The mission of the Department of Emergency Medicine is to be the preeminent Department of Emergency Medicine in the country by delivering excellent healthcare, with respect and dignity to all patients needing emergent or urgent care services; conducting ground-breaking research that enhances public health; and developing innovative educational programs for all levels of health care providers. This collection showcases journal articles and other publications written by faculty and researchers of the Department of Emergency Medicine.


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Recently Published

  • Unintentional Ketamine Overdose Via Telehealth

    Johnson, Brett E; Borges, Eric S; Gaspari, Romolo J; Galletta, Gayle M; Lai, Jeffrey T (2024-01-01)
    The use of ketamine in psychiatry has expanded to at-home ketamine-assisted therapy (KAT) via telemedicine. We report a case of massive unintentional ketamine overdose during at-home KAT resulting in hypoxemic respiratory failure, successfully treated with atropine.
  • Clinician Attitudes Toward Suicide Prevention Practices and Their Implementation: Findings From the System of Safety Study

    Larkin, Celine; Kiefe, Catarina I; Morena, Alexandra L; Rahmoun, Mhd B; Lazar, Peter; Sefair, Ana Vallejo; Boudreaux, Edwin D (2023-12-21)
    Objective: The authors aimed to assess clinicians' attitudes toward suicide-related practices and their implementation, across roles and settings, before implementation of the Zero Suicide model in a health care system. Methods: Clinicians (N=5,559) were invited to complete a survey assessing demographic characteristics; confidence and self-reported suicide-related practice; leadership buy-in; and attitudes toward suicide prevention, safety planning, and continuous quality improvement (CQI). Results: Of 1,224 respondents, most felt confident conducting suicide screening but less confident performing other suicide-related care. Provider role and care setting were significantly associated with confidence (p<0.001, Kruskal-Wallis H test) and practice (p<0.001, Kruskal-Wallis H test) of providing suicide prevention care, with behavioral health providers and providers in the emergency department (ED) reporting the highest confidence. Attitudes toward safety planning were more positive among women (p<0.001, t test) and behavioral health providers (p<0.001, F test) than among their counterparts or peers. Positive attitudes toward CQI were significantly associated with male sex (p=0.01), non-White race (p=0.03), younger age (p=0.02), fewer years working in health care (p<0.001), administrative role (p<0.001), working in the ED (p<0.001), outpatient settings (p<0.02), and medical provider role (p<0.001). Conclusions: Behavioral health providers and those in the ED reported feeling prepared to deliver suicide-related care, with nurses feeling less confident and less supported. Initiatives to improve suicide-related care should account for clinical role and care setting during planning. CQI could help engage a broader range of clinicians in suicide-related care improvements.
  • Association between microbiome and the development of adverse posttraumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae after traumatic stress exposure

    Zeamer, Abigail L; Salive, Marie-Claire; An, Xinming; Beaudoin, Francesca L; House, Stacey L; Stevens, Jennifer S; Zeng, Donglin; Neylan, Thomas C; Clifford, Gari D; Linnstaedt, Sarah D; et al. (2023-11-18)
    Patients exposed to trauma often experience high rates of adverse post-traumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS). The biological mechanisms promoting APNS are currently unknown, but the microbiota-gut-brain axis offers an avenue to understanding mechanisms as well as possibilities for intervention. Microbiome composition after trauma exposure has been poorly examined regarding neuropsychiatric outcomes. We aimed to determine whether the gut microbiomes of trauma-exposed emergency department patients who develop APNS have dysfunctional gut microbiome profiles and discover potential associated mechanisms. We performed metagenomic analysis on stool samples (n = 51) from a subset of adults enrolled in the Advancing Understanding of RecOvery afteR traumA (AURORA) study. Two-, eight- and twelve-week post-trauma outcomes for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (PTSD checklist for DSM-5), normalized depression scores (PROMIS Depression Short Form 8b) and somatic symptom counts were collected. Generalized linear models were created for each outcome using microbial abundances and relevant demographics. Mixed-effect random forest machine learning models were used to identify associations between APNS outcomes and microbial features and encoded metabolic pathways from stool metagenomics. Microbial species, including Flavonifractor plautii, Ruminococcus gnavus and, Bifidobacterium species, which are prevalent commensal gut microbes, were found to be important in predicting worse APNS outcomes from microbial abundance data. Notably, through APNS outcome modeling using microbial metabolic pathways, worse APNS outcomes were highly predicted by decreased L-arginine related pathway genes and increased citrulline and ornithine pathways. Common commensal microbial species are enriched in individuals who develop APNS. More notably, we identified a biological mechanism through which the gut microbiome reduces global arginine bioavailability, a metabolic change that has also been demonstrated in the plasma of patients with PTSD.
  • Differential Viral Dynamics by Sex and Body Mass Index During Acute SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Results from a Longitudinal Cohort Study

