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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 23, Issue 4, 2022

Behavioral Health

United States Emergency Department Screening for Drug Use Among Assault-Injured Individuals: A Systematic Review

Introduction: The clinical model of screening, providing a brief psychosocial and/or pharmacological intervention, and directly referring patients to treatment (SBIRT) is a compelling model to address drug use among assault-injured individuals in the busy emergency department (ED) setting. Our objective in this study was to examine the current literature and determine ED-based strategies that have been reported that screen, directly refer to drug mis-use/addiction specialized treatment services, or initiate addiction treatment among individuals injured by non-partner assault in the United States.

 

Methods: We conducted a systematic review of ED-based studies using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocol. OVID, MEDLINE, OVID Embase, OVID AMED, Web of Science-Core Collection, Cochrane CENTRAL, and CINAHL were systematically searched using keywords and Medical Subject Heading terms. Studies were excluded if they only involved intimate partner assault-injury, tobacco, or alcohol use. We categorized ED-based strategies as screening, direct referral, or treatment initiation.

Results: Of the 2,076 non-duplicated studies identified, we included 26 full-text articles in the final analysis. Fourteen studies were cross-sectional, 11 were cohort, and one was case-control in design. The most common drug use screening instrument used was the National Institute on Drug Abuse Quick Screen Question. Cannabis was the most common drug detected upon screening.

Conclusion: Drug use, while highly prevalent, is a modifiable risk factor for non-partner assault-injury. The paucity of scientific studies is evidence for the need to intentionally address this area that remains a major challenge for the public’s health. Future research is needed to evaluate ED-based interventions for drug use in this population.

  • 2 supplemental ZIPs

Implementing a Novel Statewide Network to Support Emergency Department-initiated Buprenorphine Treatment

Introduction: Medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), including buprenorphine, represent an evidence-based treatment that supports long-term recovery and reduces risk of overdose death. Patients in crisis from opioid use disorder (OUD) often seek care from emergency departments (ED). The New York Medication for Addiction Treatment and Electronic Referrals (MATTERS) network is designed to support ED-initiated buprenorphine and urgent referrals to long-term care for patients suffering from OUD.

Methods: Using the PRECEDE-PROCEED implementation science framework, we provide an overview of the creation of the MATTERS network in Western New York. We also include an explanation of how the network was designed and launched as a response to the opioid epidemic. Finally, we analyzed the program’s outputs and outcomes, thus far, as it continues to grow across the state.

Results: The New York MATTERS network was created and implemented in 2019 with a single hospital referring patients with OUD to three local clinics. In the social assessment and situational analysis phase, we describe the opioid epidemic and available resources in the region at the outset of the program. In the epidemiological assessment phase, we quantify the epidemic on the state and regional levels. In the educational and ecological assessment, we review local ED practices and resources. In the administrative and policy assessment and intervention alignment phase, the program’s unique framework is reviewed. In the piloting phase, we describe the initial deployment of New York MATTERS. Finally, in the process evaluation phase, we depict the early lessons we learned. By the beginning of 2021, the New York MATTERS network included 35 hospitals that refer to 47 clinics throughout New York State.

Conclusion: The New York MATTERS network provides a structured approach to reduce barriers to ED-initiated buprenorphine and urgent referral to long-term care. An implementation framework provides a structured means of evaluating this best practice model.

Improving Uptake of Emergency Department-initiated Buprenorphine: Barriers and Solutions

Emergency departments (ED) are increasingly providing buprenorphine to persons with opioid use disorder. Buprenorphine programs in the ED have strong support from public health leaders and emergency medicine specialty societies and have proven to be clinically effective, cost effective, and feasible. Even so, few ED buprenorphine programs currently exist. Given this imbalance between evidence-based practice and current practice, proven behavior change approaches can be used to guide local efforts to expand ED buprenorphine capacity. In this paper, we use the theory of planned behavior to identify and address the 1) clinician factors, 2) institutional factors, and 3) external factors surrounding ED buprenorphine implementation. By doing so, we seek to provide actionable and pragmatic recommendations to increase ED buprenorphine availability across different practice settings.  [West J Emerg Med. 2022;23(4)461–467.]

