Author: rebecca isles

Frailty Same Day Emergency Care Unit

The Fraility Same Day Emergency Care Unit (SDEC) is open at HRI.

This unit is designed to enable frail patients to return to their own homes as soon as possible with the care and support they need.

Is your patient frail? Calculate the Rockwood Score

Are they medically fit for discharge?

The SDEC may be the right place for them to ensure their discharge is safe and timely.

Flow to the SDEC

Full SDEC pathway is available here

Suspected Cauda Equina Syndrome

CDU at HRI has closed therefore the pathway for the management of patients requiring MRI for suspected CES has changed.

  • In hours
    • ED will arrange the MRI scan and review the results and refer to Neurosurgery as required.
  • Out of hours
    • Patient requires admission: then this is under the orthopaedic team.
    • Patient is fit to go home (with no immediate need to transfer to LGI for OOH MRI): then they can go home and return to AAU for orthopaedic review after their MRI scan (requested by ED and safety questionnaire completed). Please ensure these patients are referred to the on-call Orthopaedic SHO to be added to the trauma list and discussed/reviewed as per the pathway.


The full pathway is  Suspected Cauda Equina Syndrome 2019

MRI Safety Questionnaire

Coroners Referrals

The patients ED needs to report has changed…

The key change with the new guidance is that not all patients who die in the ED need to be reported to the coroner….

Provided that none of the other circumstances as detailed in the guidance note apply deaths within 24 hours of admission to Hospital or a Hospice do not need to be reported with respect to a death of a person over 18 years of age in the following circumstances:

  • A qualified medical practitioner certifies death is due to natural causes and
  • The family or other party do not raise any concerns

The full guidance is available – Guide to Reporting Deaths April19

If you need to report to coronerDeath in ED

RCEM CPD 2019 Day 2


#RCEMcpd  @RCEMevents

Advances in Acute Stroke Intervention 

Dr Ian Rennie

Acute Stroke Thrombolysis only recannulates approximately 10% of large vessels.

MR CLEAN trial reduced disablED survivors following stroke from 53% to 29%. NNT <2 (New England Journal of Medicine 2015)

Dawn trial showed treatment up to 24 hours from “last well” can produce significant benefits. (New England Journal of Medicine 2018)

Included almost all patients for thrombectomy with large vessel occlusion who don’t have too much established infarct. No absolute cut off time, image vessels early.

Don’t treat those with a poor baseline function, extensive pmh, in hospital infarcts, established infarct on scan.


Pitfalls and Perils of Acute Neurology 

Dr Thomas Peukert 

Non orthopaedic cause of myelopathy (it’s not always cauda equina). ..
Think about onset…acute vs gradual
Think about time course…relapsing and remiting, deteriorating, stable, intermittent

If MRI spine is normal..have you imaged the right part of the spine? Is it too early? Have you imaged the right part or the right scan? Is the lesion not visible on MRI?

Is it a lesion in brain?
Is it a problem of neuromucular junction?
Is this a lower motor neuron lesion?

Spontaneous low pressure headache – sudden onset severe headache on standing can be associated with thoracic back pain due to spontaneous leak of csf often in the thoracic spine. Can pull brain downwards that looks like chiari malformation on MRI. Often associated with connective tissue disorders.


The Manchester Arena Major Incident 

Mrs. Stella Smith

Patient id was a problem, the patients were carrying fake ID, particularly with transfusion, helped by ED based transfusion team.

Staff response needs to be tiered organisation by a distant member of staff helped.

Handovers needs to include everyone…managers, allied healthcare professionals, etc.

Ballistics and evidence collection training is needed by everyone as clothes, possessions,  foreign bodies that are removed are all evidence.
Everyone needs Blast training….look in eyes, ears etc.

Managing a CBRN Incident 

Dr Paul Russell

  • Detect the incident…
  • See. . ..self presenting toxidrome..123+ approach
  • Hear ..take a history
  • Smell..if it smells bad it is likely to be toxic
  • Feel …unusual sensations

Many CBRN agents may have a delayed presentation or delayed detection so events may move on to other departments.
Protect yourself, collegues and environment
Decontamination should happen at scene however it often doesn’t happen.
Decontamination. ..remove clothes, blot dont rub with paper, wet decontaminate if needed.

Critical Care Research Update 

Dr Rob MacSweeney


Polar trial – prehospital cooling for tbi and maintained for 7 days…no difference between 2 groups. Increased adverse events in cooled patients.

Eurotherm 3235 cooling raised icp patients caused harm, trial stopped early.

Rescueicp a decompressive craniectomy for icp>25mmhg, better icp control and more adverse events and no improvement in outcome

Paramedic2 adrenaline in shock refractory out of hospital cardiac arrest – adrenaline restarts heart and marginally improves survival but survivors had severe neurological impairment.

ALPS trial – Amiodarone, lidocaine, placebo in out of hospital cardiac arrest more likely to survive with drugs than placebo.

Eolia trial – ecmo for ARDS significantly improves survival at 60 days.

Florali high flow nasal cannula oxygen vs face mask oxygen and niv for preoxygenation in patients with hypoxic respiratory  failure needing RSI. Nasal Cannuale is best.