    Herbert, Carly; Manabe, Yukari C; Filippaios, Andreas; Lin, Honghuang; Wang, Biqi; Achenbach, Chad; Kheterpal, Vik; Hartin, Paul; Suvarna, Thejas; Harman, Emma; et al. (2023-11-16)
    Background: There is evidence of an association of severe COVID-19 outcomes with increased body mass index (BMI) and male sex. However, few studies have examined the interaction between sex and BMI on SARS-CoV-2 viral dynamics. Methods: Participants conducted RT-PCR testing every 24-48 hours over a 15-day period. Sex and BMI were self-reported, and Ct values from E-gene were used to quantify viral load. Three distinct outcomes were examined using mixed effects generalized linear models, linear models, and logistic models, respectively: all Ct values (Model 1); nadir Ct value (model 2); and strongly detectable infection (at least one Ct value ≤28 during their infection) (Model 3). An interaction term between BMI and sex was included, and inverse logit transformations were applied to quantify the differences by BMI and sex using marginal predictions. Results: In total, 7,988 participants enrolled in this study, and 439 participants (Model 1) and 309 (Model 2 and 3) were eligible for these analyses. Among males, increasing BMI was associated with lower Ct values in a dose-response fashion. For participants with BMIs greater than 29, males had significantly lower Ct values and nadir Ct values than females. In total, 67.8% of males and 55.3% of females recorded a strongly detectable infection; increasing proportions of men had Ct values <28 with BMIs of 35 and 40. Conclusions: We observed sex-based dimorphism in relation to BMI and COVID-19 viral load. Further investigation is needed to determine the cause, clinical impact, and transmission implications of this sex-differential effect of BMI on viral load.
  • Effectiveness of a bivalent mRNA vaccine dose against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection among U.S. Healthcare personnel, September 2022-May 2023

    Plumb, Ian D; Briggs Hagen, Melissa; Wiegand, Ryan; Dumyati, Ghinwa; Myers, Christopher; Harland, Karisa K; Krishnadasan, Anusha; James Gist, Jade; Abedi, Glen; Fleming-Dutra, Katherine E; et al. (2023-11-14)
    Background: Bivalent mRNA vaccines were recommended since September 2022. However, coverage with a recent vaccine dose has been limited, and there are few robust estimates of bivalent VE against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19). We estimated VE of a bivalent mRNA vaccine dose against COVID-19 among eligible U.S. healthcare personnel who had previously received monovalent mRNA vaccine doses. Methods: We conducted a case-control study in 22 U.S. states, and enrolled healthcare personnel with COVID-19 (case-participants) or without COVID-19 (control-participants) during September 2022-May 2023. Participants were considered eligible for a bivalent mRNA dose if they had received 2-4 monovalent (ancestral-strain) mRNA vaccine doses, and were ≥67 days after the most recent vaccine dose. We estimated VE of a bivalent mRNA dose using conditional logistic regression, accounting for matching by region and four-week calendar period. We adjusted estimates for age group, sex, race and ethnicity, educational level, underlying health conditions, community COVID-19 exposure, prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, and days since the last monovalent mRNA dose. Results: Among 3,647 healthcare personnel, 1,528 were included as case-participants and 2,119 as control-participants. Participants received their last monovalent mRNA dose a median of 404 days previously; 1,234 (33.8%) also received a bivalent mRNA dose a median of 93 days previously. Overall, VE of a bivalent dose was 34.1% (95% CI, 22.6%-43.9%) against COVID-19 and was similar by product, days since last monovalent dose, number of prior doses, age group, and presence of underlying health conditions. However, VE declined from 54.8% (95% CI, 40.7%-65.6%) after 7-59 days to 21.6% (95% CI 5.6%-34.9%) after ≥60 days. Conclusions: Bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines initially conferred approximately 55% protection against COVID-19 among U.S. healthcare personnel. However, protection waned after two months. These findings indicate moderate initial protection against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection by remaining up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Comparing the Acceptability and Quality of Intervention Modalities for Suicidality in the Emergency Department: Randomized Feasibility Trial

