Nebulized Tranexamic Acid for Recurring Hemoptysis in Critically Ill Patients: Case Series
AUDIENCE: Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine
KEY FINDINGS: Tranexamic acid may be considered in the treatment of hemoptysis regardless of the underlying cause. This may be utilized pending further workup and investigation into the underlying source of the bleeding.
BACKGROUND: Hemoptysis is a clinical condition encountered in the emergency department (ED) and must be managed and investigated urgently to maintain the patient’s hemostasis. The management of hemoptysis depends on treating the underlying cause. Tranexamic acid (TXA) is an anti-fibrinolytic drug used to systemically control bleeding. There are a few studies available that investigate the use of nebulized tranexamic acid for hemoptysis with contradictory results.
DETAILS: This study demonstrates three cases where patients presented with significant hemoptysis and had significant improvement in symptoms following the administration of nebulized tranexamic acid. The overall need for blood transfusion was reduced. Three patients presented to the emergency room for evaluation of hemoptysis. All three patients had different underlying pathologies resulting in their hemoptysis and were monitored in the ICU. Initial conventional medical therapies including the correction of coagulopathy and discontinuing offending agents were utilized for treatment. After persistent symptoms, nebulized TXA at a dose of 500 mg three times a day was administered. The patients were all discharged from the hospital with improvement in their symptoms.
Copyright © 2020 BioMed Central Ltd. All rights reserved.
Source: International Journal of Emergency Medicine Published August 20, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12245-020-00304-x
Reducing Pain by Using Venous Blood Gas Instead of Arterial Blood Gas (VEINART): a Multicentre Randomised Controlled Trial
AUDIENCE: Emergency Medicine, Hematology, Internal Medicine
KEY FINDINGS: Venous blood gas is less painful for patients than ABG in non-hypoxaemic patients. Venous blood gas should replace ABG in this setting.
BACKGROUND: Venous sampling for blood gas analysis has been suggested as an alternative to arterial sampling in order to reduce pain. The main objective was to compare pain induced by venous and arterial sampling and to assess whether the type of sampling would affect clinical management or not.
DETAILS: We performed an open-label randomised multicentre prospective study in four French EDs during a 4-week period. Non-hypoxaemic adults, whose medical management required blood gas analysis, were randomly allocated using a computer-generated randomisation list stratified by centres with an allocation ratio of 1:1 using random blocks to one of the two arms: venous or arterial sampling. The primary outcome was the maximal pain during sampling, using the visual analogue scale. Secondary outcomes pertained to ease of sampling as rated by the nurse drawing the blood, and physician satisfaction regarding usefulness of biochemical data. 113 patients were included: 55 in the arterial and 58 in the venous sampling group. The mean maximal pain was 40.5 mm±24.9 mm and 22.6 mm±20.2 mm in the arterial group and the venous group, respectively, accounting for a mean difference of 17.9 mm (95% CI 9.6 to 26.3) (p<0.0001). Ease of blood sampling was greater in the venous group as compared with the arterial group (p=0.02). The usefulness of the results, evaluated by the prescriber, did not significantly differ (p=0.25).
Ticagrelor and Aspirin or Aspirin Alone in Acute Ischemic Stroke or TIA
AUDIENCE: Emergency Medicine, Neurology, Internal Medicine
KEY FINDINGS: Among patients with a mild-to-moderate acute noncardioembolic ischemic stroke (NIHSS score <=5) or TIA who were not undergoing intravenous or endovascular thrombolysis, the risk of the composite of stroke or death within 30 days was lower with ticagrelor–aspirin than with aspirin alone, but the incidence of disability did not differ significantly between the two groups. Severe bleeding was more frequent with ticagrelor.
BACKGROUND: Trials have evaluated the use of clopidogrel and aspirin to prevent stroke after an ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). In a previous trial, ticagrelor was not better than aspirin in preventing vascular events or death after stroke or TIA. The effect of the combination of ticagrelor and aspirin on prevention of stroke has not been well studied.
