TAPNA 2014

G'day All,

On April 30th till 3rd May Newcastle will once again host the Toxicology And Poisons Network Australasia, TAPNA, scientific meeting. The plenary sessions will include talks on marine poisoning, the latest in redback envenoming following the RAVE II trial and a session on addiction medicine. Go to www.tapna.net for information. 

On Saturday 3rd May we will be running a one day Toxicology workshop aimed at ED/acute care trainees, final programme will be on the website within the next week. Early bird price is $250.00 Hoping a few of you can make it. This is the weekend of the fellowship clinicals so obviously those involved in that won't be coming but everyone else !!!

Finally, the slideshare website through which I put up some of last year's talks as well as Sam Vidler's presentation from last year, is going to discontinue the slidecast service soon. This means that after April you won't be able to access any of the audio-visual presentations. I am hoping to have these (and some more talks) up on a different platform soon.



neonatal urine collection

.....just wondering if anyone has tried tapping out a babies urine?...



(post on AliEM)



The Case: A 8-day-old, uncircumcised male is brought to the ED with fever, irritability, and decreased urination.
The Problem: Getting a clean catch urine in a timely, non-invasive manner
The Solution?

 Trick of the Trade

  1. Provide oral intake to the neonate
  2. 25 minutes after feeding, clean genitals with soap and water; dry with sterile gauze
  3. Give non-pharmacologic analgesia (Pacifier or 2% sucrose syrup)
  4. One person holds neonate under the axilla with feet dangling
  5. Another person starts bladder stimulation with gentle tapping of the suprapubic area (100 taps/min) and stimulation of lumbar paravertebral zone (light circular massage)
  6. Perform steps 4 and 5 for 30 secs at a time, as many times as needed
  7. Catch midstream urine sample in a sterile collection container

Study Publication [1]

  • Study methodology:
    • Prospective feasibility and safety study
    • Single center in Madrid
    • 80 neonates (31 girls and 49 boys)
    • Mean ages: 6.66 day old boys and 6.23 day old girls
  • Results:
    • 86% success rate in obtaining urine in
    • Mean time for sample collection: 57 sec
    • Mean time spent collecting samples in males: 60.48 sec
    • Mean time spent collecting samples in females: 52.04 sec
  • Limitation: Lack of control group
  • Conclusion: Based on a previous study using a vibrating bladder stimulator [2], this manual method to obtain midstream urine in newborns is safe, quick, and effective.
Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 11.00.35 PM copy


Urine collection in neonates is a time-consuming and unpredictable task that requires time and attention. Although a small study, this new technique does not cause discomfort or waste time as is typically the case with catheterized urines and bag collection methods, respectively.


  1. M.L. Herreros Fernández, N. González Merino, A. Tagarro García, B. Pérez Seoane, M. de la Serna Martínez, M.T. Contreras Abad, and A. García-Pose, "A new technique for fast and safe collection of urine in newborns.", Archives of disease in childhood, 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23172785
  2. P. Davies, R. Greenwood, and J. Benger, "Randomised trial of a vibrating bladder stimulator--the time to pee study.", Archives of disease in childhood, 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18192318

ED drinks

Hi everyone,
It has been a while since we had end of term drinks in ED. It is always tricky to get everyone there at once of course with shift work, exams, kids and life in general. But what about we give it a try in 2014?? A few people will be leaving hne or leaving ED next year and I thought it wd be nice to meet up before next term.
What about drinks on Friday 31/01/14??? I am afraid I can't really recommend a good drinking spot though. I will leave that decision to the more experienced drinkers...
Have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year!!!

Sent from my iPhone


Latest Critical Care research – Practice changing?

Gajendragadkar and colleagues undertook a multicentre, prospective, covert observational study, examing the survival times of chocolates (n=258), both Quality Street (Nestlé) and Roses (Cadbury), on four UK wards, and found:

  1. 191 out of 258 (74%) chocolates were observed being eaten
  2. mean total observation period was 254 minutes (95% CI 179 to 329)
  3. median survival time of a chocolate was 51 minutes (39 to 63)
  4. chocolate consumption was non-linear, with an initial rapid rate of consumption that slowed with time
    • an exponential decay model best fitted these findings (model R2=0.844, P<0.001)
  5. survival half life (time taken for 50% of the chocolates to be eaten) was 99 minutes.
  6. mean time taken to open a box of chocolates from first appearance on the ward was 12 minutes (95% CI 0 to 24)
  7. Quality Street chocolates survived longer than Roses chocolates (hazard ratio for survival of Roses vs. Quality Street 0.70, 95% CI 0.53 to 0.93; P=0.014)
  8. percentages of chocolates consumed were by
    • healthcare assistants (28%) 
    • nurses (28%)
    • doctors (15%)

Full Text:  Gajendragadkar. The survival time of chocolates on hospital wards: covert observational study. BMJ 2013;347:f7198

THIS is the point I was trying to make…

for those of you who were present at thursday teaching session, I gave a talk on using the FOAMed resources more then wasting your time attempting to critique articles and used the TTM trial published recently as an example....  leave it to someone from NZ to make the point much more succint then I?   see below.  but you should get in and be a part of the discussion, say, at next thursday M&M journal club where the TTM trial is going to be discussed... cheers.scott

great quote:

For the new docs I (this is heresy) recommend you don’t spend too much time reading original research.  You have too much to learn, and you need to get the big picture and not get lost in the detail.


here is my talk and resources used: click here