    Larkin, Celine; Tulu, Bengisu; Djamasbi, Soussan; Garner, Roscoe; Varzgani, Fatima; Siddique, Mariam; Pietro, John; Boudreaux, Edwin D (2023-10-24)
    Background: Emergency departments (EDs) manage many patients with suicide risk, but effective interventions for suicidality are challenging to implement in this setting. ReachCare is a technology-facilitated version of an evidence-based intervention for suicidal ED patients. Here, we present findings on the acceptability and quality of ReachCare in the ED, as well as a comparison of these measures across 3 potential delivery modalities. Objective: Our aim was to test the feasibility of the ReachCare intervention in its entirety through conducting a pilot study with patients presenting with suicidality to the ED. We tested three different ways of receiving the ED-based components of ReachCare: (1) self-administered on the tablet app using a chatbot interface, (2) administered by an in-person clinician, or (3) administered by a telehealth clinician. Methods: In total, 47 ED patients who screened positive for suicide risk were randomly allocated to receive one of three delivery modalities of ReachCare in the ED: (1) self-administered on the patient-facing tablet app with a chatbot interface, (2) delivered by an in-person clinician, or (3) delivered by a telehealth clinician, with the latter two using a clinician-facing web app. We measured demographic and clinical characteristics, acceptability and appropriateness of the intervention, and quality and completeness of the resulting safety plans. Results: Patients assigned high ratings for the acceptability (median 4.00/5, IQR 4.00-4.50) and appropriateness (median 4.00/5, IQR 4.00-4.25) of ReachCare's ED components, and there were no substantial differences across the 3 delivery modalities [H(acceptability)=3.90, P=.14; H(appropriateness)=1.05, P=.59]. The self-administered modality took significantly less time than the 2 clinician modalities (H=27.91, P<.001), and the usability of the self-administered version was in the "very high" range (median 93.75/100, IQR 80.00-97.50). The safety plans created across all 3 modalities were high-quality (H=0.60, P=.74). Conclusions: Patients rated ReachCare in the ED as highly acceptable and appropriate regardless of modality. Self-administration may be a feasible way to ensure patients with suicide risk receive an intervention in resource constrained EDs. Limitations include small sample size and demographic differences between those enrolled versus not enrolled. Further research will examine the clinical outcomes of patients receiving both the in-ED and post-ED components of ReachCare. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04720911; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04720911.
  • The mobile vaccine equity enhancement program–a model program for enhancing equity in vaccine availability based at a large health care system

    Broach, John; Brown, Olga; McEachern, Caitlin; Forget, Janell; Lancette, Peter; Soucie, Norman; Inzerillo, Julie; Klugman, Robert; Tosi, Stephen; Haddad, Abraham; et al. (2023-10-17)
    The SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic presented unprecedented challenges as communities attempted to respond to the administration of a novel vaccine that faced cold chain logistical requirements and vaccine hesitancy among many, as well as complicated phased rollout plans that changed frequently as availability of the vaccine waxed and waned. The COVID-19 pandemic also disproportionately affected communities of color and communities with barriers to accessing healthcare. In the setting of these difficulties, a program was created specifically to address inequity in vaccine administration with a focus on communities of color and linguistic diversity as well as those who had technological barriers to online sign-up processes common at mass vaccination sites. This effort, the Mobile Vaccine Equity Enhancement Program (MVeeP), delivered over 12,000 vaccines in 24 months through a reproducible set of practices that can inform equity-driven vaccine efforts in future pandemics.
  • Multicomponent Pharmacist Intervention Did Not Reduce Clinically Important Medication Errors for Ambulatory Patients Initiating Direct Oral Anticoagulants

    Kapoor, Alok; Patel, Parth; Mbusa, Daniel; Pham, Thu; Cicirale, Carrie; Tran, Wenisa; Beavers, Craig; Javed, Saud; Wagner, Joann; Swain, Dawn; et al. (2023-09-27)
    Background: Anticoagulants including direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are among the highest-risk medications in the United States. We postulated that routine consultation and follow-up from a clinical pharmacist would reduce clinically important medication errors (CIMEs) among patients beginning or resuming a DOAC in the ambulatory care setting. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a multicomponent intervention for reducing CIMEs. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Participants: Ambulatory patients initiating a DOAC or resuming one after a complication. Intervention: Pharmacist evaluation and monitoring based on the implementation of a recently published checklist. Key elements included evaluation of the appropriateness of DOAC, need for DOAC affordability assistance, three pharmacist-initiated telephone consultations, access to a DOAC hotline, documented hand-off to the patient's continuity provider, and monitoring of follow-up laboratory tests. Control: Coupons and assistance to increase the affordability of DOACs. Main measure: Anticoagulant-related CIMEs (Anticoagulant-CIMEs) and non-anticoagulant-related CIMEs over 90 days from DOAC initiation; CIMEs identified through masked assessment process including two physician adjudication of events presented by a pharmacist distinct from intervention pharmacist who reviewed participant electronic medical records and interview data. Analysis: Incidence and incidence rate ratio (IRR) of CIMEs (intervention vs. control) using multivariable Poisson regression modeling. Key results: A total of 561 patients (281 intervention and 280 control patients) contributed 479 anticoagulant-CIMEs including 31 preventable and ameliorable ADEs and 448 significant anticoagulant medication errors without subsequent documented ADEs (0.95 per 100 person-days). Failure to perform required blood tests and concurrent, inappropriate usage of a DOAC with aspirin or NSAIDs were the most common anticoagulant-related CIMEs despite pharmacist documentation systematically identifying these issues when present. There was no reduction in anticoagulant-related CIMEs among intervention patients (IRR 1.17; 95% CI 0.98-1.42) or non-anticoagulant-related CIMEs (IRR 1.05; 95% CI 0.80-1.37). Conclusion: A multi-component intervention in which clinical pharmacists implemented an evidence-based DOAC Checklist did not reduce CIMEs. Nih trial number: NCT04068727.
  • Association of neighborhood-level sociodemographic factors with Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) distribution of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests in 5 US communities

