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Emergency Medicine International publishes original research articles and review articles related to prehospital care, disaster preparedness and response, acute medical and paediatric emergencies, critical care and wound care
Emergency Medicine International maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.
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Association of Chest Anteroposterior Radiography with Computed Tomography in Patients with Blunt Chest Trauma
Background. In cases of chest trauma, computed tomography (CT) can be used alongside chest anteroposterior (AP) radiography and physical examination during initial evaluation. Performing a CT scan may be difficult if a patient has unstable vital signs. In contrast, radiography may not always reliably diagnose nonmarked pneumothorax or extensive subcutaneous emphysema. Objectives. This study aimed to determine the agreement between chest radiography and CT findings in patients with blunt chest trauma. The study also aimed to determine the occurrence of occult pneumothorax and clarify the proportion of subcutaneous emphysema and pneumothorax detected through radiography and CT, respectively. Methods. We included patients (n = 1284) with chest trauma who were admitted to the emergency room of a tertiary hospital between January 2015 and June 2022. We excluded patients aged <18 years, those with stab injury, those without radiography and CT findings, and patients who required iatrogenic intervention, such as chest tube insertion, before imaging. We recorded age, sex, trauma mechanism, and Abbreviated Injury Scale score for each patient. From radiography and CT scans, we recorded the presence of rib fracture, subcutaneous emphysema, lung contusion, pneumothorax, and pneumomediastinum. The accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were calculated to assess the reliability of radiography as a predictor of CT-based diagnosis. Results. Radiography exhibited a specificity of nearly 100% for all items. In most cases, findings that could not be confirmed by CT were not evident on radiographs. The incidence of occult pneumothorax was 87.3%. When subcutaneous emphysema was observed on radiography, CT findings indicated pneumothorax in 96.7% of cases. Conclusions. In situations where the patient’s vital signs are unstable and performing a CT scan is not feasible, the presence of subcutaneous emphysema on radiography may indicate the need for chest decompression, even if pneumothorax is not observed.
Patient Involvement in Decisions regarding Emergency Department Discharge: A Multimethod Study
Background. Unmet care needs and more than one reasonable discharge solution have been identified among patients in the emergency department. Less than half of the patients attending emergency care have reported being involved in decisions to the degree they have wanted. Having a person-centered approach, such as involving patients in decisions regarding their discharge, has been reported as being associated with beneficial outcomes for the patient. Aim. The aim of the study was to explore the extent of patients’ involvement in discharge planning in acute care and how patient involvement in decisions regarding discharge planning is managed in clinical practice. Methods. A multimethod study, including both quantitative and qualitative data, was carried out. The quantitative part included a descriptive and comparative analysis of additional data from the patient’s medical records and patient’s responses to the CollaboRATE questionnaire. The qualitative part included a content analysis of notes from field studies of interactions between healthcare professionals and patients. Results. A total of 615 patients from an emergency department at a medium-sized hospital completed the questionnaire. Roughly, a third gave top-box scores (36%), indicating optimal involvement in decisions. Two factors, being discharged home and not readmitted, were significantly associated with the experience of being involved. In clinical practice, there was a focus on symptoms, and diagnostic tools and choice of treatment were decisive for the further care trajectory of the patients. Speed and low continuity left limited opportunities for dialogue to uncover patients’ preferences. At the same time, the patients did not expect to be involved. Conclusions. Two out of three patients did not experience being involved in decisions regarding emergency department discharge. The interactions reflected an organizational structure in which the conditions for patient involvement were limited. Uncovering opportunities and initiatives to increase the number of patients who experience being involved in decisions is important tasks for the future.
The Addition of the Geriatric Nutritional Risk Index to the Prognostic Scoring Systems Did Not Improve Mortality Prediction in Trauma Patients in the Intensive Care Unit
Background. Malnutrition is prevalent among critically ill patients and has been associated with a poor prognosis. This study sought to determine whether the addition of a nutritional indicator to the various variables of prognostic scoring models can improve the prediction of mortality among trauma patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Methods. This study’s cohort included 1,126 trauma patients hospitalized in the ICU between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2021. Two nutritional indicators, the prognostic nutrition index (PNI), a calculation based on the serum albumin concentration and peripheral blood lymphocyte count, and the geriatric nutritional risk index (GNRI), a calculation based on the serum albumin concentration and the ratio of current body weight to ideal body weight, were examined for their association with the mortality outcome. The significant nutritional indicator was served as an additional variable in prognostic scoring models of the Trauma and Injury Severity Score (TRISS), the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II), and the mortality prediction models (MPM II) at admission, 24, 48, and 72 h in the mortality outcome prediction. The predictive performance was determined by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. Results. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that GNRI (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96–0.99; ), but not PNI (OR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.97–1.02; ), was independent risk factor for mortality. However, none of these predictive scoring models showed a significant improvement in prediction when the GNRI variable is incorporated. Conclusions. The addition of GNRI as a variable to the prognostic scoring models did not significantly enhance the performance of the predictors.
