By Jeff Russ, MD, PhD – Pediatric/Child Neurology Resident, UCSF
Dr. Jeff Russ
Children presenting with head injury are as unremitting in children’s hospitals as the “Frozen” soundtrack, and any physician in a pediatric ED inevitably manages their fair share. The ramifications of missing significant injury to a child’s delicate, developing brain are unnerving. A head CT is central to catching intracranial pathology, but widespread use is not benign, given the risk of malignancy from unnecessary radiation. However, criteria for judiciously navigating this tradeoff remain debated. When is CT appropriate for children with GCS scores of 13-15 and mild symptoms like transient loss of consciousness or vomiting?
Continue reading “Heads Up on Head Injury Algorithms: The Cost of High Sensitivity”
Bacterial meningitis is a rare but serious disease, with mortality approaching 100% when left untreated. On the flip side, many children with mild viral illness are admitted with questionable benefit. The Bacterial Meningitis Score can help support a clinician’s decision to discharge a child safely. We talked with Dr. Lise Nigrovic, first author on the derivation and validation studies.
Dr. Lise Nigrovic
Why did you develop the Bacterial Meningitis Score? Was there a particular clinical experience or patient encounter that inspired you to create this tool for clinicians?
When I was a resident in pediatrics, I found myself admitting well-appearing children who had meningitis, spent two days in the hospital, and then went home after their cultures were negative. Doing that over and over again made me wonder if we could do better and distinguish between children who
Continue reading “Insights from Dr. Lise Nigrovic, Creator of the Bacterial Meningitis Score for Children”
Antibiotic overuse and misuse is a growing public health concern, and foregoing the administration of antibiotics in cases where they are not needed can be a challenging decision to defend without good evidence to back it up. The Centor Score for Strep Pharyngitis is one of the most practical and useful evidence-based decision tools that helps support clinicians in making those decisions. We interviewed Dr. Robert Centor on developing and using the Centor Score.
Why did you develop the Centor Score? Was there a clinical experience that inspired you to create a this tool for clinicians?
In 1979, while working in the “non-acute” adult emergency room, a resident asked me how to evaluate a sore throat patient. Having just finished my residency, I started to give a definitive answer, but had a moment of humility and told him that I did not know. We made a treatment decision at the time, and I went to the library to learn more. Continue reading “Insights from Dr. Robert M. Centor, Creator of the Centor Score for Strep Pharyngitis”
Subarachnoid hemorrhage, if undiagnosed, can have devastating consequences. While headache is a common presenting complaint in emergency departments, only about 1% of these patients are diagnosed with SAH. The Ottawa SAH Rule helps rule out SAH with 100% sensitivity, to better identify which patients do and do not need further workup. We talked with Dr. Jeffrey Perry, first author of the Ottawa SAH Rule derivation study.
Dr. Jeffrey J. Perry
How did you develop the Ottawa SAH Rule? Was there a particular patient or clinical experience you had?
Two things: One was the apparent subjectivity I noticed as a resident in evaluating patients for SAH, where the criteria for which patients we would investigate seemed to be very different. Some of the patients I thought were very low risk, other physicians would want to still investigate them for SAH, including doing a CT, which didn’t bother me too much, but then they would go on to do an LP, which is very uncomfortable, and time-consuming, and it seemed to contribute to already very prevalent ED overcrowding. So that was the clinical side of things. Continue reading “Insights from Dr. Jeffrey Perry, Creator of the Ottawa Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Rule”
When the MDCalc team isn’t scouring PubMed for studies to help our patients (and yours), we also like to read other stuff related to digital health, evidence, and the healthcare industry. It’s always hard to keep up with all the interesting articles on healthcare, and this year medicine has been a popular topic for journalists. So, we thought we’d share some of our favorite articles. Happy reading!