    Herbert, Carly; Shi, Qiming; Baek, Jonggyu; Wang, Biqi; Kheterpal, Vik; Nowak, Christopher; Suvarna, Thejas; Singh, Aditi; Hartin, Paul; Durnam, Basyl; et al. (2023-09-22)
    Background: Many interventions for widescale distribution of rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 have utilized online, direct-to-consumer (DTC) ordering systems; however, little is known about the sociodemographic characteristics of home-test users. We aimed to characterize the patterns of online orders for rapid antigen tests and determine geospatial and temporal associations with neighborhood characteristics and community incidence of COVID-19, respectively. Methods: This observational study analyzed online, DTC orders for rapid antigen test kits from beneficiaries of the Say Yes! Covid Test program from March to November 2021 in five communities: Louisville, Kentucky; Indianapolis, Indiana; Fulton County, Georgia; O'ahu, Hawaii; and Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Michigan. Using spatial autoregressive models, we assessed the geospatial associations of test kit distribution with Census block-level education, income, age, population density, and racial distribution and Census tract-level Social Vulnerability Index. Lag association analyses were used to measure the association between online rapid antigen kit orders and community-level COVID-19 incidence. Results: In total, 164,402 DTC test kits were ordered during the intervention. Distribution of tests at all sites were significantly geospatially clustered at the block-group level (Moran's I: p < 0.001); however, education, income, age, population density, race, and social vulnerability index were inconsistently associated with test orders across sites. In Michigan, Georgia, and Kentucky, there were strong associations between same-day COVID-19 incidence and test kit orders (Michigan: r = 0.89, Georgia: r = 0.85, Kentucky: r = 0.75). The incidence of COVID-19 during the current day and the previous 6-days increased current DTC orders by 9.0 (95% CI = 1.7, 16.3), 3.0 (95% CI = 1.3, 4.6), and 6.8 (95% CI = 3.4, 10.2) in Michigan, Georgia, and Kentucky, respectively. There was no same-day or 6-day lagged correlation between test kit orders and COVID-19 incidence in Indiana. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that online ordering is not associated with geospatial clustering based on sociodemographic characteristics. Observed temporal preferences for DTC ordering can guide public health messaging around DTC testing programs.
  • Effectiveness of a Messenger RNA Vaccine Booster Dose Against Coronavirus Disease 2019 Among US Healthcare Personnel, October 2021-July 2022

    Plumb, Ian D; Mohr, Nicholas M; Hagen, Melissa; Wiegand, Ryan; Dumyati, Ghinwa; Harland, Karisa K; Krishnadasan, Anusha; Gist, Jade James; Abedi, Glen; Fleming-Dutra, Katherine E; et al. (2023-09-08)
    Background: Protection against symptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]) can limit transmission and the risk of post-COVID conditions, and is particularly important among healthcare personnel. However, lower vaccine effectiveness (VE) has been reported since predominance of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant. Methods: We evaluated the VE of a monovalent messenger RNA (mRNA) booster dose against COVID-19 from October 2021 to June 2022 among US healthcare personnel. After matching case-participants with COVID-19 to control-participants by 2-week period and site, we used conditional logistic regression to estimate the VE of a booster dose compared with completing only 2 mRNA doses >150 days previously, adjusted for multiple covariates. Results: Among 3279 case-participants and 3998 control-participants who had completed 2 mRNA doses, we estimated that the VE of a booster dose against COVID-19 declined from 86% (95% confidence interval, 81%-90%) during Delta predominance to 65% (58%-70%) during Omicron predominance. During Omicron predominance, VE declined from 73% (95% confidence interval, 67%-79%) 14-60 days after the booster dose, to 32% (4%-52%) ≥120 days after a booster dose. We found that VE was similar by age group, presence of underlying health conditions, and pregnancy status on the test date, as well as among immunocompromised participants. Conclusions: A booster dose conferred substantial protection against COVID-19 among healthcare personnel. However, VE was lower during Omicron predominance, and waning effectiveness was observed 4 months after booster dose receipt during this period. Our findings support recommendations to stay up to date on recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccines for all those eligible.
  • Bacteroides Fragilis in the gut microbiomes of Alzheimer's disease activates microglia and triggers pathogenesis in neuronal C/EBPβ transgenic mice

