Takotsubo… is not a Japanese Motorcycle

Broken Heart Syndrome, stress induced cardiomyopathy, left ventricular wall ballooning, that resembles a traditional Japanese ceramic octopus trap…TakJapanese_Superhero_on_Motorcycle_Posters_at_AllPosters_comotsubo; all of these yes. Japanese motorcycle…unfortunately not.

Often spoken about it like the mythical unicorn, rarely do we have the opportunity to discover one in our daily clinical investigation. This month at Right Seat Medicine, the Erin Baker brings to us a presentation of Takotsubo (Stress) Cardiomyopathy.

Broken Heart Syndrome, otherwise known as apical ballooning syndrome, which is characterized by transient systolic dysfunction of midtakotsubo_-_Google_Search segment or apex of the left ventricle, can mimic an acute myocardial infarction, without the presence of obstructive coronary artery disease.

The pathogenesis is not well understood, but is often triggered by medical illness or emotional stress.

 So what does it look like when you actually find one of these patients. Invariably most are post menopausal females who have suffered some variance of emotional distress and present with atypical or vague histories of malaise or discomfort. Not typically the population we would always perform a 12 lead echocardiogram upon, but todays case will again highlight the (differential and) diagnostic value of the 12 lead ECG.

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Jiro Dreams of Sushi…an ember for the prehospital Shokunin

Jiro dreams of sushi, and in doing so finds us the essence of what it is… to be our best.

This month at rightseatmedicine we take a journey with Jiro Ono, and perhaps,  a glimpse of what it is like to be a master. Like Yoda, but real. And how we can be better at what we do and most importantly, how we view ourselves amidst our craft.

The concept of repetition, forward vision, the pursuit of mastery; all based on a foundation of humility, hard work, self reflection and a relentless dedication to task, as Jiro suggests, a ‘yearning to achieve more’.

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Exercise Associated Hyponatremia – stop the NS

Unable to put a finger on, or differentiate your young healthy patients first time seizure activity? The absence of trauma, infection, stroke, any pertinent historical findings,thCAIST0VW heat/altitude illness or other pharmacological based explanation leading you toward a primary diagnosis of neoplasm or some other insidious intracranial nasty?

As the summer and warmer months are upon us, the consideration of Exercise Associated Hyponatremia (EAH) is warranted in these individuals.

Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for the Ttreatment of Exercise Associated Hyponatremia are representative of “…the great strides that are taking place in an effort to prevent what is now recognized as a leading cause of preventable mobidity and mortality in endurance activities throughout the world“.

How does this affect me as a pre hospital practioner you ask? We here at rightseatmedicine have encountered a small cohort of patients in the Lower Mainland region of BC presenting with exercise associated hyponatremia.

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Spinal Immobilization & ice cream – why cant we stop ourselves

A bowl of ice-cream…spinal immobilizing our patients…why can we not stop ourselves; and often our partners, from indulging.images

In light of the recent avalanche of discussion surrounding spinal immobilization in the prehospital environment, presented within this post you will find;

  • the original JEMS article that piqued our interest here at rightseatmedicine,
  • the new and exciting publication by the Wilderness Medical Society for Spine Immobilization in Austere Environments,
  • a video-link courtesy of Gallatin County who have recently adopted an adjusted spine immobilization protocol, and
  • numerous other immobilizing menu items that are delicious food for thought.

Please enjoy.

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Emergent Leadership – why it works, just ask Google

The concept of Emergent Leadership is evolving as another practical leadership theory; we here at rightseatmedicine believe you may find inherent value in this concept for the prehospital enviornment.

What is Google saying about their hiring practices? Well, lots of things, (you can read the full article in the New York Times here) yet in summary; this is what one of the most successful companies thCA05RIRIis finding in relation to ideal candidate identification, successful behaviours and subsequent emergent leadership within their community.

  •  “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. … We found that they don’t predict anything.” He also noted that the “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time” — now as high as 14 percent on some teams.
  • For every job, though, the No. 1 thing we at Google look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information. We assess that using structured behavioral interviews that we validate to make sure they’re predictive.”

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AVR STEMI – your LP15 wont interpret this one for you

lmca2AVR STEMI, Left Main Coronary Occlusion (LMCA), proximal LAD occlusion, triple vessel disease… worthy of your attention…for sure.

Will your LP15 flag this one as a STEMI for you. Unfortunately not.AVR STEMI

In the setting of ACS, STE in aVR…

  • + STE in avL = LMCA occlusion
  • + STE in V1 = LMCA or proximal LAD occlusion
  • STE in avR > STE V1 = LMCA occlusion
  • STE in aVR not applicable in setting of SVT or in asymptomatic patients without ischemic symptoms

Regardless, the literature continues to show with increasing consistency that STE in lead aVR in patients with ACS is associated with more ominous coronary occlusions¹˜². aVR positivity was an independent predictor of in-hospital death³. As Dr Amal Mattu presents,

STE in aVR with other ischemic findings on ECG is BAD!

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The 4-7-1 NOLS Leadership Model

The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) succinctly defines leadership as; situationally appropriate action/s that direct/s or guide/s your7-4-1 diagram group to set and achieve realistic goals, and here at Right Seat Medicine we believe both highly appropriate and easily transferrable to the prehospital environment.

The NOLS 4:7:1 Leadership model allows us to separate the often ambiguous and overused term of ‘leadership’ into three distinct categories of 4 roles, 7 skills and one style.  Continue reading

Capnography – ETCO2 monitoring and the way forward

Capnography now readily available to most paramedics and should be the prehospital standard of care for confirmation and continuous monitoring of intubation, as well as for monitoring ventilation in sedated patients. Additionally, it should see increasing use in the monitoring of unstable patients of many etiologies, as well as optimizing your perfusion assessment.images

Traditionally (here in the Lower Mainland of BC) in line ETCO2 was used only for the confirmation of tube placement in the intubated patient. Many resourceful practitioners saw the value of this tool and creatively would snip away the in line T piece, inserting the now open hosing into a simple face mask and then having access to capnography and real time ventilatory telemetry in the conscious patient. Continue reading