  • 1 supplemental ZIP

Clinical Practice

Clue Cells on Vaginal Wet Preparation Are Not Associated with Urinary Tract Infections or Positive Urine Cultures

Introduction: Clue cells result from aberrant vaginal microflora and are associated with an increased vaginal pH, which can allow colonization of uropathogens in the vaginal introitus, increasing the risk for urinary tract infections (UTI). We sought to determine whether clue cells on vaginal wet preparation in the emergency department (ED) are associated with emergency physician diagnoses of UTIs and positive urine cultures.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis examining a dataset of women (≥18 years of age) who received both a genital wet preparation and urine testing in the ED. Both chi-square and multivariable regression analysis were performed.

Results: We analyzed 14,952 encounters. On both univariable and multivariable analyses, emergency physicians diagnosed significantly fewer clue cell-positive women with a UTI (10.9% diagnosed with UTI vs 13.1% without UTI) (P <.001). Women with clue cells on vaginal wet preparation were not more likely to have a positive urine culture or have a urine culture growing Escherichia coli. Pregnant women with clue cells on vaginal wet preparation were not more likely to have a UTI or have a positive urine culture.

Conclusion: Emergency physicians diagnosed significantly fewer women with UTIs when they found clue cells on vaginal wet preparation. Clue cells on vaginal wet preparation were not associated with an increased likelihood of a positive urine culture or having E. coli growing in the urine.

  • 3 supplemental ZIPs

Clinical Features of Aortic Dissection in the Emergency Department: A Single-center Experience from South China

Objectives: Our goal in this study was to determine 1) whether there are any differences in clinical characteristics between Chinese and Western patients with aortic dissection (AD), and 2) the mortality rate of AD patients in the emergency department (ED) and identify the risk predictors for death.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed patients who were diagnosed with AD and admitted to our ED between September 1, 2017–August 31, 2020. Data on age, gender, clinical manifestation, medical history, routine blood tests, liver and kidney function, coagulation, myocardial enzymology, and mortality were collected.

Results: We enrolled 535 AD patients (422 men and 113 women) with a mean age of 54.7±14.1 years. Type A AD constituted 40% of the total number of AD cases, while type B AD constituted 60%. The proportion of those who were females, 10-92 years, with type A AD, and hypertension in the Chinese population was lower than that in the Western population (P <0.05 for all). Type A AD patients had a higher proportion of acute AD clinical manifestations than did patients with type B AD (P = 0.0084, P <0.05). The mortality rate of type A AD patients (10.75%) was higher than that of type B AD patients (1.87%) (P <0.0001) in the ED. Higher values of white blood cells, neutrophils, high-density lipoprotein, activated partial thromboplastin time, and D-dimer level with worsened hepatic and renal function were found in the deceased group, and multivariate logistic regression revealed that blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels (P = 0.0031, P <0.05) were significantly associated with death.

Conclusion: In South China, patients with AD had a mean age of 54.7 years, with 78.88% prevalence in males and 66.92% hypertension rate. Type A AD accounted for 40% of all AD cases, and 10.70% of patients with type A AD died in the ED. Elevated BUN levels may be a risk predictor for death in patients with type A AD.

Poison Ivy Dermatitis Treatment Patterns and Utilization: A Retrospective Claims-based Analysis

Introduction: Poison ivy (toxicodendron) dermatitis (TD) resulting from contact with poison ivy, oak, or sumac is a common form of allergic contact dermatitis that impacts millions of people in the United State every year and results in an estimated 43,000 emergency department (ED) visits annually. Our objective in this study was to evaluate whether healthcare utilization outcomes are impacted by prescription practices of systemic corticosteroids.

Methods: We used a health claims database from 2017-2018 of those treated for TD. Descriptive statistics and logistics regression models were used to characterize trends.