    Xia, Yiyuan; Xiao, Yifan; Wang, Zhi-Hao; Liu, Xia; Alam, Ashfaqul M; Haran, John P; McCormick, Beth A; Shu, Xiji; Wang, Xiaochuan; Ye, Keqiang (2023-09-06)
    Gut dysbiosis contributes to Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis, and Bacteroides strains are selectively elevated in AD gut microbiota. However, it remains unknown which Bacteroides species and how their metabolites trigger AD pathologies. Here we show that Bacteroides fragilis and their metabolites 12-hydroxy-heptadecatrienoic acid (12-HHTrE) and Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) activate microglia and induce AD pathogenesis in neuronal C/EBPβ transgenic mice. Recolonization of antibiotics cocktail-pretreated Thy1-C/EBPβ transgenic mice with AD patient fecal samples elicits AD pathologies, associated with C/EBPβ/Asparaginyl endopeptidase (AEP) pathway upregulation, microglia activation, and cognitive disorders compared to mice receiving healthy donors' fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). Microbial 16S rRNA sequencing analysis shows higher abundance of proinflammatory Bacteroides fragilis in AD-FMT mice. Active components characterization from the sera and brains of the transplanted mice revealed that both 12-HHTrE and PGE2 activate primary microglia, fitting with poly-unsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) metabolites enrichment identified by metabolomics. Strikingly, recolonization with live but not dead Bacteroides fragilis elicited AD pathologies in Thy1-C/EBPβ transgenic mice, so did 12-HHTrE or PGE2 treatment alone. Collectively, our findings support a causal role for Bacteroides fragilis and the PUFA metabolites in activating microglia and inducing AD pathologies in Thy1- C/EBPβ transgenic mice.
  • Neighborhood Disadvantage and Neural Correlates of Threat and Reward Processing in Survivors of Recent Trauma

    Webb, E Kate; Ely, Timothy D; Rowland, Grace E; Lebois, Lauren A M; van Rooij, Sanne J H; Bruce, Steven E; Jovanovic, Tanja; House, Stacey L; Beaudoin, Francesca L; An, Xinming; et al. (2023-09-05)
    Importance: Differences in neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics are important considerations in understanding differences in risk vs resilience in mental health. Neighborhood disadvantage is associated with alterations in the function and structure of threat neurocircuitry. Objective: To investigate associations of neighborhood disadvantage with white and gray matter and neural reactivity to positive and negative stimuli in the context of trauma exposure. Design, setting, and participants: In this cross-sectional study, survivors of trauma who completed sociodemographic and posttraumatic symptom assessments and neuroimaging were recruited as part of the Advancing Understanding of Recovery After Trauma (AURORA) study between September 2017 and June 2021. Data analysis was performed from October 25, 2022, to February 15, 2023. Exposure: Neighborhood disadvantage was measured with the Area Deprivation Index (ADI) for each participant home address. Main outcomes and measures: Participants completed separate threat and reward tasks during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Diffusion-weighted and high-resolution structural images were also collected. Linear models assessed the association of ADI with reactivity, microstructure, and macrostructure of a priori regions of interest after adjusting for income, lifetime trauma, sex at birth, and age. A moderated-mediation model tested whether ADI was associated with neural activity via microstructural changes and if this was modulated by PTSD symptoms. Results: A total of 280 participants (183 females [65.4%]; mean [SD] age, 35.39 [13.29] years) completed the threat task and 244 participants (156 females [63.9%]; mean [SD] age, 35.10 [13.26] years) completed the reward task. Higher ADI (per 1-unit increase) was associated with greater insula (t274 = 3.20; β = 0.20; corrected P = .008) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC; t274 = 2.56; β = 0.16; corrected P = .04) threat-related activity after considering covariates, but ADI was not associated with reward reactivity. Greater disadvantage was also associated with altered microstructure of the cingulum bundle (t274 = 3.48; β = 0.21; corrected P = .001) and gray matter morphology of the ACC (cortical thickness: t273 = -2.29; β = -0.13; corrected P = .02; surface area: t273 = 2.53; β = 0.13; corrected P = .02). The moderated-mediation model revealed that ADI was associated with ACC threat reactivity via cingulum microstructural changes (index of moderated mediation = -0.02). However, this mediation was only present in individuals with greater PTSD symptom severity (at the mean: β = -0.17; standard error = 0.06, t= -2.28; P = .007; at 1 SD above the mean: β = -0.28; standard error = 0.08; t = -3.35; P < .001). Conclusions and relevance: In this study, neighborhood disadvantage was associated with neurobiology that supports threat processing, revealing associations of neighborhood disadvantage with neural susceptibility for PTSD and suggesting how altered structure-function associations may complicate symptoms. Future work should investigate specific components of neighborhood disadvantage that may be associated with these outcomes.
  • Factors Associated with Overutilization of Computed Tomography of the Cervical Spine

