Very soon, the law against assisted suicide in Canada will cease to exist, but exactly what happens next remains to be seen. On April 14th, the federal government tabled Bill C-14 in an attempt to legalize the process of medical assistance in dying (MAID). The bill is currently making its way through Parliament, but may not be ready in time for the June 6th deadline . The legalization of MAID has been called a ‘sea ...
REBOA has become one of the hot topics that everyone seems to be talking about (and writing about). As with any hot new trend, it’s important to understand the facts, as much as they’ve been worked out. The enthusiasts are, by definition, always very enthusiastic, and sometimes the hype overshadows the reality.
During the next week, I’m going to methodically make my way through the basics, like what it is, how we came up with the idea, and what it entails. Then I’ll look through the literature as we know it. Finally, I’ll try to put it all together and make some recommendations about what you should be doing with it.
Tune in, starting Tomorrow!
This edition contains 6 recommended reads. The R&R Editorial Team includes Jeremy Fried, Nudrat Rashid, Soren Rudolph, Justin Morgenstern, Anand Swaminathan and, of course, Chris Nickson. Find more R&R in the Fastlane reviews in the R&R Archive, read more about the R&R project or check out the full list of R&R contributors
This Edition’s R&R Hall of Famer
Goyal M et al. Endovascular thrombectomy after large-vessel ischaemic stroke: a meta-analysis of individual patient data from five randomised trials. Lancet 2016. PMID 26898852
- This is a meta-analysis of patient level data taken from the 5 recent endovascular stroke treatment trials (MR CLEAN, ESCAPE, REVASCAT, SWIFT PRIME, EXTEND IA) and the authors taut an NNT of 2.6 for improvement. However, the data here is presented in a loaded fashion. This incredible NNT is for the endpoint of an ordinal shift or improvement of 1 point on the modified Rankin Scale. This measure has long been thought useless for stroke since going from a 6 (dead) to a 5 (severe disability) or from a 1 (no significant disability) to a 0 (no symptoms) is irrelevant and aren’t equal outcomes. The more relevant endpoint (mRS 0-2 at 90 days) still yields an impressive NNT = 5. Unfortunately, the authors bury incredibly relevant information like the strict imaging criteria used in these studies and the fact that only a tiny number of stroke patients meet criteria based on these studies. Finally, the COI list is long and convoluted as always. Is this intervention useful in a small minority of patients? Probably. Should we all be changing our stroke care systems to meet this need? Probably not.
- Recommended by Anand Swaminathan
- Read more at Endovascular for Stroke: Even better than the evidence (EM Literature of Note)
The Best of the Rest
Quirky, weird and wonderful
Sieweke N et al. Cardiac Troponin I elevation after epileptic seizure. BMC Neurol 2012. PMID 22804867
- Apparently seizures can elevate troponin-I (but not trop-T). Who knew? Possibly secondary to vascular disease so maybe it’s a type-2 MI of some sort? Very strange.
- Recommended by Seth Trueger
Research and Critical Appraisal
Wasserstein RL et al. The ASA’s statement on p-values: context, process, and purpose. The American Statistician. 2016. DOI 10.1080/00031305.2016.1154108
- Statistical significance and p values are widely touted, proudly displayed, and increasingly reported. Yet p values are problematic, so much so the American Statistical Association created a statement essentially calling the literature out for misuse. P values indicate how incompatible the data are with a specific statistical model. They NEITHER reflect the probability that the null hypothesis is true (they are calculated assuming the null hypothesis is true) NOR the probability that the data were produced by chance alone. P values also do not measure effect size or significance. We see a great deal of research overturned and it appears that misused statistics may be to blame. Handle p values cautiously.
- Recommended by Lauren Westafer
Long B et al. Resuscitating the tracheostomy patient in the ED. Am J Emerg Med. 2016 Mar 23. PMID 27073134
- Patients with tracheostomies often invoke some fear and commotion in the ED. This well written to-the-point paper on management of the patient with tracheostomy provides the basic need-to-know stuff and an algorithm for handling the most common emergencies.
- Recommended by Søren Rudolph
Morris JR et al Comparative Trends and Downstream Outcomes of Coronary CT Angiography and Cardiac Stress Testing in Emergency Department Patients with Chest Pain: An Administrative Claims Analysis. Acad Emerg Med. 2016 PMID 27155236
- This is an analysis of a large administrative claim data (OPTUM labs, a type of “big data” warehouse). The authors look at the rate of CT Coronariogram use in the last several years and subsequent healthcare utilization. Interestingly, the use has increased 4-5 fold, and problematically, the downstream use of resources in those patients has increased. In practicality, the use of CTca is associated with increase of further stress testing, invasive procedures and re-admissions. Looks like CTca is not beneficial in people with moderate to high risk chest pain, and is only helpful in people with low risk who arguable don’t need any sort of advanced testing.
- Recommended by Daniel Cabrera
Freedman SB et al. Effect of Dilute Apple Juice and Preferred Fluids vs Electrolyte Maintenance Solution on Treatment Failure Among Children With Mild Gastroenteritis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 2016. PMID 27131100
- Kids just want to drink juice, but I’ve been told forever that if I let kids with gastro drink juice they would die (or something like that). This is a randomized, controlled non-inferiority trial out of the Hospital for Sick Children that compared electrolyte solution to a combination of half strength apple juice in the ED and the child’s preferred fluid (juice or milk) at home. Put simple, the apple juice group had fewer treatment failures. There were a few weakness in the study, including the fact that is was a single centre study, included only children with mild (or no) dehydration, and used a composite outcome that might not have been entirely clinically relevant to me. However, this is a game changer for me. I am switching to juice for kids with gastro, and I know they will be happier for it.
- Recommended by Justin Morgenstern
The R&R iconoclastic sneak peek icon key
|The list of contributors||The R&R ARCHIVE|
|R&R Hall of famer You simply MUST READ this!||R&R Hot stuff! Everyone’s going to be talking about this|
|R&R Landmark paper A paper that made a difference||R&R Game Changer? Might change your clinical practice|
|R&R Eureka! Revolutionary idea or concept||R&R Mona Lisa Brilliant writing or explanation|
|R&R Boffintastic High quality research||R&R Trash Must read, because it is so wrong!|
|R&R WTF! Weird, transcendent or funtabulous!|
That’s it for this week…
That should keep you busy for a week at least! Thanks to our wonderful group of editors and contributors Leave a comment below if you have any queries, suggestions, or comments about this week’s R&R in the FASTLANE or if you want to tell us what you think is worth reading.