Results: We included in this analysis 115,885 claims from 108,111 unique individuals (93.29%) with 7,774 (6.71%) return claims within 28 days. Of the return claims, 470 (6.05%) were to the ED. Emergency clinicians offered no oral corticosteroid prescription 5.27% (n = 3,194) of the time; 3276 (86.26%) prescriptions were for a duration of 1-13 days, 410 (10.80%) were for 14-20 days, and 112 (2.95%) were for >21 days. Further, we found that shorter duration oral corticosteroids (odds ratio [OR] 1.30; 95% confidence interval 1.17-1.44; P <0.001) and initial treatment for TD at the ED compared to primary care clinicians (OR 0.87 [0.80, 0.96]; P <0.001) and other non-dermatologists (OR 0.89 [0.80, 0.98]; P = 0.01) places patients at an increased risk for return visits with healthcare clinicians when controlling for drug group, duration of treatment, and initial treatment location.

Conclusion: Despite recommendations to treat TD with oral steroids for at least 14 days, most emergency clinicians offered this treatment for shorter durations and was associated with return visits. Emergency clinicians should consider treatment of two to three weeks when providing systemic steroid coverage when there are no limiting contraindications, especially as patients who present to the ED may do so with more severe disease. Additional education may be needed on appropriate treatment pathways for TD to reduce healthcare utilization associated with undertreatment.

 

Pediatrics

Caregiver Perceptions Regarding Alternative Emergency Medical Services Dispositions for Children: A Cross-Sectional Survey Analysis

Introduction: Emergency medical services (EMS) systems have developed alternative disposition processes for patients (including leaving the patient at the scene, using taxis, and transporting to clinics) vs taking patients directly to an emergency department (ED). Studies show that patients favorably support these alternative options but have not included the perspectives of caregivers of children. Our objective was to describe caregivers’ views about these alternative disposition processes and analyze whether caregiver support is associated with sociodemographic factors.

Methods: We surveyed a convenience sample of caregivers in a pediatric ED. We asked caregivers 15 questions based on a previously validated survey. We then conducted logistic regressions to determine whether sociodemographic factors were associated with levels of support.

Results: We enrolled 241 caregivers. The median age of their children was five years. The majority of respondents were non-Hispanic Black (57%) and had public insurance (65%). We found that a majority of respondents supported all alternative EMS disposition options. The overall level of agreement for survey questions ranged from 51-93%. We grouped questions by theme: non-transport; alternative destinations; communication with EMS physician; communication with primary care physician and sharing records; restricted EMS role; and shared decision-making. Regression analyses for each theme found that race/ethnicity, public insurance, and patient age were not significantly associated with the level of support.

Conclusion: Most caregivers were supportive of alternative EMS disposition options for children with low-acuity complaints. Support did not vary significantly by respondent race/ethnicity, public insurance status, or patient age.

  • 1 supplemental PDF
  • 1 supplemental ZIP

Pediatric Point-of-Care Lung Ultrasonography: A Narrative Review

Point-of-care lung ultrasonography is an evidence-based application that may play a vital role in the care of critically ill pediatric patients. Lung ultrasonography has the advantage of being available at the patient’s bedside with results superior to chest radiography and comparable to chest computed tomography for most lung pathologies. It has a steep learning curve. It can be readily performed in both advanced healthcare systems and resource-scarce settings. The purpose of this review is to discuss the basic principles of lung ultrasonography and its applications in the evaluation and treatment of critically ill pediatric patients.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is an uncommon but emerging syndrome related to SARS-CoV-2 infection. While the presentation of MIS-C is generally delayed after exposure to the virus that causes coronavirus 2019, both MIS-C and Kawasaki disease (KD) share similar clinical features. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children poses a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge given the lack of definitive diagnostic tests and a paucity of evidence regarding treatment modalities. We review the clinical presentation, diagnostic evaluations, and management of MIS-C and compare its clinical features to those of KD.

Education

Physician Pipeline and Pathway Programs: An Evidence-based Guide to Best Practices for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from the Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine

Improving the diversity and representation in the medical workforce requires intentional and deliberate efforts to improve the pipeline and pathway for underrepresented in medicine (UIM) applicants. Diversity enhances educational experiences and improves patient care and outcomes. Through a critical review of the literature, in this article we offer evidence-based guidelines for physician pipeline and pathway programs (PP). Recommendations are provided regarding considerations on the types of programs and surrounding implementation to ensure a sound infrastructure and framework. We believe this guide will be valuable for all leaders and faculty members seeking to grow the UIM applicant pool in our efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within medicine.

