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CBRNe – Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear incidents

NHS England, Public Health England and the Health Protection Agency have produced several very useful resources for us to use – BUT First.

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Basics

Contacts

  • Health Protection Agency Teams – HERE
    • West Yorkshire
      • In hours: 0113 386 0300
      • Out of hours: 114 304 9843
  • ECOSA (Emergency Coordinated Scientific Advice System) – 0300 3033 493

  • UK NPIS – 0344 892 0111

Guides

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Hyponatraemia

Hyponatraema is a common finding, especially within our elderly population. However, its significance is is not a simple numbers game, and needs senior input. Prior to treatment the following need to be considered and balanced.

  1. Symptoms Severity – these are not exclusive to hyponatraemia and may be due to other disease processes (esp. if the low sodium is long-term)
  2. Sodium Level – the sodium concentration doesn’t always correlate to the clinical picture, and is dependant on speed of change, and co-morbidities
  3. Rate of Drop – the faster sodium levels drop the more symptomatic the patient often is (i.e. with long term hyponatraema the patient may be profoundly hyponatraemic but asymptomatic)
  4. Co-morbidities – Increasing sodium too quickly risks osmotic demyelination. How well will the patient cope with treatment?

Emergency treatment (hypertonic saline) is generally indicated in those with Severe Symptoms ONLY

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Influenza POCT (Adult)

The 2019-20 Flu season has arrived, and we need to be thinking about who to test and who to treat. Full guide HERE But don’t forget MERS!!

Q1. Do you suspect Flu?

  • Fever
  • Coryza
  • Arthralgia and/or Myalgia
  • Malaise
  • GI symptoms – with or without signs of respiratory/other involvement e.g. CN

Yes! – Respiratory precautions

  • Isolated in a side room
  • Surgical face mask worn on entry to room + gloves and apron
  • FFP3 mask or hood worn for aerosol generating procedures
  • Bare below the elbow / good quality hand hygiene
  • Proceed to Q2

 

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Lower Back Pain: Red & Yellow Flags

Each year 1:15 of the adult population will seek medical help for Lower Back Pain, that is 2.6 million patients in the UK. Most Lower Back Pain is not serious and will revolve within 8 weeks, with analgesia and self physio.

However, this is not the case for some. This may be due to serious underlying pathology ‘RED Flags‘, or psychological factors that indicate chronicity ‘Yellow Flags‘.

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Silver Trauma

The population is ageing and thus our ‘typical’ trauma patient is also changing. In 2017 the TARN report “Major injury in older people” highlighted the following issues:

  • The typical major trauma patient: has changed from a young and male to being an older patient.
  • Older Major Trauma Patients (ISS>15): A fall of <2m is the commonest mechanism of injury
  • Triage/Recognition of ‘Silver Trauma’ is POOR
    • Pre-hospital: Not identified hence taken to TU’s (Here) not MTC’s (Leeds).
    • The ED: Often seen by Junior Staff and endure significant treatment delays.
    • Hospital: Much less likely to be transferred to specialist care.
    • Outcomes: More likely to die, but those who survive have similar levels of disability to younger people.

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TXA – Tranexamic Acid

TXA a bleeding wonder drug!

Crash 2 Study (2010)

  • Multi-Centre RCT of the use of TXA in trauma
  • Inclusion – Adult trauma patients with ≥1 of
    • Suspicion of significant haemorrhage
    • HR ≥110bpm
    • sBP ≤90mmHg
  • Treatment – 1g TXA IV over 10min then a second 1g TXA IV over 8hrs
  • Outcome – Significant reduction in Death, bleeding with NO increase in clots(thrombotic disease)
    • Most benefit seen if given early (<3hr – NNT 53)

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Acidosis & VBG’s

We are frequently asked to check the lactate on Venous Blood Gases (VBG’s), by the nursing staff. However, remember to look at the first result (pH) it is the most important.

Acidosis: Unless you have a good reason (e.g. you know its due to DKA) you should be investigating and performing an Arterial Blood Gas (ABG)

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