications.

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Cardiac troponin I concentration measured at POC

Triage aided by a quick sensitive test

Large proportions of patients can be safely triaged either to rule out discharge or rule in lifesaving management – if following the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Guidelines Class I recommendation of two serial measurements of hs-cTnI on admission and after one hour, if there are assay specific cut off values for the 0/1 algorithms. The Pathfast hs-cTNI assay is an approved system to…

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Challenges in acute care

POCT: Understanding sources of error

In an emergency, point-of-care-testing can provide results in minutes. However, sources of error must be understood to ensure result accuracy and confident diagnosis (particularly important during the current pandemic). Medical teams frequently use POCT devices to assess acutely ill patients; a hospital’s diagnostic laboratory is responsible for the analysers, plus training non-laboratory…

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POCT for the head

New device detects traumatic brain injury 'on the spot'

A method for detecting traumatic brain injury at the point of care has been developed by scientists at the University of Birmingham. Using chemical biomarkers released by the brain immediately after a head injury occurs, researchers are able to pinpoint when patients need urgent medical attention. This saves time in delivering vital treatment and avoids patients undergoing unnecessary tests where…

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Blood poisoning

Exploring the importance and challenges of early sepsis diagnosis

On the occasion of this year's World Sepsis Day, we spoke with Elena Sukhacheva, Ph.D., director of medical and scientific affairs at Beckman Coulter, about the status quo and outlook on sepsis diagnostics. With the severity of sepsis symptoms, it’s easy to comprehend why it is invaluable to diagnose this disease properly and in a timely manner. Dr Sukhacheva takes an in-depth look at…

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Reducing coronavirus test burden

AI speeds up COVID-19 screening in emergency rooms

Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven have developed a new algorithm for the rapid screening for COVID-19. The software is intended for use in Emergency Rooms (ER), to quickly exclude the presence of corona in incoming patients. As a result, doctors need to conduct fewer standard coronavirus tests, increasing efficiency. The quick scan…

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Improving first aid

New 3D CT scanning method shows what happens during CPR

Rapid first aid during cardiac arrest makes the difference between life and death. But what happens to the heart and the internal organs when people come running and begin to give well-meaning but heavy-handed heart massage as they attempt to keep the person who has suffered a cardiac arrest alive? A research collaboration between the Department of Forensic Medicine at Aarhus University and the…

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Critical care

COVID-19: High mortality in hospital patients

Approximately one fifth of COVID-19 patients admitted to German hospitals between the end of February and mid-April died. For patients receiving ventilation, the mortality rate was 53%. For those not receiving ventilation, the rate was significantly lower at 16%. 17% of all patients were ventilated during this period. These are the main results of an analysis by WIdO, the research institute of…

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Preparing for the unpredictable

The role of radiology in mass casualty incidents

CT has a critical role to play in management of mass casualty incidents with the ability to image patients from head to toe, offering a rapid overview for clinicians. The benefits of CT will be outlined by Dr Elizabeth Dick during an ECR session examining the role of radiology in the management of mass casualty incidents, terror attacks and assaults. “Mass casualty incidents – whether…

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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Is CPR overrated? Experts argue it might be

Patients and the general public appear to significantly overestimate the success of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and underestimate the negative impact it can have on a person’s health, new research suggests. US researchers have therefore recommended clinicians discuss CPR with patients and their loved ones to clarify the practice’s success rate and the real benefits and risks involved…

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Paediatric health risks

Children in the COVID-19 pandemic: Between fear and care

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected children with direct impacts of the infection as well as on them leading normal lives. Schooling, play and vaccinations are among issues that can affect children’s health. Delay in taking paediatric patients to the emergency room (ER) has also had a negative impact, for example late treatment of acute appendicitis. Two experts from Spain tackled these topics…

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Heart attacks, heart failure, stroke

COVID-19’s cardiovascular complications

COVID-19 can cause serious cardiovascular complications including heart failure, heart attacks and blood clots that can lead to strokes, emergency medicine doctors at the University of Virgina report in a new scientific paper. They also caution that COVID-19 treatments can interact with medicines used to manage patients’ existing cardiovascular conditions.

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Coronavirus impact on A&E

COVID-19: UK emergency departments see dramatic fall in attendance

Accident and Emergency departments across the NHS have seen dramatic falls in attendances amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Latest figures for NHS England show that the total number of attendances at A&E departments in March 2020 was 1,531,100, a decrease of 29.4% on the same month last year. And while the figures are specifically for England, a similar pattern has been observed across the…

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False appendicitis alarm

Study reveals many unnecessary appendix surgeries in children

Surgery for appendicitis is the most common emergency operation in children. A new study has found that the UK has the highest reported national rate of ‘normal appendicectomy,’ where children undergo surgery for suspected appendicitis but laboratory examination of the removed appendix finds it to be normal. Although most children who are misdiagnosed as having appendicitis improve without…

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POCUS in Basque Country

Spreading point-of-care ultrasound across northern Spain

The rapid scanning and dynamic imaging capabilities offered by point-of-care ultrasound make it an invaluable tool for emergency medicine. Dr Enrique Ortiz Villacian (from Emergency Services at Donostia University Hospital in San Sebastián) and Dr Juanjo Zafra Sanchez (from the Emergency Unit at San Eloy Hospital in Barakaldo) discussed the role ultrasound plays in their respective emergency…

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In-depth exams for injured mountaineers

Ultrasound climbs the heights

Dr Philippe Mahiou practices anaesthesia in the Grenoble area, splitting his time between a private clinic and working as a helicopter doctor to attend mountaineering accidents. As part of his work, Mahiou routinely uses ultrasound, and understands the importance of the technology to guide anaesthesia in the operating room and assess patients in the field. When anaesthetist Dr Philippe Mahiou…

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Ultrasound in intracranial injuries

A future gold standard tool

Whilst researchers acknowledge ultrasound, when used as a tool to assess intracranial pressure in an emergency, is not a replacement for current gold standard invasive approaches, they believe it has enormous potential as a non-invasive and fast, cost-effective, and patient-friendly way to assess possible brain injury at a patient’s bedside. Consultant anaesthetist Dr Chiara Robba, a specialist…

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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Restart a Heart: Learn how to save a life with CPR

Today is World Restart a Heart Day. That's why medical students from Cardiff University are taking part in what is expected to be the largest mass CPR training event ever conducted. Medics and other lifesavers all around the globe will teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to members of the public. Almost 239,000 people learned CPR in the UK alone as part of last year’s event and organisers…

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Combatting nosocomial infections

A&E Staphylococci POCT

Martin Möckel and Dorothee Riedlinger, from the Charité Medical University Berlin, Emergency and Acute Medicine Campus Virchow-Klinikum, and Campus Charité-Mitte report on POCT testing in the A&E Department to screen for Staphylococcus aureus colonisation of the nose or throat. People colonised with Staphylococci are at increased risk of developing a nosocomial, i.e. hospital acquired…

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