 

  • 1 supplemental ZIP

Virtual Town Hall Meetings to Convey Emergency Medicine Residency Program Information to Students

Background: Applying to emergency medicine (EM) residency programs as a medical student is challenging and complicated in a normal year, but the 2020/2021 application cycle was further complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the decrease of in-person opportunities for students to connect with residency programs, virtual “town-hall” meetings were developed. In this study our primary objective was to determine whether attendance at a virtual residency program information session improved the perceived knowledge of curriculum information and program exposure to medical students applying to an EM residency.

Methods: Four study sites hosted a total of 12 virtual events consisting of residents, faculty, or both. Standardized pre-event/post-event surveys were conducted to capture medical student perceptions before/after each of the virtual sessions. Apart from measuring the improvement in students’ perceived knowledge of a program by gauging their responses to each question, we used a 10-question composite score to compare pre- vs post-event improvement among the participants.

Results: The pre-event survey was completed by 195 attendees, and the post-event survey was completed by 123 attendees. The median and mean composite score to this 10-question survey improved from 32.19 to 45, and 31.45 to 44.2, respectively, in the pre- to post-event survey.

Conclusion: This study showed improvement of medical students’ perceived knowledge of residency programs (reflected as increased agreement from pre- to post-event survey). The data demonstrates through question responses that students not only obtained information about the programs but also were able to gain exposure to the culture and “feel” of a program. In a non-traditional application season in which students are unable to pursue their interest in a program through audition rotations, virtual town hall events, along with other asynchronous events, may be a reasonable approach to increasing medical student understanding and awareness of a program and its culture.

Endemic Infections

Strategies in Emergency Department-based COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool in protecting patients and combating the pandemic. This report describes an emergency department (ED)-based initiative for vaccinating underserved patients against COVID-19 at a public academic hospital. A key challenge identified in ED COVID-19 vaccination was time constraints among emergency clinicians, which can be addressed through attention to workflow and delegation of counseling discussions within care teams of trainee and supervising clinicians. As patient receptivity to vaccination varies, strategies to promote ED-based vaccination include emergency clinicians sharing personal experiences of COVID-19 with patients and having multiple care team members recommend vaccination to an unvaccinated patient during an ED visit. Racial, ethnic, and gender diversity within a care team may also improve vaccine acceptance among racial/ethnic minorities. As safety nets of the larger United States healthcare system, EDs can play a significant role in primary prevention of COVID-19, and ED-based vaccination may be an effective strategy that can be adopted more widely for other infectious diseases.

The Use of a Self-triage Tool to Predict COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations in the State of Georgia

Introduction: The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created significant burden on healthcare systems throughout the world. Syndromic surveillance, which collects real-time data based on a range of symptoms rather than laboratory diagnoses, can help provide timely information in emergency response. We examined the effectiveness of a web-based COVID-19 symptom checking tool (C19Check) in the state of Georgia (GA) in predicting COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Methods: We analyzed C19Check use data, COVID-19 cases, and hospitalizations from April 22– November 28, 2020. Cases and hospitalizations in GA were extracted from the Georgia Department of Public Health data repository. We used the Granger causality test to assess whether including C19Check data can improve predictions compared to using previous COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations data alone. Vector autoregression (VAR) models were fitted to forecast cases and hospitalizations from November 29 - December 12, 2020. We calculated mean absolute percentage error to estimate the errors in forecast of cases and hospitalizations.

Results: There were 25,861 C19Check uses in GA from April 22–November 28, 2020. Time-lags tested in Granger causality test for cases (6-8 days) and hospitalizations (10-12 days) were significant (P= <0.05); the mean absolute percentage error of fitted VAR models were 39.63% and 15.86%, respectively.

Conclusion: The C19Check tool was able to help predict COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations in GA. In settings where laboratory tests are limited, a real-time, symptom-based assessment tool can provide timely and inexpensive data for syndromic surveillance to guide pandemic response. Findings from this study demonstrate that online symptom-checking tools can be a source of data for syndromic surveillance, and the data may help improve predictions of cases and hospitalizations.

