Important Medical News for Emergency Medicine Physicians


For emergency medicine physicians, ambiguity is the only guarantee. No two cases are ever exactly alike. Important decisions must be made, often without critical pieces of information. Schedules change from days to midnights, midnights to days. 

All of this can make it difficult to stay current with the latest emergency medicine news, which can help physicians improve treatments, make better decisions and feel more connected to their profession. 

Here is a look at three important and recent news stories that are sure to be of interest to emergency medical physicians:

Motivational interviews could reduce risk of opioid overdose

A study published online March 26th in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence revealed a new and effective way to reduce the misuse of prescription opioids, a problem that has been becoming more common in emergency departments across the country. 

According to the study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, motivational interviews conducted by emergency medical physicians with patients in emergency departments resulted in reduced abuse of prescription opioids as well as behaviors that commonly lead to overdose. 

The study was the first randomized clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of this type of behavioral intervention in reducing the risk of overdose. While motivational interviews have proven successful in helping patients reduce their use and abuse of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, this is the first time it has been tested and proven successful in helping patients reduce their desire to abuse opioids

Read more about the study and what it means to you and your patients on  

Concussion rates continue to rise in adolescents

As adolescents across the country begin preparing for another football season, a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of California San Francisco shows that they continue to be at risk of concussions. 

The findings of the study were published in the August 16th edition of the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. It shows that concussion cases have been increasing dramatically over the past few years, with most of the cases involving adolescents between the ages of 10 to 19. 

Researchers found that 56 percent of concussions were diagnosed in emergency departments and another 29 percent diagnosed in outpatient clinics. Researchers say physicians, whether practicing emergency medicine or otherwise need to emphasize education and prevention among adolescents and their parents, guardians and coaches to help protect young people from suffering head injuries while participating in sports. 

Read more about the rise in concussion rates among adolescents and what it means to you on

ECMO in the ED? Yes, please

Emergency Medicine News highlights how one group of emergency medicine physicians used ECMO in the ED to help a patient in cardiac arrest.  

While Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Extracorporeal is commonly used before and after cardiac surgery, the devices are not common in emergency departments, but perhaps they should be. 

As a last resort, emergency physicians at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego used ECMO on a patient who had suffered a massive out-of-hospital heart attack. They partnered with the hospital’s cross-trained ECMO team and a cardiologist to set up the ECMO circuit. While the first attempt to get the machine running did not go well, a subsequent effort resulted in the patient being transferred to the ICU, regaining brain activity and pulses–and eventually being discharged from the hospital with no neurological impairments. 

Since the success, the emergency medicine physicians have been presenting the case and their subsequent efforts to create ED protocols for using ECMO at conferences across the country. 

Read more about using ECMO in the emergency department on Emergency Medicine News

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