DETAILS: We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial involving patients who had had a mild-to-moderate acute noncardioembolic ischemic stroke, with a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score of 5 or less (range, 0 to 42, with higher scores indicating more severe stroke), or TIA and who were not undergoing thrombolysis or thrombectomy. The patients were assigned within 24 hours after symptom onset, in a 1:1 ratio, to receive a 30-day regimen of either ticagrelor (180-mg loading dose followed by 90 mg twice daily) plus aspirin (300 to 325 mg on the first day followed by 75 to 100 mg daily) or matching placebo plus aspirin. The primary outcome was a composite of stroke or death within 30 days. Secondary outcomes were first subsequent ischemic stroke and the incidence of disability within 30 days. The primary safety outcome was severe bleeding. A total of 11,016 patients underwent randomization (5523 in the ticagrelor–aspirin group and 5493 in the aspirin group). A primary-outcome event occurred in 303 patients (5.5%) in the ticagrelor–aspirin group and in 362 patients (6.6%) in the aspirin group (hazard ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.71 to 0.96; P=0.02). Ischemic stroke occurred in 276 patients (5.0%) in the ticagrelor–aspirin group and in 345 patients (6.3%) in the aspirin group (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.68 to 0.93; P=0.004). The incidence of disability did not differ significantly between the two groups. Severe bleeding occurred in 28 patients (0.5%) in the ticagrelor–aspirin group and in 7 patients (0.1%) in the aspirin group (P=0.001).
Relationship between the Injury Severity Score and the need for life-saving interventions in trauma patients in the UK
AUDIENCE: Emergency Medicine
KEY FINDINGS: A clinically significant number of adult trauma patients requiring LSIs have an ISS below the traditional definition of major trauma. The traditional definition should be reconsidered and either lowered, or an alternative metric should be used.
BACKGROUND: Major trauma is the third leading cause of avoidable mortality in the UK. Defining which patients require care in a major trauma centre is a critical component of developing, evaluating and enhancing regional major trauma systems. Traditionally, trauma patients have been classified using the Injury Severity Score (ISS), but resource-based criteria have been proposed as an alternative. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between ISS and the use of life-saving interventions (LSI).
DETAILS: Retrospective cohort study using the Trauma Audit Research Network database for all adult patients (aged >=18 years) between 2006 and 2014. Patients were categorised as needing an LSI if they received one or more interventions from a previously defined list determined by expert consensus. 193,290 patients met study inclusion criteria: 56.9% male, median age 60.0 years (IQR 41.2–78.8) and median ISS 9 (IQR 9–16). The most common mechanism of injury was falls <2 m (52.1%), followed by road traffic collisions (22.2%). 15.1% received one or more LSIs. The probability of a receiving an LSI increased with increasing ISS, but only a low to moderate correlation was evident (0.334, p<0.001). A clinically significant number of cases (5.3% and 7.6%) received an LSI despite having an ISS <=8 or <15, respectively.
Copyright © 2020 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
Source: Emerg Med J. Published July 6, 2020. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2019-209092.
FDA Initiative for Drug Facts Label for Over-the-Counter Naloxone
AUDIENCE: Emergency Medicine, Pediatric, Family Medicine
KEY FINDINGS: Consumers met thresholds for sufficient understanding of six of eight components of the instructions in the drug facts label for naloxone use and came close on two others. Overall, the FDA found that the model label was adequate for use in the development of a naloxone product intended for over-the-counter sales.
BACKGROUND: The opioid crisis highlights the need to increase access to naloxone, possibly through regulatory approval for over-the-counter sales. To address industry-perceived barriers to such access, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed a model drug facts label for such sales to assess whether consumers understood the key statements for safe and effective use.