On Digital Health
- A.I. VERSUS M.D. What happens when diagnosis is automated? – By Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker
- NHS to start prescribing health apps that help manage conditions – By Matt Reynolds, New Scientist
- A digital revolution in health care is speeding up – The Economist
- Future challenges for digital healthcare – By Linda Brookes, M.Sc., Medical News Today
- Bypassing Clinical Decision Support Tools for Imaging in the ED – By Hossein Jadvar, Medscape
On Evidence Continue reading “Our Favorite Reads So Far in 2017”
The CHA2DS2-Vasc Score is one of the most widely-used clinical risk scores for stroke. It’s arguably the best validated and is consistently in the top five most popular calcs on MDCalc. Professor Gregory Lip, the newest member of MDCalc’s Scientific Advisory Board, gave us an interview on developing and using the CHA₂DS₂-VASc Score.
Dr. Gregory Lip
Why did you develop the CHA₂DS₂-VASc Score? Was there a clinical experience that inspired you to create this tool for clinicians?
The availability of Non-Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants (NOACs), previously referred to as new or novel oral anticoagulants, has led to a major change in the landscape for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF). Clinicians are also getting better at understanding how to manage warfarin, recognizing the importance of the average time in therapeutic range (TTR). New data are also re-emerging on the poor evidence for the efficacy and safety of aspirin for stroke prevention in AF. Continue reading “Insights from Dr. Gregory Lip, Creator of the CHA2DS2-VASc Score”
The APACHE II Score is the most-referenced risk score for ICU mortality, with over 15,000 citations in PubMed since its publication 22 years ago, and is still used today both clinically and in research. We talked with Dr. William Knaus, first author on the APACHE paper, about his experience in developing the APACHE II Score, as well as the increasing need for technology in healthcare (and its disappointing uptake and implementation).
Dr. William Knaus
When we started [developing APACHE] in the 1970s, DRGs [diagnosis-related groups] were just coming on the scene, and obviously they were oriented towards the business and financing aspects of healthcare. There’s little correlation to the clinical. But people were relying on DRGs as a way to classify and identify patients, especially in the ICU. So it was important at that time to not so much reinvent the diagnostic system, but to talk about how patients come in at different levels of severity. And at that time, there was really nothing out there. Continue reading “Insights from Dr. William Knaus, Creator of the APACHE II Score”
Dr. Paul Marik
On April 7, 2017, Paging MDCalc published an interview with three critical care experts regarding the Marik et al study on vitamin C in sepsis. Here is Dr. Marik’s response:
There are $20 billion reasons why there are so many skeptics, and they simply don’t understand the enormous body of research. We did not suck this out of thin air. I really don’t mind the skeptics; it generates discussion, and has raised awareness of the treatment and sepsis (that’s good). Unfortunately, patients will die while skeptics debate its merits. Continue reading “Dr. Paul Marik Responds: Vitamin C in Sepsis”
See Dr. Marik’s response to this article.
A recent small single-center before-and-after trial by Marik et al showed that vitamins in combination with other relatively safe therapies may improve outcomes in sepsis. We asked three critical care physicians to give their thoughts on the debate on vitamin C in sepsis, and our own co-founder and healthcare finance expert Joe Habboushe to weigh in on the cost/price argument. Continue reading “First Scurvy, Now Sepsis: Is Vitamin C the New Old Wonder Drug?”
Ah, sepsis. You can’t solve a problem without defining it, and sepsis has been notoriously difficult to define, let alone treat. The body of data on sepsis is growing, as well as laypeople’s awareness of the disease. Yet it still manages to elude clinicians in many ways. We talked to Dr. Christopher Seymour, Sepsis-3 investigator and creator of the qSOFA Score, about using qSOFA to help in the management of sepsis.
Bonus: We also asked Dr. Seymour about his thoughts on vitamin C in sepsis. Come back to Paging MDCalc next week to see what he (and other critical care docs) had to say! Continue reading “Insights from Dr. Christopher Seymour, Creator of the qSOFA Score”