 

  • 1 supplemental ZIP

Global Health

The Use of Non-physician Prescribed Medications in Patients Presenting to Two Emergency Departments in a Low/Middle-income Country

Introduction: With few trained healthcare practitioners and limited personal finances, many patients in low/middle income countries purchase prescription medications from non-physician   prescribers (NPP). This study documents various aspects of this practice, including patterns of prescribing, and the patient’s understanding of medication risks.

Methods: From January to April 2017, 479 patients entering two hospitals in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, were surveyed. Demographics, medications, types of NPP who provided the medication, patients history and physicians’ chart data were documented. Information, including symptoms when the medication was purchased, possible side effects, hospital presenting symptoms, etc, was recorded. The patient’s understanding of medication allergies  and risk of serious side effects was also documented.

Results: Of the 467 patients included, more than half (59%), reported buying medications from NPPs within the two weeks before presenting to the hospital. Nearly half of those patients, (42%), could not identify any of their medications. Of those 159 patients who could identify at least one drug, 79% bought at least one medication that would require a prescription in the United States. Only 8% of patients were aware that medications could cause serious harm. Twenty-three percent of the known medications were oral or injectable corticosteroids, and 56% of steroid users, typically chronic users, had evidence of possible side effects.

Conclusion: Many patients in one low/middle income country received prescription medications from various NPPs with little information concerning these medications. Efforts to  educate the public about their medications and the potential risks of medications are needed. [West J Emerg Med. 2022;22(3)445–452.]

  • 2 supplemental ZIPs

Risk Factors for Recurrent Violent Injuries Among African Women in The Gambia

Introduction: Violence against women remains a major public health concern in African countries. We conducted a matched case-control study to identify risk factors for recurrent violent injuries among African women in The Gambia, a small West African country.

Methods: During the 12-month study period, we recruited study participants from eight emergency departments in the metropolitan areas of the municipality of Kanifing and the West Coast region. We selected women aged ≥15 years who sought medical treatment for an injury due to physical violence at least twice over the study period. Two control groups were used: violence controls (VC), which included those who had experienced a single violence-related injury in the prior 12 months; and nonviolence controls (NVC), which included those who had experienced a nonviolent injury. Control patients were matched based on gender, health facility, injury date, and age (±2 years).

Results: In total, 116 case patients and 232 control patients participated in the study. Results of the conditional logistic regression analyses of the VC and NVC control groups individually showed that women with recurrent violent injuries had a significantly higher likelihood of having a secondary education (odds ratio [OR]VC 6.47; ORNVC 4.22), coming from a polygamous family (ORVC 3.81; ORNVC 3.53), and had been raised by a single parent (ORVC 5.25; ORNVC 5.04). Furthermore, compared with the VC group, women with recurrent violent injuries had a significantly higher likelihood of living in a rented house (ORVC 4.74), living with in-laws (ORVC 5.98), and of having experienced childhood abuse (ORVC 2.48). Compared with the NVC group, women with recurrent violent injuries had a significantly higher likelihood of living in an extended family compound (ORVC 4.77), having more than two female siblings (ORVC 4.07), and having been raised by a relative (ORVC 3.52).

Conclusion: We identified risk factors for recurrent injuries from physical violence among African women in The Gambia. Intervention strategies targeting these risk factors could be effective in preventing recurrent violence against African women.

Health Equity

An Intensive Approach to Improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in an Academic Emergency Department

A healthcare workforce that demonstrates cultural competence and humility while reflecting the diversity of the surrounding community has the potential to significantly benefit the patient population it serves. In this context and given numerous societal influences and the events of 2020, the leadership of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Albany Medical Center recognized the need to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in multiple areas. These included premedical education, medical education, postgraduate medical education, faculty development, staff satisfaction, and patient care. The department formed a DEI taskforce that developed an ongoing, multipronged, interdisciplinary approach to address these important aspects of our work and clinical environment with the goals of improving staff wellbeing, reducing burnout, and promoting the health of our community. Our experience is shared here to illustrate how a small, dedicated team can implement a variety of DEI initiatives quickly and with relatively little cost at a large academic medical center.

Emergency Department Operations

Revisits After Emergency Department Discharge for Conditions with High Disposition-Decision Variability at Hospitals with High and Low Discharge Rates

Introduction: The first proposed emergency care alternative payment model seeks to reduce avoidable admissions from the emergency department (ED), but this initiative may increase risk of adverse events after discharge. Our study objective was to describe variation in ED discharge rates and determine whether higher discharge rates were associated with more ED revisits.