DETAILS: In this label-comprehension study, individual structured interviews with 710 adults and adolescents, including 430 adults who use opioids and their family and friends were conducted. Eight primary end points were developed to assess user comprehension of each of the key steps in the label. Each of these end points included a prespecified target threshold ranging from 80 to 90% that was evaluated through a comparison of the lower boundary of the 95% exact confidence interval. The results for performance on six primary end points met or exceeded thresholds, including the steps “Check for a suspected overdose” (threshold, 85%; point estimate [PE], 95.8%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 94.0 to 97.1) and “Give the first dose” (threshold, 85%; PE, 98.2%; 95% CI, 96.9 to 99.0). The lower boundaries for four other primary end points ranged from 88.8 to 94.0%. One exception was comprehension of “Call 911 immediately,” but this instruction closely approximated the target of 90% (PE, 90.3%; 95% CI, 87.9 to 92.4). Another exception was comprehension of the composite step of “Check, give, and call 911 immediately” (threshold, 85%; PE, 81.1%; 95% CI, 78.0 to 83.9).
Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.
Source: N Engl J Med. Published May 28, 2020. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa1912403
Timing of Endoscopy for Acute Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding
AUDIENCE: Emergency Medicine, Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine
KEY FINDINGS: In patients with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding who were at high risk for further bleeding or death, endoscopy performed within 6 hours after gastroenterologic consultation was not associated with lower 30-day mortality than endoscopy performed between 6 and 24 hours after consultation.
BACKGROUND: It is recommended that patients with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding undergo endoscopy within 24 hours after gastroenterologic consultation. The role of endoscopy performed within time frames shorter than 24 hours has not been adequately defined.
DETAILS: To evaluate whether urgent endoscopy improves outcomes in patients predicted to be at high risk for further bleeding or death, we randomly assigned patients with overt signs of acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding and a Glasgow–Blatchford score of 12 or higher (scores range from 0 to 23, with higher scores indicating a higher risk of further bleeding or death) to undergo endoscopy within 6 hours (urgent-endoscopy group) or between 6 and 24 hours (early-endoscopy group) after gastroenterologic consultation. The primary end point was death from any cause within 30 days after randomization. A total of 516 patients were enrolled. The 30-day mortality was 8.9% (23 of 258 patients) in the urgent-endoscopy group and 6.6% (17 of 258) in the early-endoscopy group (difference, 2.3 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -2.3 to 6.9). Further bleeding within 30 days occurred in 28 patients (10.9%) in the urgent-endoscopy group and in 20 (7.8%) in the early-endoscopy group (difference, 3.1 percentage points; 95% CI, -1.9 to 8.1). Ulcers with active bleeding or visible vessels were found on initial endoscopy in 105 of the 158 patients (66.4%) with peptic ulcers in the urgent-endoscopy group and in 76 of 159 (47.8%) in the early-endoscopy group. Endoscopic hemostatic treatment was administered at initial endoscopy for 155 patients (60.1%) in the urgent-endoscopy group and for 125 (48.4%) in the early-endoscopy group.
Funding: Health and Medical Fund of the Food and Health Bureau, Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01675856.
Copyright © 2020 NEJM Group. All rights reserved.
Source: James Y.W. Lau, Yuanyuan Yu, Raymond S.Y. Tang, et al. (2020) Withdrawal of low-dose prednisone in SLE patients with a clinically quiescent disease for more than 1 year: A randomised clinical trial. N Engl J Med. 2020; 382:1299-1308. Published April 2, 2020. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1912484
Vitamin E Acetate in Bronchoalveolar-Lavage Fluid Associated with EVALI
AUDIENCE: Emergency Medicine, Pulmonology, Internal Medicine
KEY FINDING: Vitamin E acetate was associated with EVALI in a convenience sample of 51 patients in 16 states across the United States. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute and others.)
BACKGROUND: The causative agents for the current national outbreak of electronic-cigarette, or vaping, product use–associated lung injury (EVALI) have not been established. Detection of toxicants in bronchoalveolar-lavage (BAL) fluid from patients with EVALI can provide direct information on exposure within the lung.