Evaluation of the Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines Risk Prediction Tool for Acute Aortic Syndrome: The RIPP Score
Introduction. Acute aortic syndrome (AAS) is a rare clinical syndrome with a high mortality rate. The Canadian clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis of AAS was developed in order to reduce the frequency of misdiagnoses. As part of the guideline, a clinical decision aid was developed to facilitate clinician decision-making (RIPP score). The aim of this study is to validate the diagnostic accuracy of this tool and assess its performance in comparison to other risk prediction tools that have been developed. Methods. This was a historical case-control study. Consecutive cases and controls were recruited from three academic emergency departments from 2002–2020. Cases were identified through an admission, discharge, or death certificated diagnosis of acute aortic syndrome. Controls were identified through presenting complaint of chest, abdominal, flank, back pain, and/or perfusion deficit. We compared the clinical decision tools’ C statistic and used the DeLong method to test for the significance of these differences and report sensitivity and specificity with 95% confidence intervals. Results. We collected data on 379 cases of acute aortic syndrome and 1340 potential eligible controls; 379 patients were randomly selected from the final population. The RIPP score had a sensitivity of 99.7% (98.54–99.99). This higher sensitivity resulted in a lower specificity (53%) compared to the other clinical decision aids (63–86%). The DeLong comparison of the C statistics found that the RIPP score had a higher C statistic than the ADDRS (−0.0423 (95% confidence interval −0.07–0.02); ) and the AORTAs score (−0.05 (−0.07 to −0.02); P = 0.0002), no difference compared to the Lovy decision tool (0.02 (95% CI −0.01–0.05 )) and decreased compared to the Von Kodolitsch decision tool (0.04 (95% CI 0.01–0.07 )). Conclusion. The Canadian clinical practice guideline’s AAS clinical decision aid is a highly sensitive tool that uses readily available clinical information. It has the potential to improve diagnosis of AAS in the emergency department.
A Severity Score and Outcome Prediction in Patients that Suffered an Ischemic Stroke
Background. Stroke is the main cause of disability and exitus worldwide. The prediction of mortality of this pathology represents a major challenge. More than that, the infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a challenge for every clinician worldwide, and hypercoagulability is one of its biggest concerns that can lead to stroke. Objective. Our aim was to develop a severity stroke index for both SARS-CoV-2 stroke patients and noninfected stroke patients which we hope to be helpful in patient’s management. Methods. We conducted a prospective study during January 2021–June 2021 which included 80 patients who suffered an ischemic stroke, 40 of which had both stroke and SARS-CoV-2 infection. We have established a panel of biomarkers including CRP, IL-6, fibrinogen, ESR, D-dimer, leucocytes, lymphocytes, and NLR and compared the results of our two cohorts. Results. SARS-CoV-2 stroke patients have experienced elevated levels of biomarkers that rise in inflammation such as hs-CRP, IL-6, and D-dimer, comparing to noninfected stroke patients. Also, the probability of exitus in SARS-CoV-2 patients is 4.2 times higher than in noninfected subjects. With regard to stroke severity, we have concluded that a NIHSS score higher than 15 points considerably influences the death rate, the probability of exitus being 9.16 times higher than in NIHSS score lower than 15. Conclusion. Based on our result, we have established a severity score index which includes NIHSS score, age, gender, the presence/absence of COVID-19 infection, and the following biomarkers: hs-PCR, IL-6, D-dimer, fibrinogen, and ESR, which can be used as a tool to guide patient’s management.
Advance in the Correlation between Diabetic Nephropathy and Abnormal Serum Thyroid Hormone Levels in Patients
This study was developed to explore the correlation between diabetic nephropathy (DN) and abnormal serum thyroid hormone (TH) levels in patients, which can provide a reference for disease prevention and control in patients with DN. DN is the most serious complication of diabetes. The mortality rate of diabetic patients with DN is approximately 30 times higher than that of diabetic patients without DN. DN leads to high blood sugar, which causes vascular dysfunction in patients, causes cardiovascular disease, aggravates the disease and disease complexity, and thus increases the mortality of patients. DN patients often have oxidative stress and even fibrosis in severe cases. TH has a potential renal protective effect and can also regulate glucose metabolism and improve abnormal glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Abnormal serum TH levels increase the risk of DN. Normal thyroid function plays an important role in regulating the physiological functions of the human body. Hormonal disorders promote the development of diabetes mellitus (DM) into DN. The pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, detection, and treatment methods of DN were reviewed in this study. The research progress of the influence of TH on DN was analyzed. This study is conducive to clinical research on DN and provides a reference.