Methods:  Using all-payer inpatient and ED administrative data from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) 2017 database, we performed a retrospective cohort study of hospital-level ED discharge rates and ED revisits using conditions that have been previously described as having variability in discharge rates: abdominal pain; altered mental status; chest pain; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation; skin and soft tissue infection; syncope; and urinary tract infection. We categorized hospitals into quartiles for each condition based on a covariate-adjusted discharge rate and compared the rate of ED revisits between hospitals in the highest and lowest quartiles.

Results: We found a greater than 10% difference in the between-quartile median adjusted discharge rate for each condition except for abdominal pain. There was no significant association between adjusted discharge rates and ED revisits. Altered mental status had the highest revisit rate, at 34% for hospitals in the quartile with the lowest and 30% in hospitals with the highest adjusted discharge rate, although this was not statistically significant. Syncope had the lowest rate of revisits at 16% for hospitals in both the lowest and highest adjusted discharge rate quartiles.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that there may be opportunity to increase ED discharges for certain conditions without resulting in higher rates of ED revisits, which may be a surrogate for adverse events after discharge.

  • 1 supplemental ZIP

Emergency Medical Services

Predictors of COVID-19 Vaccination Among EMS Personnel

Introduction: Unvaccinated emergency medical services (EMS) personnel are at increased risk of contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and potentially transmitting the virus to their families, coworkers, and patients. Effective vaccines for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus exist; however, vaccination rates among EMS professionals remain largely unknown. Consequently, we sought to document vaccination rates of EMS professionals and identify predictors of vaccination uptake.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of North Carolina EMS professionals after the COVID-19 vaccines were widely available. The survey assessed vaccination status as well as beliefs regarding COVID-19 illness and vaccine effectiveness. Prediction of vaccine uptake was modeled using logistic regression.

Results: A total of 860 EMS professionals completed the survey, of whom 74.7% reported receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Most respondents believed that COVID-19 is a serious threat to the population, that they are personally at higher risk of infection, that vaccine side effects are outweighed by illness prevention, and the vaccine is safe and effective. Despite this, only 18.7% supported mandatory vaccination for EMS professionals. Statistically significant differences were observed between the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups regarding vaccine safety and effectiveness, recall of employer vaccine recommendation, perceived risk of infection, degree of threat to the population, and trust in government to take actions to limit the spread of disease. Unvaccinated respondents cited reasons such as belief in personal health and natural immunity as protectors against infection, concerns about vaccine safety and effectiveness, inadequate vaccine knowledge, and lack of an employer mandate for declining the vaccine. Predictors of vaccination included belief in vaccine safety (odds ratio [OR] 5.5, P=<0.001) and effectiveness (OR 4.6, P=<0.001); importance of vaccination to protect patients (OR 15.5, P=<0.001); perceived personal risk of infection (OR 1.8, P=0.04); previous receipt of influenza vaccine (OR 2.5, P=0.003); and sufficient knowledge to make an informed decision about vaccination (OR 2.4,  P=0.024).

Conclusion: In this survey of EMS professionals, over a quarter remained unvaccinated for COVID-19. Given the identified predictors of vaccine acceptance, EMS systems should focus on countering misinformation through employee educational campaigns as well as on developing policies regarding workforce immunization requirements.

Geriatrics

A Qualitative Study of “What Matters” to Older Adults in the Emergency Department

Introduction: The “4Ms” model – What Matters, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility – is increasingly gaining attention in age-friendly health systems, yet a feasible approach to identifying what matters to older adults in the emergency department (ED) is lacking. Adapting the “What Matters” questions to the ED setting, we sought to describe the concerns and desired outcomes of both older adult patients seeking ED care and their treating clinicians.

Methods: We conducted 46 dyadic semi-structured interviews of cognitively intact older adults and their treating clinicians. We used the “What Matters” conversation guide to explore patients’ 1) concerns and 2) desired outcomes. We then asked analogous questions to each patient’s treating clinician regarding the patient’s priorities. Interviews were professionally transcribed and coded using an inductive approach of thematic analysis to identify emergent themes.

