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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Original Research

Non-Invasive Ventilation in the Elderly in the Emergency Department: Epidemiological Data and Results

Introduction: Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) could be a good alternative in elderly people with acute respiratory failure (ARF), to procure them a respiratory support while avoiding as much as possible the complications of invasive ventilation.

Methods: This is an observational retrospective study conducted at the emergency department (ED) of a tertiary care, university-based teaching hospital. Data of elderly patients (≥ 65 years) admitted to ED between January 2017 and April 2018 for ARF and requiring NIV were collected and analyzed using SPSS 22 software.

Results: Sixty six patients (≥ 65 years) requiring NIV for acute respiratory failure (ARF) were included. The mean age was 76 years (± 7), the median Charlson index was 5. Acute respiratory failure was related to acute heart failure in 68%, acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 53% and pneumonia in 39% of cases. Forty eight percent had more than one etiologic diagnosis. Hypercapnic acute respiratory failure was observed in 61%. On initiation of NIV, the average pH was 7.31 (± 0.11) and PaCO2 56 mmHg (± 21), After NIV, the average pH was 7.38 (± 0.11) and PaCO2 53 mmHg (± 26). Improvement of pH was significant (p < 0.05). 61% of patients were discharged at home, 9% were admitted to intensive care unit. Invasive ventilation was performed in 4%, of which 23% died. Success of NIV was observed in 68% of patients.

Conclusion: NIV can be of a great interest in elderly people. Our study showed that it can be used successfully in the studied settings.



A Brief Report on the Beirut Port Explosion

Over the past year, Beirut has witnessed a civil revolution, the COVID-19 pandemic, its worst economic crisis in decades, and most recently one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history. This explosion had devastating effects on the city’s social, economic, and health infrastructure.

Review Article

Can Ultrasound Aid in the Diagnosis of Gout and Septic Arthritis in the Setting of Monoarticular Joint Pain?

Monoarticular joint pain is commonly encountered in the emergency department (ED) with a broad differential diagnosis. Septic arthritis represents a “can’t miss” diagnosis while gout represents a chronic, painful arthropathy. Traditionally these diagnoses are made with arthrocentesis in addition to history, physical exam, imaging and laboratory studies. Ultrasound (US) represents a novel modality that may aid in the diagnosis of gout without requiring arthrocentesis. Furthermore, the sonographic features of gout may exclude the diagnosis of septic arthritis. Additional research is required in the ED setting to better clarify the role of US in these two disease states.

Special Contribution

Reforming Healthcare Practice in View of the Economic Crisis in Lebanon: The Case of Cardiovascular Care

Since the fall of 2019, Lebanon has been facing an economic crisis that has imposed many challenges on its healthcare system in its entirety. In this review, we propose a methodology to inform healthcare policy and apply it on cardiovascular disease (CVD) healthcare with emphasis on ischemic heart disease (IHD). The main goal of this methodology is reducing unnecessary expenditure while maintaining quality and access. CVD, and particularly IHD, is the most common reason for hospitalizations in Lebanon. Lebanon also has a high density of catheterization labs, higher than countries with higher prevalence of disease. Additionally, we found coronary to be are more expensive in comparison to other countries. To reduce healthcare costs without compromising quality and access we propose solutions targeting healthcare financing, payment for services, healthcare organizations, behaviors of providers, payers, and patients, and above all government regulation.