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Emergency Medical Minute


Apr 30, 2019

Author: Erik Verzemnieks, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Buproprion is used as an antidepressant and for smoking cessation
  • Severe buproprion overdoses can cause seizures and lead to cardiac dysrhythmias
  • Benzodiazepines are treatment of choice for seizures
  • Bicarbonate and Interlipid are also possible treatment options with less...

Apr 27, 2019

Author: Don Stader, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • 10% of patients seen in the emergency department for opioid overdose patients will die within a year
  • Half of these overdoses will occur in the next month
  • This mortality rate is higher than patients with STEMI, of which 7% will die within one year
  • Take-home naloxone, as well as...

Apr 24, 2019

Author: Gretchen Hinson, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Breath stacking occurs when a patient is unable to expire fully before another inspiration
  • In intubated/ventilated patients, this is because adequate time has not passed before exhalation
  • Asthmatics are susceptible due to the prolonged expiratory phase
  • Complications can...

Apr 22, 2019

Author:  Michael Hunt, MD

Educational Pearls:


  • Most causes of syncope are benign
  • Pulmonary embolism can result in syncope and is life threatening
  • A recent study of Canadian and US ED patients with syncope showed that 0.4% of patients had a PE at 30 day follow-up
  • PE should always be considered in cases of syncope but...

Apr 20, 2019

Author:  Julian Orenstein, MD

Educational Pearls:


  • Severe clonidine ingestion can present as a fluctuating mental status between typically accompanied by changes in vital signs (hypotension/bradycardia)
  • Respiratory depression requiring intubation is not uncommon



Isbister GK, Heppell SP, Page CB, Ryan NM....