    Chamberlin, Karl T; Canellas, Maureen M; Reznek, Martin A; Kotkowski, Kevin A (2023-09-01)
    Introduction: Despite the wide availability of clinical decision rules for imaging of the cervical spine after a traumatic injury (eg, NEXUS C-spine rule and Canadian C-spine rule), there is significant overutilization of computed tomography (CT) imaging in patients who are deemed to be at low risk for a clinically significant cervical spine injury by these clinical decision rules. The purpose of this study was to identify the major factors associated with the overuse of CT cervical spine imaging using a logistic regression model. Methods: This was a retrospective review of all adult patients who underwent CT cervical spine imaging for evaluation of a traumatic injury at a tertiary academic emergency department (ED) and three affiliate community EDs in January and February 2019. We performed multivariable logistic regression to identify factors associated with obtaining CT cervical spine imaging despite low-risk classification by the NEXUS C-spine Rule. Results: A total of 1,051 patients underwent CT cervical spine imaging for traumatic indications during the study period, and 889 patients were included in the analysis. Of these patients, 376 (42.3%) were negative by the NEXUS C-spine rule. Variables that were associated with increased likelihood of unnecessary imaging included age over 65, Emergency Severity Index (ESI) score 2 and 3, arrival as a walk-in, and anticoagulation status. Patients who presented to the tertiary academic ED had a significantly lower likelihood of unnecessary imaging. Twenty-one patients (2.4%) were found to have cervical spine fractures on imaging, two of whom were negative by the NEXUS C-spine rule, but neither had a clinically significant fracture. Conclusion: Cervical spine imaging is vastly overused in patients presenting to the ED with traumatic injuries, as adjudicated using the NEXUS C-spine rule as a reference standard. Older age, ESI level, arrival as a walk-in, and taking anticoagulation drugs were associated with overutilization of CT imaging. Conversely, presenting to the tertiary academic ED was associated with a lower likelihood of undergoing unnecessary imaging. This model can guide future interventions to optimize ED CT utilization and minimize unnecessary testing.
  • Can psychological interventions prevent or reduce risk for perinatal anxiety disorders? A systematic review and meta-analysis

    Zimmermann, Martha; Julce, Clevanne; Sarkar, Pooja; McNicholas, Eileen; Xu, Lulu; Carr, Catherine W.; Boudreaux, Edwin D; Lemon, Stephenie C; Byatt, Nancy (2023-08-16)
    Objective: Little is known about the extent to which interventions can prevent perinatal anxiety disorders. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine whether interventions can decrease the onset and symptoms of perinatal anxiety among individuals without an anxiety disorder diagnosis. Method: We conducted a comprehensive literature search across five databases related to key concepts: (1) anxiety disorders/anxiety symptom severity (2) perinatal (3) interventions (4) prevention. We included studies that examined a perinatal population without an anxiety disorder diagnosis, included a comparator group, and assessed perinatal anxiety. We included interventions focused on perinatal anxiety as well as interventions to prevent perinatal depression or influence related outcomes (e.g., physical activity). Results: Thirty-six studies were included. No study assessing the incidence of perinatal anxiety disorder (n = 4) found a significant effect of an intervention. Among studies assessing anxiety symptom severity and included in the quantitative analysis (n = 30), a meta-analysis suggested a small standardized mean difference of -0.31 (95% CI [-0.46, -0.16], p < .001) for anxiety at post intervention, favoring the intervention group. Both mindfulness (n = 6), and cognitive behavioral therapy approaches (n = 10) were effective. Conclusions: Interventions developed for perinatal anxiety were more effective than interventions to prevent perinatal depression. Psychological interventions show promise for reducing perinatal anxiety symptom severity, though interventions specifically targeting anxiety are needed.
  • Caffeine intoxication treated with hemodialysis