Results: Interviews with older adults lasted a mean of three minutes, with a range of 1–8 minutes. Regarding patients’ concerns, five themes emerged from older adults: 1) concern through a family member or outpatient clinician recommendation; 2) no concern, with a high degree of trust in the healthcare system; 3) concerns regarding symptom cause identification; 4) concerns regarding symptom resolution; and 5) concerns regarding preservation of their current status. Regarding desired outcomes, five priority themes emerged among older adults: 1) obtaining a diagnosis; 2) returning to their home environment; 3) reducing or resolving symptoms; 4) maintaining self-care and independence; and 5) gaining reassurance. Responding to what they believed mattered most to older adult patients, ED clinicians believed that older adults were concerned primarily about symptom cause identification and resolution and primarily desired a return to the home environment and symptom reduction.

Conclusion: This work identifies concerns and desired outcomes of both older adult patients seeking ED care and their treating clinicians as well as the feasibility of incorporating the “What Matters” questions within ED clinical practice.

  • 1 supplemental ZIP

Injury Prevention and Population Health

Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Resource Utilization During COVID-19

Introduction: Key measures in preventing spread of the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are social distancing and stay-at-home mandates. These measures along with other stressors have the potential to increase incidences of intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual assault, and child maltreatment.

Methods: We performed a retrospective review of county police dispatches, emergency department (ED) visits, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) consults, Domestic Violence Healthcare Project (DVHP) team consults, and Child Protection Team consults at a large, tertiary, Level I trauma center. We queried International Classification of Diseases Revision 10 codes most specific to IPV, sexual assault, and child maltreatment  from March–October 2020 compared to 2019. Similarly, the number of consults performed by SANE, DVHP, and our Child Protection Team were collected. We compared all ED visits and consultations to total ED visits for the reviewed time period. Finally, the total number of calls and referrals to a child advocacy center and resource call line for victims were recorded during this timeframe.

Results: Police dispatches for IPV-related assaults increased by 266 reports from 2019 to 2020 (P = 0.015). Emergency department visits related to IPV increased from 0.11% of visits in 2019 to 0.15% in 2020 (P = 0.032), and DVHP consults increased from 0.31% in 2019 to 0.48% in 2020 of ED visits in the first three months (P < 0.001). Child maltreatment visits increased from 0.47% of visits in 2019 to 0.81% of visits in 2020 (P = 0.028), and a higher percentage of patients required Child Protection team consults from 1% in 2019 to 1.6% in 2020 (P = 0.004). Sexual assault-related visits and SANE consults both showed a small increase that was not statistically significant. Fewer calls and referrals were made to our child advocacy center and resource call line, decreasing by 99 referrals and 252 calls, respectively.

Conclusion: Despite decreased ED volumes throughout the pandemic, we observed an increase in police dispatches, ED visits, and utilization of hospital consult services related to IPV and child maltreatment following the initiation of stay-at-home orders. However, use of community resources, such as the local child advocacy center, declined.

  • 1 supplemental ZIP

Technology in Emergency Medicine

Two-point Compression Ultrasound Technique Risks Missing Isolated Femoral Vein DVTs

Background: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a common vascular problem seen in the emergency department (ED) and is commonly identified using ultrasound performed by a vascular lab, the radiology department, or at the point of care. Previous studies have assessed the utility of a two-point vs sequential technique to identify the presence of a thrombus. One particular study reported a concerning rate of isolated femoral vein thrombi that would be missed by a two-point technique.

Objectives: In this study we sought to determine whether the two-point technique misses isolated femoral vein thrombi.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of patients who had a new diagnosis of DVT in the ED diagnosed with vascular lab, radiology, or point-of-care ultrasound to assess for the presence and rate of thrombi that would be missed using a two-point scanning technique.

Results: We included in our study 356 patients with a diagnosis of new DVT. In our population, 21 (5.9%; 0.95 confidence interval: 3.7%, 8.9%) patients were identified with thrombi isolated to the femoral vein.Conclusion: The two-point technique for lower extremity vascular ultrasound is insufficient for ruling out proximal DVTs in ED patients.