DETAILS: BAL fluids were collected from 51 patients with EVALI in 16 states and from 99 healthy participants who were part of an ongoing study of smoking involving nonsmokers, exclusive users of e-cigarettes or vaping products, and exclusive cigarette smokers that was initiated in 2015. Using the BAL fluid, we performed isotope dilution mass spectrometry to measure several priority toxicants: vitamin E acetate, plant oils, medium-chain triglyceride oil, coconut oil, petroleum distillates, and diluent terpenes. State and local health departments assigned EVALI case status as confirmed for 25 patients and as probable for 26 patients. Vitamin E acetate was identified in BAL fluid obtained from 48 of 51 case patients (94%) in 16 states but not in such fluid obtained from the healthy comparator group. No other priority toxicants were found in BAL fluid from the case patients or the comparator group, except for coconut oil and limonene, which were found in 1 patient each. Among the case patients for whom laboratory or epidemiologic data were available, 47 of 50 (94%) had detectable tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or its metabolites in BAL fluid or had reported vaping THC products in the 90 days before the onset of illness. Nicotine or its metabolites were detected in 30 of 47 of the case patients (64%).
Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.
Source: N Engl J Med. Published February 20, 2020. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1916433
Conservative versus Interventional Treatment for Spontaneous Pneumothorax
AUDIENCE: Emergency Medicine, Cardiology
KEY FINDINGS: Although the primary outcome was not statistically robust to conservative assumptions about missing data, the trial provides modest evidence that conservative management of primary spontaneous pneumothorax was noninferior to interventional management, with a lower risk of serious adverse events.
BACKGROUND: Whether conservative management is an acceptable alternative to interventional management for uncomplicated, moderate-to-large primary spontaneous pneumothorax is unknown.
DETAILS: In this open-label, multicenter, noninferiority trial, we recruited patients 14 to 50 years of age with a first-known, unilateral, moderate-to-large primary spontaneous pneumothorax. Patients were randomly assigned to immediate interventional management of the pneumothorax (intervention group) or a conservative observational approach (conservative-management group) and were followed for 12 months. The primary outcome was lung reexpansion within 8 weeks. A total of 316 patients underwent randomization (154 patients to the intervention group and 162 to the conservative-management group). In the conservative-management group, 25 patients (15.4%) underwent interventions to manage the pneumothorax, for reasons prespecified in the protocol, and 137 (84.6%) did not undergo interventions. In a complete-case analysis in which data were not available for 23 patients in the intervention group and 37 in the conservative-management group, reexpansion within 8 weeks occurred in 129 of 131 patients (98.5%) with interventional management and in 118 of 125 (94.4%) with conservative management (risk difference, –4.1 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], –8.6 to 0.5; P=0.02 for noninferiority); the lower boundary of the 95% confidence interval was within the prespecified noninferiority margin of –9 percentage points. In a sensitivity analysis in which all missing data after 56 days were imputed as treatment failure (with reexpansion in 129 of 138 patients [93.5%] in the intervention group and in 118 of 143 [82.5%] in the conservative-management group), the risk difference of –11.0 percentage points (95% CI, –18.4 to –3.5) was outside the prespecified noninferiority margin. Conservative management resulted in a lower risk of serious adverse events or pneumothorax recurrence than interventional management.
FUNDING: Emergency Medicine Foundation and others; PSP Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number, ACTRN12611000184976. opens in new tab.)
Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.
Source: N Engl J Med. Published January 30, 2020. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1910775
Early High-Dose Vitamin D3 for Critically Ill, Vitamin D–Deficient Patients
AUDIENCE: Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine
KEY FINDINGS: Early administration of high-dose enteral vitamin D3 did not provide an advantage over placebo with respect to 90-day mortality or other, nonfatal outcomes among critically ill, vitamin D–deficient patients.
BACKGROUND: Vitamin D deficiency is a common, potentially reversible contributor to morbidity and mortality among critically ill patients. The potential benefits of vitamin D supplementation in acute critical illness require further study.