    Khan, Saad; Babu, Kavita; Sidhu, Rohan; Niemi, Matthew (2023-07-22)
    Introduction: Caffeine overdose, while uncommon, can be life threatening with hemodynamic and neurological complications and often requires intensive monitoring and critical management. Case report: We report a case of a 23-year-old male who ingested approximately 24 g of caffeine in a suicidal attempt and developed cardiopulmonary complications. He was resuscitated, and hemodialysis was performed with successful recovery. Conclusion: Hemodialysis appears to effectively remove caffeine from the blood system and can be lifesaving in severe caffeine overdose.
  • A mobile addiction service for community-based overdose prevention

    Pepin, Michael D; Joseph, Jillian K; Chapman, Brittany P; McAuliffe, Christina; O'Donnell, Logan K; Marano, Ryan L; Carreiro, Stephanie; Garcia, Erik J; Silk, Hugh; Babu, Kavita M (2023-07-19)
    Mainstays of opioid overdose prevention include medications for opioid use disorder (e.g., methadone or buprenorphine) and naloxone distribution. Inadequate access to buprenorphine limits its uptake, especially in communities of color, and people with opioid use disorders encounter multiple barriers to obtaining necessary medications including insurance, transportation, and consistent availability of telephones. UMass Memorial Medical Center and our community partners sought to alleviate these barriers to treatment through the deployment of a mobile addiction service, called the Road to Care. Using this approach, multidisciplinary and interprofessional providers deliver holistic addiction care by centering our patients' needs with respect to scheduling, location, and convenience. This program also extends access to buprenorphine and naloxone among people experiencing homelessness. Additional systemic and individualized barriers encountered are identified, as well as potential solutions for future mobile addiction service utilization. Over a two-year period, we have cared for 1,121 individuals who have accessed our mobile addiction service in over 4,567 encounters. We prescribed buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®) to 330 individuals (29.4% of all patients). We have distributed nearly 250 naloxone kits directly on-site or and more than 300 kits via prescriptions to local pharmacies. To date, 74 naloxone rescue attempts have been reported back to us. We have demonstrated that a community-based mobile addiction service, anchored within a major medical center, can provide high-volume and high-quality overdose prevention services that facilitate engagement with additional treatment. Our experience is described as a case study below.
  • Impact of Faculty Incentivization on Resident Evaluations

    Patel, Viral; Nordberg, Alexandra; Church, Richard; Carey, Jennifer L (2023-07-12)
    Introduction: In the Program Requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Emergency Medicine, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires frequent and routine feedback. It is a common challenge for program leadership to obtain adequate and effective summative evaluations. Methods: This is a retrospective, case-crossover, interventional study conducted in an academic medical center. This study occurred over a two-year period, with an intervention between years one and two. Throughout year two of the study, faculty incentive compensation was linked to completion of end-of-shift evaluations. We compared pre- an post-implementation data using paired sample t-tests with the significance level P < .05 applied. Results: After implementation of the incentive metric there was an increase in the number of total evaluations by 42% (P = .001). The mean number of evaluations submitted by each faculty per shift increased from 0.45 to 0.86 (SD 0.56, P < .001). Overall, 32 of the 38 faculty members (84.2%) had an increase in the number of evaluations submitted per shift during the intervention period with an average increase of 0.5 evaluations per shift (range 0.01-1.54). Conclusion: Incentivizing faculty to submit resident evaluations through use of bonus compensation increased the number of evaluations at our institution. This information may be applied by other programs to increase resident evaluations.
  • Performance of Rapid Antigen Tests to Detect Symptomatic and Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection : A Prospective Cohort Study