Beam trial boogie vs stylet for intubation with McGrath. ..boogie more likely to get 1st attempt intubation without complications.

IRIS trial – cricoid pressure vs sham pressure, no benefit from cricoid pressure.

Ideal-icu when to start renal replacement therapy in severe sepsis induced renal failure at 12 hrs vs 48 hrs. difference but very high mortality anyway.

Bicar-icu bicarbonate for severe acidosis…some benefit of giving bicarbonate in severe acidosis.

Smart trial -Saline vs balanced crystolloid (Hartmans) for fluid resucitation in ICU,  more adverse kidney events with saline.

Salt-ED Saline vs Hartmans in ED…no difference in hospital free days.

Adrenal trial -hydrocortisone vs placebo in Septic shock, reduced 90 mortality and reduced icu days with steroids.

Andromeda trial – shock treatment guided by peripheral perfusion vs Lactate guided resucitation …outcome better with perheral perfusion guided resucitation.

Censer trial early noradrenaline in Septic shock reduces mortality

RCEM CPD 2019 Day 1


Tracheostomy Emergency Care Dr Brendan McGarth

Needs to distinguish Tracheostomy from laryngectomy as a laryngectomy has no connection to the upper airway however a tracheostomy may have a connection so gives you 2 options for an airway.

Trachostomy problems commonly seen in the ED:-
Tube obstructions
Tube displacement
Stoma problems
Skin problems

Tracheostomy Emergency Pathway

Laryngectomy Emergency Algorithm

Online learning  modules available at the link


The Impact of Dental Presentations to the ED  — Chetan Trivedi 

Facial imaging his a high dose of radiation to senative tissues in often young people therefore careful examination is required prior tor Xrays.

Predictors of radiological abnormality in facial trauma-

Tenderness over maxillary
Step deformity in maxillary
Sensory loss over site of injury
Change in bite
Subconjunctival haemhorrhage
Broken teeth
Periorbital haematoma
Abnormal eye signs

Predictors of radiological abnormality in mandibular trauma-
Restricted or painful mouth opening
Tenderness over mandible
Sensory loss over site of injury
Change in bite/painful bite
Broken teeth
Step deformity

Try to assess carefully prior or to imaging


Acute OphthalmologyFelipe Dhawahir-Scala

Viral conjunctivitis all have preauricular or submandibular lymphadenopathy, highly contagious.

Do not give chloramphenicol to contact lens wearers use something with a broader spectrum.

Urgent conditions (reasons to get an ophthalmologist out of bed) —

Acute angle closure glaucoma -red painful eye, semi dilated pupil, – start iv acetazolamide immediately

Orbital cellulitis – eye doesn’t move, colour vision loss, fever, chemosis,  proptosis -start Ciprofloxacin and clarithromycin orally, image and call ophthalmology.



Vertigo – Peter Johns 

Concerning features- new or sustained headache or neck pain it’s a stroke or vertebral artery dissection until we prove it isn’t.

A central cause …Unable to walk or stand unaided, Weakness in limbs, the Deadly d’s… dysarthria,  diplopia, dysphagia, dysarthria,  dysphoria.

Short episodes of Vertigo  (spinning/dizziness) on getting up/rolling over in bed, no spontaneous or gaze provoked nystagmus.
(End gaze nystagmus so normal variant,  look to 30 degrees only.)
Need dix-hallpike testing likely BPPV – posterior canal BPPV.
Treat with Epley manoeuvre.

Horizontal Canal BPPV – Dix-hallpike manoeuvre is negative and they are less clear which side they turn to to get dizzy.

Spontaneous or gaze provoked nystagmus for days, nausea and vomiting and gait disturbance likely to be Vestibular neuronitis.

Test using HINTS plus Exam– nystagmus,  test of skew, head impulse test, hearing loss. All components have a central or peripheral result for each component. If all 4 are peripheral results then it is a acute Vestibular neuroitis

Vestibular migraine – 30% never get headache,  can last hours or days.
More common in women, perimenopausal, often get photophobia, phonophobia, nausea, vomiting and other typical migraine symptoms.

You tube – peter Johns (links here)


Trauma in the ED…Day 2 of Trauma Care 2019

  • Should ED manage the Trauma airway?
    For: Dr Simon Laing @simon_laing
    Against : Dr Felicity Clark @felicityjeclark

A debate with an ED consultant for and an Anaethestist against.
The eventual conclusion was that it doesn’tmatter who manages the airway as long as they are trained, competant and current with good governance in place.

  • Chest tubes in Trauma – Mr Richard Steyn
    Bigger drains aren’t always better however they need to be able to drain without blocking or clotting, not kink, secured appropriately.

Prime drains with sterile saline and thoracic surgeons can cell save blood.

Flutter bags for chest drains rather underwater seals are likely to be easier to manage until a ptoent gets to definitive thoracic care.
Chest drains should only be clamped to change bottle.

  • Non-compressible torso harmhorrhage NCTH- Surgeon Commander ED Barnard @edbarn

Is REBOA effective in a TCA?
Haemorrhage is the leading cause of survivable trauma death, external haemorrhage has been reduced by the use of tourniquets.
We dont know if REBOA works but the key is placing REBOA during the low output state rather than during arrest.
The REBOA trial is ongoing.