DETAILS: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial of early vitamin D3 supplementation in critically ill, vitamin D–deficient patients who were at high risk for death. Randomization occurred within 12 hours after the decision to admit the patient to an intensive care unit. Eligible patients received a single enteral dose of 540,000 IU of vitamin D3 or matched placebo. The primary end point was 90-day all-cause, all-location mortality. A total of 1360 patients were found to be vitamin D–deficient during point-of-care screening and underwent randomization. Of these patients, 1078 had baseline vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin D level, <20 ng per milliliter [50 nmol per liter]) confirmed by subsequent testing and were included in the primary analysis population. The mean day 3 level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D was 46.9±23.2 ng per milliliter (117±58 nmol per liter) in the vitamin D group and 11.4±5.6 ng per milliliter (28±14 nmol per liter) in the placebo group (difference, 35.5 ng per milliliter; 95% confidence interval [CI], 31.5 to 39.6). The 90-day mortality was 23.5% in the vitamin D group (125 of 531 patients) and 20.6% in the placebo group (109 of 528 patients) (difference, 2.9 percentage points; 95% CI, –2.1 to 7.9; P=0.26). There were no clinically important differences between the groups with respect to secondary clinical, physiological, or safety end points. The severity of vitamin D deficiency at baseline did not affect the association between the treatment assignment and mortality.
Ticagrelor or Prasugrel in Patients with ACS List of Authors
AUDIENCE: Emergency Medicine, Cardiology, Internal Medicine
KEY FINDING: Among patients who presented with acute coronary syndromes with or without ST-segment elevation, the incidence of death, myocardial infarction, or stroke was significantly lower among those who received prasugrel than among those who received ticagrelor, and the incidence of major bleeding was not significantly different between the two groups.
BACKGROUND: The relative merits of ticagrelor as compared with prasugrel in patients with acute coronary syndromes for whom invasive evaluation is planned are uncertain.
DETAILS: In this multicenter, randomized, open-label trial, we randomly assigned patients who presented with acute coronary syndromes and for whom invasive evaluation was planned to receive either ticagrelor or prasugrel. The primary end point was the composite of death, myocardial infarction, or stroke at 1 year. A major secondary end point (the safety end point) was bleeding. A total of 4018 patients underwent randomization. A primary end-point event occurred in 184 of 2012 patients (9.3%) in the ticagrelor group and in 137 of 2006 patients (6.9%) in the prasugrel group (hazard ratio, 1.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09 to 1.70; P=0.006). The respective incidences of the individual components of the primary end point in the ticagrelor group and the prasugrel group were as follows: death, 4.5% and 3.7%; myocardial infarction, 4.8% and 3.0%; and stroke, 1.1% and 1.0%. Definite or probable stent thrombosis occurred in 1.3% of patients assigned to ticagrelor and 1.0% of patients assigned to prasugrel, and definite stent thrombosis occurred in 1.1% and 0.6%, respectively. Major bleeding (as defined by the Bleeding Academic Research Consortium scale) was observed in 5.4% of patients in the ticagrelor group and in 4.8% of patients in the prasugrel group (hazard ratio, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.51; P=0.46).
Factors Influencing Physician Risk Estimates for ACEs in Emergency Patients with Suspected ACS
AUDIENCE: Emergency Medicine, Cardiology
KEY FINDING: Physicians systematically overestimate ACE risk. A range of factors are associated with physician risk estimates. These include factors strongly predictive of ACE, such as age and ECG characteristics. They also include other factors that have been shown to be unreliable predictors of ACE in an ED setting, such as typicality of pain and risk factors.
BACKGROUND: Emergency physicians frequently assess risk of acute cardiac events (ACEs) in patients with undifferentiated chest pain. Such estimates have been shown to have moderate to high sensitivity for ACE but are conservative. Little is known about the factors implicitly used by physicians to determine the pretest probability of risk. This study sought to identify the accuracy of physician risk estimates for ACE in patients presenting to the ED with chest pain and to identify the demographic and clinical information emergency physicians use in their determination of patient risk.
DETAILS: This study used data from two prospective studies of consenting adult patients presenting to the ED with symptoms of possible acute coronary syndrome. ED physicians estimated the pretest probability of ACE. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to identify predictors of physician risk estimates. Logistic regression was used to determine whether there was a correlation between physicians’ estimated risk and ACE. Increasing age, male sex, abnormal ECG features, heavy/crushing chest pain and risk factors were correlated with physician risk estimates. Physician risk estimates were consistently found to be higher than the expected proportion of ACE from the sampled population.
Copyright © 2019 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and the College of Emergency Medicine. All rights reserved.
Source: BMJ Published November 12, 2019. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2019-208916.