    Soni, Apurv; Herbert, Carly; Lin, Honghuang; Yan, Yi; Pretz, Caitlin; Stamegna, Pamela; Wang, Biqi; Orwig, Taylor; Wright, Colton; Tarrant, Seanan; et al. (2023-07-04)
    Background: The performance of rapid antigen tests (Ag-RDTs) for screening asymptomatic and symptomatic persons for SARS-CoV-2 is not well established. Objective: To evaluate the performance of Ag-RDTs for detection of SARS-CoV-2 among symptomatic and asymptomatic participants. Design: This prospective cohort study enrolled participants between October 2021 and January 2022. Participants completed Ag-RDTs and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for SARS-CoV-2 every 48 hours for 15 days. Setting: Participants were enrolled digitally throughout the mainland United States. They self-collected anterior nasal swabs for Ag-RDTs and RT-PCR testing. Nasal swabs for RT-PCR were shipped to a central laboratory, whereas Ag-RDTs were done at home. Participants: Of 7361 participants in the study, 5353 who were asymptomatic and negative for SARS-CoV-2 on study day 1 were eligible. In total, 154 participants had at least 1 positive RT-PCR result. Measurements: The sensitivity of Ag-RDTs was measured on the basis of testing once (same-day), twice (after 48 hours), and thrice (after a total of 96 hours). The analysis was repeated for different days past index PCR positivity (DPIPPs) to approximate real-world scenarios where testing initiation may not always coincide with DPIPP 0. Results were stratified by symptom status. Results: Among 154 participants who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, 97 were asymptomatic and 57 had symptoms at infection onset. Serial testing with Ag-RDTs twice 48 hours apart resulted in an aggregated sensitivity of 93.4% (95% CI, 90.4% to 95.9%) among symptomatic participants on DPIPPs 0 to 6. When singleton positive results were excluded, the aggregated sensitivity on DPIPPs 0 to 6 for 2-time serial testing among asymptomatic participants was lower at 62.7% (CI, 57.0% to 70.5%), but it improved to 79.0% (CI, 70.1% to 87.4%) with testing 3 times at 48-hour intervals. Limitation: Participants tested every 48 hours; therefore, these data cannot support conclusions about serial testing intervals shorter than 48 hours. Conclusion: The performance of Ag-RDTs was optimized when asymptomatic participants tested 3 times at 48-hour intervals and when symptomatic participants tested 2 times separated by 48 hours. Primary funding source: National Institutes of Health RADx Tech program.
  • From inequity to access: Evidence-based institutional practices to enhance care for individuals with disabilities

    Rotoli, Jason; Poffenberger, Cori; Backster, Anika; Sapp, Richard; Modi, Payal; Stehman, Christine R; Mirus, Carl; Johnson, Luke; Siegelman, Jeffrey N; Coates, Wendy C (2023-06-27)
    People with disabilities experience barriers to care in all facets of health care, from engaging with the provider in a clinical setting (attitudinal and communication barriers) to navigating a large institution in a complex health care environment (organizational and environmental barriers), culminating in significant health care disparities. Institutional policy, culture, and physical layout may be inadvertently fostering ableism, which can perpetuate health care inaccessibility and health disparities in the disability community. Here, we present evidence-based interventions at the provider and institutional levels to accommodate patients with hearing, vision, and intellectual disabilities. Institutional barriers can be met with strategies of universal design (i.e., accessible exam rooms and emergency alerts), maximizing electronic medical record accessibility/visibility, and institutional policy development to recognize and reduce discrimination. Barriers at the provider level can be met with dedicated training on care of patients with disabilities and implicit bias training specific to the surrounding patient demographics. Such efforts are crucial to ensuring equitable access to quality care for these patients.
  • Beyond diversity and inclusion: Developing a research agenda for anti-racism in emergency medicine education

    Ordonez, Edgardo; Bradby, Cassandra; Carey, Jennifer; Gupta, Sanjey; Hiller, Katherine M; Miller, Danielle; Pierce, Ava; Wiesendanger, Kathryn; Moffett, Shannon (2023-06-27)
    Background: Addressing racism in emergency medicine education is vital for providing optimal training and assessment of physicians in the specialty, developing physicians with the skills necessary to advocate for their patients, and recruiting and retaining a diverse group of physicians. To form a prioritized research agenda, the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) conducted a consensus conference at the annual meeting in May 2022 on addressing racism in emergency medicine, which included a subgroup on education. Methods: The education workgroup worked on summarizing the current literature on addressing racism in emergency medicine education, identifying critical knowledge gaps, and creating a consensus-driven research agenda for addressing racism in emergency medicine education. We used a nominal group technique and modified Delphi to develop priority questions for research. We then distributed a pre-conference survey to conference registrants to rate priority areas for research. During the consensus conference, group leaders provided an overview and background describing the rationale for the preliminary research question list. Attendees were then involved in discussions to help modify and develop research questions. Results: Nineteen questions were initially selected by the education workgroup as potential areas for research. The education workgroup's next round of consensus building resulted in a consensus of ten questions to be included in the pre-conference survey. No questions in the pre-conference survey reached consensus. After robust discussion and voting by workgroup members and attendees at the consensus conference, six questions were determined to be priority research areas. Conclusions: We believe recognizing and addressing racism in emergency medicine education is imperative. Critical gaps in curriculum design, assessment, bias training, allyship, and the learning environment negatively impact training programs. These gaps must be prioritized for research as they can have adverse effects on recruitment, the ability to promote a safe learning environment, patient care, and patient outcomes.

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