Haemostatic agents for catastrophic haemorrhage – squadron leader Robert james

Major harmhorrhage is the major cause of preventable death in Trauma
A system approach improves survival.
Trauma chain of survival…
Early first aid, advanced Prehospital care, damage control resucitation and excellent rehabilitation.

  • Simulation in Major trauma – Simon Mercer

Simulation allows people to rehearse skills in a risk free environment.

Functional fidelity (does it work like real), physical fidelity(does it look real), psychological fidelity (does it make people feel real).

  • Moral Injury – Esther Murray @Em_Healthpsych

Moral injuries – Witnessing incidents which contravene your moral code
Most of those affected by incidents will not have a diagnosable mental disorder.
If you are stuck processing/reliving something you are less available to your team, it reduces your bandwith therefore you can’t offer support and empathy to colleagues.

It is often the little things that stick with you after a job, talking about it needs acknowledgement that it has affected you. Forced intervention is really bad for people, not everyone will be ready to talk at the same time, some will never want to talk. Providing spaces to talk is more important.

  • Head Injury Prognostication – Professor Mark Wilson @markhwilson

SDH and EDH are not brain Injuries, the secondary brain injury occurs if these are not treated.
What time point are we prognosticating at? At times etc of injury or 6 hours later when bleeding has occurred due to antiplatelets?

Prognostication needs to occur over a few hours, resucitation needs to have occurred, the duration of observation is a clinical judgement.

Trauma Care Conference



Mix of PHEM and Major incident sessions today

  • Mental ResilienceProfessor Richard Williams

Resilience – a process linking a set of adaptive capabilities to a positive trajectory of functioning and adaption after a disturbance.

Compared to the reference population ED and Pre-hospital staff have higher levels of fatigue, poor sleep, depression and anxiety.
Stress levels tend to be higher when the care involves children, collegues, older people or disabled people. Psychological impact tend to be worse if patients die, we feel we should have done more, there is little percieved support from colleagues, family or friends or the incident follows other stressful events.

Improving patient care can only be done by increasing the care of staff as they deliver the care.
Caring for the personal needs of staff reduces clinical errors.

Things that affect staff experience are Organisational culture, workload intensity, relationships with peers, emotional intelligence, length of experience, injury, abuse, Role at work, and social support,

Secondary stressor can be worse than the primary incident and can be these things that prevent people from coping.

The primary mental disorder in relation to stress is substance misuse not ptsd.

It is OK to be upset it does not mean you are not resilient.

Social support and social integration are the most important factors in life expectancy…we need to turn groups of collegues into

  • Field  AmputationProfessor Sir Keith Porter @TCUK_KeithP

Like many things we do in Emergency Medicine the technique is not difficult and uses basic kit; it is the decision making that is the difficult part. Phone a friend and get someone else there with you for those difficult decisions.

  • Mechanism of injury and new car designDr. Gareth Davies

Understanding Mechanism of Injury can help predict injury patterns.
Every mechanism gives a predictable pattern of injuries, what happens to the patient depends on speed of vehicle, shape of vehicle, rigidity of vehicle, presence of advanced protection,speed of pedestrian, size of pedestrian and age of pedestrian. Ask a 1st hand witness if possible to prevent Chinese whispers.

Injuries come from change in velocity and exchange of energy over time.
Low speed deceleration causes less injury than sudden stop.

  • Organisational Leadership – Mrs Jane Gurney @janegurney5

Be passionate about what you do.

Engage with all members within your organisation.

Lead by example.

The right decisions are not always the easy decisions.

  • Learning From Traumatic Deaths –Professor Guy Rutter

Post-mortum CT gives the cause of death for most patients, medical or traumatic. It can also tell us if our attempts at life saving interventions were done correctly.

Analysis of post-mortem images and injuries can help confirm the mechanisms of injury.

  • Emergency Planning for Major Incidents @qehbham

Casualty regulation and capability chart determines how many pts (go to MTC) P2 go to TU. P3 go to other hospitals.

Recent major incidents have higher numbers of P1 casualties – previously assumed 10% in a major incident…recent incidents have all have been considerably more than this; trauma units will get some P1 patients. Trauma Units therefore need to declare what sort of patients they can take… P1 but with specific injuries.

When trying to clear the ED patients don’t necessarily leave ED even when told it is a Major incident they need to be individually redirected.

NHS England have produced clinical guidelines for major incidents and mass Casualty incidents in an easy to read format.


Digital ECG

Digital ECG has now gone live on both sites.

We now have no excuse for loosing ECGs and not sending them to the wards with patients!

Please ensure you put an operator ID in as well as all the patient information to ensure the ECG transmits to EPR – if you are having problems look at the troubleshooting guide on the side of the machine.

Ensure a doctor/ACP signs all ECGs using EPR – just like when they were paper!

Quick Reference and Trouble Shooting Guide are available here  Digital ECG Quick reference guide

The SOP for reviewing and signing ECGs is available here Digital ECG SOP